Wry Neck

Sleeping with Neck Pain

Wry Neck Got You Twisted Up?

Feeling like your head’s trapped in a one-way turn? You might be dealing with wry neck, a pesky condition that throws a wrench in your neck movement and leaves you feeling stiff and sore. But don’t worry, fellow neck-shakers! At Braybrook Physio & Allied Health Clinic, we’re the neck whisperers, ready to guide you back to pain-free days.

What is Wry Neck?

Imagine waking up with your head stuck like a weathervane, tilted and tight. That’s wry neck in a nutshell. It’s a sudden onset of pain and stiffness, usually in one side of your neck, that can even creep down to your shoulder blade.

The Culprits Behind the Stiffness

Behind this neck hijacking act are often the tiny joints in your neck called facet joints. When these joints get irritated or locked up, they send your neck muscles into a spasm, making even the smallest turn feel like a workout.

But it’s Not Just Out of the Blue

While wry neck strikes suddenly, it’s often fuelled by everyday habits like:

  • Slouching through the day: Poor posture puts extra strain on your neck muscles, setting them up for spasms.
  • Sleeping on a bad pillow: An unsupportive pillow can leave your neck feeling like it’s been on a roller coaster.
  • Staring at screens all day: Hunched over your computer or phone can tighten your neck muscles, leading to discomfort.
  • Weak neck muscles: If your neck muscles aren’t strong enough to support your head, they’re more likely to get overworked and cranky.

Symptoms that Scream Wry Neck

  • Sharp pain, one-sided or in the middle of your neck, sometimes radiating to your shoulder blade.
  • Stiffness and limited movement, making even a simple head turn feel like a feat.
  • A tilted or rotated head, adding to the “stuck” feeling.

Self-Care Strategies to Soothe the Stiffness

  • Ice it for relief: A cold pack on the sore side for 10 minutes can be your best friend, especially in the first 48 hours.
  • Heat it up later: After a couple of days, switch to a heat pack for 15-20 minutes to ease muscle tension.
  • Gentle movement is key: Don’t lock yourself in a brace! Carefully move your neck as much as you can to avoid further tightness.
  • Skip the neck collar: Restricting movement can actually worsen the problem.