“My Neck is Out! What Should I Do?”
Have you ever woke up in the morning with a stiff, sore neck, for no apparent reason? Maybe a sudden motion, like a sneeze or flipping your hair back, has brought on an intense sharp pain in the neck? If this has happened to you, then read on….
How it happens:
Quite often, the joints in our spine, called facet joints, become stiff, or slightly “stuck”. Prolonged positioning, or a slow build up of tightening over time can lead to this stiffening. This joint stiffness can result in a painful sensation, which causes the surrounding muscles to tighten or spasm. This muscle tension causes more compression of the facet joint, which causes more pain, which causes more tightness……
We call this a “Pain-Spasm Cycle”.
Clients often report that something is “out”; this is misconstrued, as the joint is actually stiff or stuck, not out of place.
How to treat it:
The focus of any treatment is to break this Pain-Spasm cycle. At home, heating, icing, positions of comfort are your best interventions. If things don’t settle with this approach, having your neck assessed by one of our physiotherapists may be a good idea. In the clinic, there are a number of methods we may use to loosen the area, including IMS/dry needling, acupuncture, manual therapy, spinal mobilization or manipulation, gentle stretching and mobility exercises.
Regardless of the severity of the pain, these conditions usually settle quite quickly with appropriate treatment, as the area is not damaged but just stuck in the Pain-Spasm Cycle. So don’t live with pain, see your physiotherapist so you can get on with your day!!
Both our Cobble Hill & Duncan Clinics are Open Monday – Friday 7am to 7pm.
Registered Physiotherapist, Co-Owner of Thrive Now Physiotherapy