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What is That Pain in Your Neck?

By Sara Butler

Have you ever woken up in the morning and couldn’t move your neck? You couldn’t turn your head without feeling a stabbing and sharp pain shoot down your neck and into your shoulder? Well, if this has happened to you, you are not alone. This is most likely a condition called torticollis, a fancy chiropractic word that means “twisted neck.” So, what is torticollis, how did you get it and how can your chiropractor help? Read on to find out!

Torticollis Defined

Torticollis is basically a muscle spasm in one of the muscles in your neck. If you’ve slept all night with your window left open or even the air conditioning or a fan blowing on your head and neck, then it can cause this condition. You can also get it as a result of an accident, such as slipping and falling, or a car accident. You can also get it after you’ve had a cold or the flu. You may not be able to trace your torticollis back to an event that may have caused the onset of symptoms; instead, you may just write it off as sleeping wrong on your neck all night.

The most common symptoms of torticollis include:

  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Neck contortion to one side
  • Muscle spasm

Torticollis is really one of those conditions you’re aware of as soon as you wake up and try to get out of bed. If this has happened to you before, try to think about what may have caused it so you can avoid it in the future! If you’re ever in a car accident, you should see your chiropractor as soon as possible to ensure you don’t wake up with this condition unexpectedly!

How Torticollis is Treated

Torticollis can gradually get better, but that can take several weeks or even a full month to recover. If you go to the chiropractor and get help it can take as little as a few days to begin significantly improving. If you forego treatment and choose to tough it out on your own, it won’t only take longer for you to recover, you will also experience a pretty steep decline in function until you feel better, which can limit your activities. That’s why it’s really worth your time to go see your chiropractor if you ever wake up with a twisted neck!

Treatment for the acute onset of torticollis includes:

  • Chiropractic adjustments to the neck and spine
  • Pain relievers
  • Ointments for pain relief
  • Massage
  • Sleep/rest
  • Heat therapy
  • In severe cases, a cervical collar for support

If you wake up one morning with torticollis, don’t just try to tough it out, get into your chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic as soon as you can in order to begin treatment. Remember, you never need an appointment at The Joint, so cruise on over and start the healing of your twisted neck today!

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