Acute wry neck

Neck pain is a common symptom with approximately 70% of the population experiencing neck pain at some time in their life. Several conditions can cause neck pain, one of the most common being acute wry neck. Acute wry neck is a condition that affects the cervical spine and causes neck pain and stiffness and is usually coupled by spasm of the surrounding cervical muscles.

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It most commonly affects the younger population ranging from young children to people in their thirties. Most people will first notice their pain as they first wake up as acute wry neck can result in a disturbed sleep or an unsupportive pillow. In an older population, the acute wry neck is generally more of gradual onset and people can notice mild symptoms before the pain sets in.

Acute wry neck can be an extremely limiting condition causing high levels of neck pain with a simple turning of the head. Simple tasks like head checking before changing lanes can be painful and in some cases unachievable due to the restriction from the cervical joints.

Acute wry neck most commonly affects the facet joints of your neck which are designed to allow movement between the vertebra. The inflammation of the facet joints is the primary cause of acute wry neck symptoms, however, muscle spasm which occurs as a response to the facet joint inflammation is generally just as much the problem.

Our Physiotherapists at Physica have proven to have great immediate results with acute wry neck. Through the use of joint mobilization and soft tissue techniques, most patients will experience immediately in session differences to their pain and range of movement. Depending on the extent of inflammation to the facet joints residual symptoms should resolve after a week with physiotherapy and full neck function should be attained. With the strengthening of the surrounding muscles and removal of causing factors, patients are less likely to have a reoccurrence of their symptoms.

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