Head, Neck, & Jaw
You Shouldn’t Have to Live with Pain
Neck pain and headaches can have a huge impact on your life. Not only do they make it difficult to do the things you love, but constant pain can also affect your mood and relationships. It can be hard not to feel frustrated and hopeless, especially if medical treatments haven’t worked for you in the past.
At Life’s Work, we’re experts at treating chronic and complex pain, even when previous attempts at treatment have failed. That’s because we approach head, neck, and jaw pain differently than other physical therapy clinics.
Our Approach to Head, Neck & Jaw Pain
At Life’s Work, we look beneath the surface to accurately diagnose the underlying issues causing your pain. This starts with a detailed, precise physical assessment that considers both specific areas and how your entire body is working as a system. Then we develop an individualized treatment plan just for you.
Headaches and Jaw Pain
Headaches can have complex causes, including the way we sit, stand, or use our jaw and neck. Other headaches come from car accidents or falls. Depending on your pain, the best treatment may include strengthening exercises, muscle relaxation, lifestyle changes, or even an appliance to wear at night (for jaw injuries).
Tension headaches are often caused by anxiety, poor posture, sleep deprivation, or eye strain. Pain and tightness can extend from the front, sides, or back of the head to behind the eyes.
Headaches from car accidents
Acceleration injuries (whiplash) can cause headaches. Most people feel pain within two days, but headaches can continue for years if the initial injury isn’t treated properly.
Cervicogenic (neck-related) headaches are extremely common and responsive to treatment. They can cause pain on one side of the head, or pain that radiates from the neck towards the face or eye.
Many people clench or grind their teeth without realizing it. Your jaw may feel sore or tight, or it may make a clicking sound. Jaw issues often cause headaches too.
For some people, headaches can trigger migraines – chronic neurological headaches that may include pain on one side of the head, light and sound sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting.
Did you know neck pain is second only to back pain in terms of disability and chronic pain? Emotional stress, bad posture, a poorly designed workstation, injuries, and many more issues can cause neck pain. We’re experts at identifying and treating even the most complex and hard-to-diagnose conditions, including the following.
“I woke up with kink in my neck!”
Believe it or not, your sleeping position can worsen or even cause neck pain. It’s important that your head is well aligned with the rest of your body while you sleep.
Disc injuries of the neck
You have “discs” that act as cushions between the vertebrae in your neck. An injury to one of these discs can feel like pain, numbness, or weakness in your neck, shoulder, or arm.
Whiplash results from a sudden, forceful movement of the head and neck relative to the body – often due to a fall or car accident. For most people symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, or stiffness.
Post-surgical neck pain
Neck pain is normal after certain surgeries, especially procedures that change the way your muscles support your neck. A physical therapist can make sure there’s nothing more serious causing your pain.
Neck pain from age
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disc or joint disease that happens when protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down, causing pain and stiffness — especially in the mornings.
Stiffness in muscles and soft tissue
A non-ergonomic workstation, poor posture, and other lifestyle factors can put excessive strain on the muscles and soft tissues in your neck.
Sprains and strains
When ligaments stretch or tear, you have a sprain. When muscles or tendons stretch or tear, you have a strain. Sports, exercise, or simply lifting a heavy bag awkwardly can cause neck sprains and strains.
Neck-related arm pain
Sometimes, disorders of the neck refer pain or uncomfortable sensations like numbness, tingling, and weakness into one or both arms.
Thoracic outlet syndrome
The nerves and blood vessels in your neck and shoulders can become compressed for a number of reasons. The most common symptom is altered sensation in your hands or arms.