“Wry” is my neck so painful out of nowhere?

Have you ever woken up with severe neck pain coupled with the inability to turn your head? Wondering what you might have done in your sleep to have caused this… Then you might have been a victim of “Wry Neck”.

What is it?

Wry neck is a condition where the neck becomes suddenly stiff and painful, and most times accompanied by muscle spasms surrounding the neck. People often report severe local pain on one side of the neck with the inability to turn it fully. It affects people of all ages, more prevalent in the younger population

In most cases, people wake up with it, and it can be hard to determine the cause. It is believed to usually be caused by stiff and irritated neck joints, coupled with excessive muscle spasm, causing pain and lack of movement.

The good news is, it tends to go away quickly with treatment! 

How do we treat it? 

Physiotherapy is very effective for a wry neck, and people usually report a decrease in pain and increase in movement after treatment, with symptoms resolving in 3-7 days. 

Most common treatment:
Joint mobilisation
Soft tissue massage
Dry needling

Heat pack to relax the muscles
Pain relief medication if needed
Keeping the neck moving as tolerated
Staying active with your day-to-day activities and exercises within your pain limits

So, the next time you wake up feeling like your head is stuck to your pillow, come visit us at Bassendean Physiotherapy and our skilled physiotherapists will be there to help you! 

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Midland Physio has been providing leading physiotherapy and allied health care services in Perth since 2002.