Woke up with a stiff neck? Is it torticollis?David
Hi guys! I wanted to share with you my recent episode of neck pain. It all started yesterday morning when I woke up with a stiff neck!
I couldn’t turn it!
It was sharp and very painful.
All I kept wondering was, “is this just a stiff neck that I woke up with or is it torticollis?”
I’ve suffered from many years of neck aches and pains and often I wake up with neck stiffness. But this episode was so much more intense. What did it feel like?
- It felt locked! I could only move my head to one side, the right side.
- I felt it in my neck all the way into the shoulder blade.
- Dull when I first woke up but became sharp and stabbing like.
- My head felt heavy especially getting up from a lying position.
It seemed more than the simple neck stiffness I experienced on a regular basis.
So it got me thinking. Could it be Torticollis?
What is torticollis?
Torticollis, or wry neck, is a condition where your neck muscles spasm causing your head to turn or tilt toward one side and often away from the pain.
But, what causes it?
- Car accidents or whiplash type movements. Nope not me.
- Hard knock to the head. Maybe could be me?
- Poor pillow support. Ughh My pillow is pretty old.
- Sleep with wet hair. Yep that’s it! Come to think of it, I did sleep with the window open too.
Typically, it presents after waking up in the morning. The source of pain can be from either the joints, muscles, ligaments, discs, or nerves of the neck.
So, what can you do if you also woke up with a stiff neck?
Typically for torticollis, the best thing you can do is apply heat and gently try and stretch the neck and shoulder.
Yes, it is awkward and definitely painful and more often than not, you simply don’t want to move your neck. But I found that movement is the key to a faster recovery!
My pillow is well overdue for a change. You should check yours too and determine whether your pillow is firm and supportive or soft and flimsy like mine as it may be causing more harm than good.
If you’re like me and prefer to not be in pain for longer than a few days then definitely seek some form of soft tissue treatment like chiropractic or remedial massage.
So, can chiropractic help my torticollis, you ask?
Chiropractic can help torticollis! All chiropractors may treat this differently but I tend to implement a simple 4 stage process:
1. I’ll ask you a series of questions to get a better understanding of how your injury has occurred.
2. You’ll undergo a comprehensive examination by me to determine whether your injury is in fact wry neck/torticollis.
3. I’ll provide you with treatment to help “unlock” the neck using treatment techniques such as deep tissue massage, gentle joint mobilisations, dry needling and shockwave therapy. I’ll encourage further movement by incorporating several stretching techniques.
4. Lastly, I’ll provide you with effective exercises to take home to help strengthen your neck to prevent reoccurrence.
Now, these injuries can last anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks. From my clinical experience, I’ve found that the sooner you have your neck treated, the faster the recovery.
And if left without treatment, these injuries tend to reoccur within weeks or months. You’ll find that my comprehensive assessment and treatment will reduce your likelihood of recurrence.
If you’re suffering like I did, don’t leave it and forget about it. Let me have a look at it for you. You can book and appointment with me by clicking here or call our practice on 0435819286.