I recently strained my neck and upper back.  I have been going to massage therapy and have returned to work on a part time basis (I do gardening/landscaping) but I’m not 100% yet.  Wondering if physio would help or is the exercise involved in my line of work enough?

Treloar Physiotherapy Clinic: Vancouver Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy would likely be helpful for you.  You would benefit from having a physiotherapy assessment to identify the specific structures you have strained and the predisposing factors to this injury.  From this assessment, your physiotherapist will make a treatment plan with you to progress you to your goal of performing your gardening/landscaping duties and activities of daily living with normal, pain-free function.

This treatment will likely involve manual therapy to restore normal joint motion which will be a good complement to the massage therapy that you have been receiving.  You will also likely be prescribed exercises that will address back, neck, and scapular strength/mobility.  The physiotherapist will ensure that you are performing each exercise correctly and you will receive written instructions on a home based exercise program.  It should be noted that the physical duties of your gardening/landscaping job are likely not enough to rehabilitate yourself, and may even have been partially responsible for your strain as you may not have been performing the necessary exercises to properly handle the physical demands of this work. Finally, your treatment may also include electrotherapy, traction, IMS, or acupuncture.