At Bethesda Physiocare®, we’re proud to offer treatment options for the entire gamut of head and neck conditions and injuries. If you’ve been diagnosed with any of the following conditions, our physical therapists can provide the treatment you deserve. Contact Bethesda Physiocare® today to learn more about how we can help you live your life to the fullest.
Suffering from neck pain from time to time is a normal occurrence. However, when it starts to persist or interfere with functional activity it can be imperative to seek a consultation from a physical therapist. Our therapists take a holistic approach to addressing spinal pain which includes treating the areas of pain, but also identifying contributing factors from neighboring joints. This can include assessing shoulder, head/jaw, and thoracic spine mobility.
Research has shown that patients with migraines can often have their symptoms produced by assessing muscles and joints in the neck and jaw region. Some of the more common muscles involved with headaches include the upper trapezius, sternocleidomastoid, temporalis, masseter, and oblique capitis inferior. Implementing a comprehensive treatment program including manual therapy, dry needling, exercise, and ergonomic adjustments is ideal in these situations. Typically effective physical therapy can reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of headaches with many patients needing less medication.
Chiari Malformation occurs when the lower aspect of the brain encroaches into the spinal canal below. When severe enough, the brain and spinal cord can become compressed resulting in neurological symptoms such as ataxia (unsteady gait), dizziness, difficulty swallowing and speaking, and extremity numbness/pain. Physical therapy can help manage symptoms of Chiari, though certain cases will require surgery. In those instances, PT is very important post-operative to regain range of motion and strength.
Persistent muscle pain following whiplash is a common occurrence that is often poorly diagnosed and managed in the medical community. However, there is much evidence that persistent myalgia may be due to neurophysiologic mechanisms involving peripheral and central sensitization from myofascial trigger points. Our therapists are well trained in the identification and treatment of the common trigger points involved with whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) including the SCM, upper trapezius, suboccipitals and muscles of mastication.
Post-concussion syndrome is a common cause of headaches, brain fog, fatigue and dizziness in patients who have suffered head trauma. Unfortunately, many of these patients are neglected by the medical system and have symptoms that can last several years past the initial injury. In these cases it is essential a proper physical therapist performs a thorough evaluation assessing the musculoskeletal, oculomotor, and vestibular system.
Cervical instability occurs when there is an excessive amount of motion in structures involving the head and neck. When severe enough, it can result in neurological damage or irritation. Depending on the structures involved, this can manifest as an array of symptoms including nausea, dizziness, gait disturbances, extremity weakness/numbness, and severe headaches. Due to ligamentous laxity in patients with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, it can be an associated diagnosis. Physical therapy should be part of a conservative treatment plan for patients with cervical instability, though extreme cases may require surgery.
True occipital neuralgia involves irritation and sensitivity of the occipital nerves as they traverse through the muscles in the back of the neck and skull. Physical therapy treatment of this involves a thorough neurodynamic assessment and mobilization intervention by an experienced craniofacial therapist. However, we find this is often over-diagnosed in patients have pain in the suboccipital region (base of the skull). Several muscles including the SCM, upper trapezius, splenius capitis, and oblique capitis inferior can contribute to symptoms of “occipital neuralgia” and should be assessed by your physical therapist.
Head and neck injuries shouldn’t define the way you live your life. At Bethesda Physiocare®, we can help you overcome your neck and head conditions with expertise and care. Schedule a consultation today!