Neck Pain due to ‘Wry neck’

Neck pain is a pretty commonplace daily complaint in my office.  We see all kinds of neck pain from whiplash to herniated cervical discs. But today’s topic is for that special kind that makes it hard to turn your head to one side and look over your shoulder.  Some people call it wry neck or torticollis.  Others call it ‘wtf?!?! why can’t I turn my neck?

Causes of neck pain

  • accidents (car, sports injuries, falls)
  • arthritic changes
  • muscle spasm
  • subluxation
  • disc problems
  • nerve problems
  • and a bunch more fun things…

Treatment for many forms of neck pain

  • deep tissue muscle treatment
  • scar tissue treatment
  • chiropractic adjustments
  • specific exercises
  • postural retraining
  • cervical traction
  • kinesiotaping
  • inflammatory control

Today’s special kind of neck pain: Wry neck

Ok so what is wry neck/torticollis?

Ever wake up in the morning with pain in the neck and/or near the shoulder blade on one side?  Not able to turn your head to one side? Ya, that’s the one I’m talking about there.  It is often a problem actually in the upper back and rib cage which irritates one of the muscles that goes up from the shoulder blade to the neck and base of the skull.  Although the pain feels as though it originates in the neck, it really usually starts in the upper back. So, most of the time people get treatment for their neck alone and nothing helps…

We always treat both the upper back and the neck to resolve this problem and keep it gone.  Then we like to do postural re training so we can have a chance of keeping it gone for good. This type of thing is sometimes from sleeping awkwardly and it is important to change your pillow if it has happened frequently.  Especially if you notice that it seems to happen after sleeping.

An exercise that can help

Here are some stretches that can help- that said you really should seek treatment if you have pain.  Pain is the body’s warning signal that something isn’t quite right… so do something about it!