How to unlock a stiff neck?
Have you ever woken up from bed in the morning and suddenly you aren’t able to turn your neck? You have no idea how it happened, and the pain may be quite unbearable. It is very likely you have a condition known as ‘Acute Torticollis’. Acute Torticollis occurs when the muscles of neck region become fixed in a constant contracting state (spasm) causing neck pain and discomfort.
Torticollis (twisted neck) is a condition where the neck has restricted movements and is unable to turn (rotate), usually on one side more than the other. An acute torticollis happens abruptly without much warning signs.
How do I know if I have acute torticollis (stiff neck)?
The common signs and symptoms of it are
– Restricted neck range of motion
– Difficulty in turning your neck (Mostly to one side)
– Tight and pulling muscle sensation at the neck region
– Pain may also affect the head and shoulder
What should I do?
1) Keep your neck moving
Your first thought when you have a stiff neck is to keep your neck still and avoid moving it as much as possible, in order to avoid further injury and damage. But contrary to normal believes, moving your neck will actually do you more good than harm.
Slowly and gently encourage movement in your neck in all directions. Movement will help the neck to slowly increase its ranges of motion. Allowing you to feel less intense pressure on muscles.
WARNING: Keeping your neck in a static position for too long may cause the neck stiffness to become worse and persist for a longer period.
2) Focus on muscle relief
Place a heat pack on the tight muscles for 10 minutes or use a heat (muscle relief) patch will help to reduce the stiffness of muscles of the neck. Applying heat therapy onto a muscle increases the blood flow towards the region. Thus, the muscles are able to get adequate oxygen and nutrient supply it requires to recover and return to a more relaxed state.
TIP: Put a towel in between the hot pack and your skin to avoid the possibility of a burn injury.
3) Maintain a good posture
Avoid putting your neck in an awkward position. Try to keep it as neutral as possible, if you are doing activities while sitting, standing or laying down.
4) Get a pillow with good support
When it is time to rest, make sure your head is rested on a firm and comfortable pillow.
Here at Healthworks, we often see clients that experience musculoskeletal conditions such as this. Our chiropractors and physiotherapists work together to help our clients regain their mobility, range of motion and strength. So that every individual is able to carry out their daily activities better and pain free.
If you would like to know more about our services or how we can help you in this, you can head over to the ‘Contact Us’ section on our website to enquire.