Wry neck is the sudden onset of moderate/severe pain in the neck. The pain is usually one sided. This pain is accompanied by muscle spasm which causes you to turn your head away from the painful side.
Cause of Wry neck
The exact cause of wry neck is not known however with diagnostic imaging intervertebral discs (which initially were thought to be the cause) have been ruled out. It is thought that one or more facet joints in the neck is the cause of the symptoms. These joints being put under stress in certain sleeping positions or neck positions. It is as if these joints become “locked”.
Who is at risk of Wry neck
Anyone is at risk of wry neck. It has been found that the most common age group for this condition is 12-30 years old
What to do at home
If you wake with similar symptoms to those described above the following steps can be taken at home to ensure maximum comfort before getting yourself to your nearest physiotherapist.
1 – Take analgesics – Paracetamol or Anti inflammatory drugs (nurofen/voltaren)
2 – Apply a cold pack – Approx 15 min at a time 3-4x daily.
3 – Maintain good posture (Upright, shoulders back and chin tucked in)
4 – Make sure you sleep on a low pillow
Physiotherapy treatment includes but is not limited to the following
1 – Soft tissue massage
2 – Mobilisation of the facet joints
3 – Gentle stretching
4 – Postural advice
5 – Ice/heat