We’ve all had it. You wake up one morning and you can’t move your neck. This condition is called wry neck and can make it very difficult to work and do the activities you enjoy. But what is it, and what can you do about it?
Wry necks can either be caused be facet joints in your neck or due to a cervical disc injury.
Facet joints are small joints in your neck that slide and glide on one another when you move your neck (see Fig). In facet joint wry neck, one of these joints can become ‘locked’. This may occur due to sustained poor postures such as when sleeping or sitting, or a sudden high force movement at the end of range.
A disc related wry neck, called discogenic wry neck, typically comes on more gradually and occurs in older age groups.
At All Care Physiotherapy, we aim to help decrease your pain, increase your movement and help you get back to the activities that you enjoy.
Your All Care Physiotherapist can diagnose what type of wry neck you have and create a tailored treatment approach to fix your problem. This usually begins with reducing the pain you have to make you more comfortable, followed by increasing your range of movement.
Your physiotherapist can also make you aware of predisposing factors that are contributing to your neck, so that you can avoid and manage the problem in the future.
This exercise is good to do after applying heat. Lie on your back with your head supported on a pillow. Maintain the weight of the head on the pillow and try to turn your head to the non-painful side going as far as possible 6-10x. Then gently try turning your head to the panful side 6x as far as is comfortable. Do 2-3 sets. 3x day.
Progress to sitting after 2-3 days.
Sit up tall and gently use your fingers to push your chin backwards as is comfortable. Hold 5 secs. Do 5 repeats. 5 x day.
Lie on your back with a rolled up towel under your head so that your neck is level, and place one hand on the front of your neck to monitor the larger neck muscles. Gently nod your chin like you are saying “yes” only a ¼ of the way without lifting your head off the towel. Hold this position for 5 seconds then relax. Repeat 10 times. 3-5x day.
All Care Physiotherapy