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My Neck has Locked!

“My neck has locked!!” is a common complaint at this time of year. The cooler weather brings different aches, pains and injuries. Many people are waking up with a “locked” neck. This sudden onset of neck pain seemingly has no cause. Generally you will be unable to turn one direction, your head is twisted to one side, with pain and muscle spasm. The condition is known as torticollus or wry neck.

Symptoms

  • one sided neck pain
  • loss of ability to turn one direction
  • spasmed neck muscles
  • tilted or turned head

Causes

  • Sitting or sleeping awkwardly
  • poor postural habits and ergonomics
  • one sided bag or weighted carry
  • neck being exposed to cold during sleep

Relief

Chiropractic care can help ease the pain and spasm of torticollus. Restoring joint range of motion to your neck. You will also be prescribed gentle movement exercises to aid your recovery between treatments. Torticollus usually resolves within one week. Your chiropractor will also talk to you about possible causes to help prevent future episodes.

It is important that you try to keep your head and neck moving. Take it slowly and turn until you just start to feel pain. Do NOT push into the pain. It is natural to want to guard the area and hold it perfectly still. Unfortunately this allows the neck to “lock up” even more.

 

Torticollus and Kids!

In newborns, torticollus is common and can be due to the position of the head in the womb, the birth process or intervention such as forceps delivery. It can take up to 3 months to develop after birth. Parents normally find it quite upsetting to see their baby with a tilted head or difficulty turning or feeding. It is quite a common condition, with some studies reporting torticollus to affect every 3 in 100 babies.

 

 

 

Symptoms of Infant Torticollus

  • Head tilt
  • Difficulty turning one direction
  • Trouble breastfeeding on one side
  • Plagiocephaly – flat spot on back of head
  • Crying on clothing changes

Treatment of Infant Torticollus

Chiropractors do a thorough assessment of your newborn before discussing treatment options with you. Treatment normally consists of gentle mobilisations (no high velocity chiropractic adjustments), gentle stretches and muscle releases. You will be given some exercises and activities to do at home with your newborn or infant to encourage their range of motion. Without treatment your infants torticollus can last up to 6 months.

 


June 4, 2019
Georgina Smith