Chronic Neck Pain and Ice Cube Trays

Physical Therapy for Neck Pain

The physical therapists at SSOR use analogies on a regular basis to help make the complex simple for our patients.  A person’s health is deeply personal and sometimes the terminology and the sea of information can be overwhelming and intimidating.  When it comes to neck pain, our approach is simple – improve mobility, improve posture, provide exercises for neck pain, and educate.  We have tremendous success helping people with neck pain, headaches, and arm pain related to neck pathology.  Many times, our hands-on approach leads to lots of “snaps, cracks, and pops” during normal movement that patients did not have prior to physical therapy.  Well, why is that? An ice cube tray provides a great analogy.

What Causes Chronic Neck Pain?

With aging and poor posture, the neck loses its mobility.  As a result, joint capsules and surrounding musculature shorten and lose their elasticity.  The neck is therefore similar to an ice cube tray filled with ice – immovable, hard, inelastic.

Treatment for Neck Pain

The physical therapists at SSOR principally focus on restoration of neck mobility through joint mobilizations and soft tissue work.  We address all those knots and tender points throughout the neck and shoulders, then retrain proper movement lost resulting from the postural and degenerative changes.  Once the mobility is restored, we give you exercises to keep it there.
As we restore your mobility, our patients notice that they can turn their head better (actually just turn their head when driving, not their whole body) and can look at the sky without bending their whole back.  The better motion though brings a new set of sounds – snaps, cracks, and pops.
So back to the ice cube tray.  To loosen the ice in order to get cubes to fill your glass, you usually twist and bend the ice cube tray to break up all the “stuck” cubes. The more you move it, the more it breaks up and the more noises the ice makes.
All those noises are good!  It means the physical therapy was effective in “breaking up the ice adhesions” in your neck to allow more mobility.  These noises are painless, but are definitely noticeable and can be unsettling at first.  Know that it’s a result of treatment and means your joints are moving with less restrictions.
Whether you’re battling neck pain, headaches, or need exercises for neck pain, the physical therapists at SSOR are your first choice.  We hope you’ll give us the opportunity to show you the level of care we can provide.  It would be a privilege to serve you – give us a call at 913-904-1128.  Remember, you don’t need a referral from a physician to see a PT in Kansas.

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