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What is a Crick in the Neck?

By Sara Butler

Have you ever woken up with a crick in your neck? What is a crick, anyway? Chiropractors often see patients who complain of this condition. Here’s what it is and how your chiropractor can help you to experience it less -- or better yet, not at all!

What is a Crick?

What many people refer to as a crick in the neck is simply a stiff neck. Generally, the symptoms of this include:

  • Neck pain
  • Decreased range of motion in the neck
  • Stiffness

The symptoms can range from mild, where you have mild stiffness, to severe, where you can’t turn your neck at all.

What Causes It

Most of the time a misalignment of the bones in your neck are responsible for the stiffness and reduced range of motion. When one of the bones moves out of its regular position, then it puts pressure on the spinal nerves and can cause pain. The muscles that support that bone also then become stressed and pulled, which results in decreased range of motion and muscle spasms that are causing severe pain associated with the crick.

What Your Chiropractor Can Do

Commonly, your chiropractor will first address this problem with an adjustment of your neck. They will evaluate your spine to find the areas where bones are out of alignment and then work to correct them. They may recommend stretches or exercises to help you after the bones have been put back where they belong, too.

They also will want to know how you’re sleeping. If the source of your problem is the way you sleep at night, then that will need to be corrected to prevent future episodes and to keep your spine healthy. You should never sleep on your stomach since it can lead to neck pain. If you do, you will need to work on changing your sleep position to your back or side.

You will also need to evaluate your pillow. Remember that your head should be in line with the rest of your spine, not tilted up. Pillows are meant to support your neck, not your head. To keep it simple, aim for a pillow that is the same height as the space between your ear and your shoulder.

So, the next time you wake up with a stiff neck, or crick, come into The Joint and see the chiropractor so they can help to set you straight again and free you from neck pain!

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