Wry neck, is it more than just a stiff neck ?

Blog, Spinal

Wry neck, also known as torticollis, is a condition characterized by pain or stiffness in the neck being  resulting in a twisted or tilted neck posture.

In this blog, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for wry neck to gain a better understanding of this condition.

What causes of Wry Neck ?

The most common type of wry neck seen in the clinic is termed an ” acquired” wry neck, this can occur in children and adults. Mainly we see it more in females than males especially adolescents. The reasons for it occurring include

posture and your phone
  • Sustained postures e.g sitting studying or on i phone too long :  If the neck muscles are weak this creates the muscle to spasm as a protective measure spasms  leading to the altered side flexed posture.
  • Injury or Trauma: Neck injuries, such as whiplash from car accidents or falls, can cause wry neck by damaging the muscles, ligaments, or nerves in the neck.
  • Least common reason is due to certain types of  infections, such as upper respiratory infections or ear infections, can result in wry neck as a secondary symptom.

Symptoms of Wry Neck:

The primary symptom of wry neck is the abnormal posture of the neck, with the head tilted or rotated to one side. Other common symptoms may include:

  • Neck pain or discomfort
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion in the neck
  • Muscle spasms
  • Headaches
  • Associated shoulder or upper back pain
  • Fatigue or muscle weakness in the neck

Treatment for Wry Neck:

Wry neck tends to be self limiting and will typically resolve within a few days, with some residual symptoms lasting about a week. However initial symptoms are painful and limiting enough to warrant treatment . Usually this takes the form of a combination of ;

  • Physiotherapy  including  gentle mobilization techniques to restore movement and decrease pain . Followed by exercises improve neck mobility and  strengthen muscles, and correct postural imbalances.
  • Over-the-counter oral anti-inflammatory drugs can be effective in relieving pain.
  • The use of heat, in the form of a heat pack or hot shower, can also be helpful.

In conclusion despite wry neck being painful and very limiting it often responds well to physiotherapy and can resolve quickly. If you are struggling with neck pain you can book in with one our team here

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