NECK STIFFNESS (TORTICOLLIS & WRY NECK)
What is Neck Torticollis?
Also Referred to as Waking up with a Crick in the Neck.
Have you woken up and tried to turn your neck to only cringe with pain? People tend to call this a stiff or frozen neck. Some will call it a crick in the neck and feel like they have slept on their neck wrong. Maybe falling asleep on the couch was not a good idea after all. Or taking away or adding that extra pillow caused more harm than good. Either way, their neck hurts and sometimes the pain can be severe and cause other symptoms such as nausea and headaches.
The most common steps people take when they wake up with a stiff or frozen neck is to start popping ibuprofen and apply heat or ice. But if the pain does not go away after icing or taking an anti-inflammatory, your next step should be making an appointment with a doctor of chiropractic, as they specialize in taking care of the spine with conservative treatments.
What has happened is likely one of the cervical vertebrae in the neck have subluxated (misaligned and become stuck causing irritation on the nerve). This causes the sternocleidomastoid muscles (the muscles that run alongside the neck down to the color bones) to become inflamed, spasm and limit range of motion, which can cause that stiff neck feel.
This is called Neck Torticollis or Wry Neck. Some people say it feels as though your neck is stuck or in a weird direction and it is painful to move their neck in the proper resting position. This is a common form of Torticollis in adults.
When visiting ASFCA for neck torticollis, the first step our chiropractors will take is to capture digital x-rays. This will help to ensure that there is not something more serious going on with your neck.
Don’t worry, digital x-rays are not as expensive as you might think. Without insurance, typical cost of in house digital x-rays is approximately $45. Once the patients’ digital x-rays have been evaluated, the chiropractor will establish a treatment plan to help reduce inflammation and pain. Treatment will also focus on regaining range of motion.
Techniques to alleviate neck torticollis (Wry Neck) can include chiropractic adjustments, ART (Active Release Techniques), acupuncture, cold laser therapy, and eventually stretching and muscles strengthening exercises which can help keep the muscles from tensing or cramping in the neck.
ASFCA understands that life is busy. We are here to help you alleviate that pain in your neck and get you back to your normal daily routine as soon as possible.