East Tennessee Spine & Sport is your go-to provider of
neck pain treatment near Knoxville, TN.

Although neck pain is common, finding effective and individualized treatment for this problem is difficult.

At East Tennessee Spine & Sport, the Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy of spine related problems starts with movement. Based on skilled observation, symptom response, and factors unique to each patient, a well-trained clinician will identify the appropriate starting point. The movement direction and the corrective pressures will change based on the same factors. A response called “centralization” is the key. Simply put, when symptoms move closer to the spine (centrally) and begin to resolve, you are moving in the correct direction. Focusing on a specific movement will help return the mechanics of the joints to normal. When the time is right - movement is then returned in all directions to ensure that patients return to desired activities that are appropriate for them.

Once joint mechanics are improved, individualized strength and conditioning exercises are prescribed. An experienced clinician will tailor the activities to match the goals of the patient as well as the physiological needs revealed through strength and ability testing. Exercise prescription is dependent on the tissues involved with the injury, the corrective movement required during the start of treatment, and the length of time a patient has been dealing with the problem. The activities generally begin with smaller movements to isolate weak links (the origin of the problem). The activities progress to more complete body demands that integrate new strength into functional activities.

Treatment theories have ebbed and flowed over the years. Patients have been rested, medicated, massaged, and decompressed. Heat, ice, electrical circuits, ultrasound waves, and infrared rays have been applied. Although some of these interventions may produce temporary benefit, they are often focused on the symptoms rather than the cause. In addition, exercise routines have been non-specific, targeting the arms and the legs instead of starting with the muscles near the spine. Treatment theories that avoid the origin of the problem often provide only temporary results. However, as with most injuries of the musculoskeletal system, an active and mechanical approach directed at the source prevails and creates long term benefit.

Successful treatment of your neck pain involves understanding the problem and actively participating in the treatment process. Our program focuses on keeping you informed and gradually increasing your role throughout the treatment. Independence is ultimately the goal. By the end of treatment, you know how to avoid future issues, respond to potential episodes moving forward, and identify the need to call us for more help and advice.

Problems involving the spine have many sources. Injuries occur at home, during work tasks, or with recreational activities. Damage from these injuries and other traumatic events such as falls and motor vehicle accidents can require treatment immediately after the injury or in the future. Some causes are not as easy to recognize. The development of pain could be the result of gradual wear and tear, natural disease processes, lifestyle choices, inactivity, or just poor posture. Once you get to the doctor, you may hear terms like arthritis, stenosis, degeneration, sciatica, radiculopathy, spondylosis, herniated or slipped disc, bulging disc, piriformis syndrome, facet syndrome, whiplash, sprain, or strain. All of these conditions are appropriate for a trial of physical therapy. For a more thorough list of the diagnoses we treat, see our Services page.

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