Overview

What is Neck Pain?

Neck pain is a common condition that will inevitably affect most people at some stage throughout their life. There are a wide variety of reasons neck pain occurs, which is why neck pain is not commonly a sign of a more serious condition. Often, neck pain will lead to headaches and may come with muscle tension or spasm of the neck.

Types of Neck Pain

Acute Wry Neck

Acute wry neck, meaning the early stage of onset of the injury is typically the most uncomfortable level of pain that you will experience. This is due to both the muscles and joints of the neck either spasming or stiffening due to the initial incident. This acute pain can last up to 2-3 days. Maintaining slow and consistent movements in this stage may be of benefit to help ease the discomfort and reduce the time that this level of pain continues for.

Back of Neck Pain

The back of the neck is where the majority of neck pain occurs. Most of the movement of the muscles and joints of the neck occurring at the back of the neck, therefore, are more prone to injury. The back of the neck is a strong and resilient area of the body which can move around a lot and in an injury such when treating a wry neck, we often recommend slow and consistent movements occurring rather than completely resting the area.

Lower Neck Pain

Lower neck pain is approached no differently to any other area of the neck. Anatomically there can be large muscle groups that originate/insert at this site of the body. As a result, treatment and exercises may be given to both the neck and your mid-back to relieve this discomfort.

Neck Pain On The Left Side or Right Side

Regardless of the side of the neck the pain is experienced, there will often be pain when rotating to the painful side or tilting towards it. Treatment and exercises will be given to both sides of the body as we often find that a secondary aspect to the injury is that a patient will start compensating for the lack of movement on one side, and therefore cause overuse on the other side.

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Symptoms

Neck Pain Symptoms

Neck pain can have a wide variety of associated symptoms that will vary depending on location/previous history/age/mechanism of injury. Some common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Joint stiffness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Painful trigger points

Neck Pain Causes

The neck is a highly moveable, strong and resilient region of the body and is made to move! When we adopt postures or times of excessive sitting/slouching, the body can respond with spasms of the muscles of the neck which can be very painful for the first 2-3 days post-injury.

Another common cause of Wry Neck is a sprained facet joint. The cervical spine contains numerous joints, mostly small swivel joints called facet joints, which give the neck good flexibility. Pinching of the joint capsule within the planes of a facet joint will cause sudden sharp pain and associated inflammation with muscle spasm. Occasionally, the intervertebral disc can be a source of pain, this generally occurs in the older population. Contributing factors to the development of wry neck are:

  • Sustained poor posture
  • Slouching
  • Excessive or forceful neck movement
  • Repetitive or prolonged neck movement
  • Awkward or poor sleeping position
  • Different beds/pillow/mattress
  • Stomach sleeper

During certain positions or movements of the neck, stretching or compression forces are placed on the facet joint. If these forces are excessive due to repetition or high load, or are sustained for too long, injury to the facet joint may occur.

Neck Pain Assessment

A thorough clinical examination by a PEAK Practitioner will most commonly diagnose the condition. It is very important to accurately diagnose your specific complaint, since not all neck pain will be from an acute wry neck. Whilst these cases are rare, our Practitioners are specifically trained to identify these issues and manage them appropriately.

You do not require a GP referral to be seen by our Practitioners and will be able to be seen as soon as possible. Since a wry neck can often be at its most discomfort in the early stages, getting an examination, diagnosis and treatment is important as soon as possible.

Neck Pain Relief

  1. Chiropractor For Neck Pain

    Chiropractors are well placed to provide treatment for a Wry Neck. PEAK’s Chiropractors are specially trained in spinal conditions and will aim to provide relief as soon as possible. Our Chiropractors (if safe to do so) may use Spinal Manipulative Therapy (SMT) as part of their treatment. This will be determined by a number of factors and will only be discussed with you if there are no contraindications (things that do not lead it to be safe). Your PEAK Chiropractor will usually provide these services alongside other techniques including soft tissue techniques and dry needling, these will be applied with home based exercises to help.

  2. Massage For Neck Pain

    Massage is aimed at looking at the soft tissue and joints of the body that may be playing a part in your wry neck. There are a large amount of soft tissue structures in the neck and a lot that attach to it, hence why massage may help to decrease pain levels that are associated with a wry neck.

  3. Physio For Neck Pain

    Our team of Physiotherapists are trained in dealing with common conditions such as Wry Neck to help relieve the discomfort as soon as possible. Your PEAK Physiotherapist may use techniques including mobilisation, soft tissue techniques and dry needling (if safe to do so) that may help relieve your discomfort. Post-treatment, your Physiotherapist will guide you through exercises that are safe, effective and aimed to provide you with relief.

Wry Neck Treatment

Treatment for Wry Neck is dependent on severity, location, age of the patient and previous history of the condition. There is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach for wry neck and our team may use a wide variety of treatment methods to help resolve your pain. We may use (but are not limited to) soft tissue technique, ART (Active Release Technique), dry needling, spinal manipulative therapy and mobilistation. In addition to these manual therapy techniques, there will be individualised exercise programs prescribed for you to help relieve the discomfort in between your treatments.

Time frames are also dependent on a wide range of reasoning, generally speaking – a Wry Neck does not typically last longer than 2-3 weeks if appropriate treatment is given and home based exercises are followed diligently.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions

Wry Neck is a term used to describe a pain in the neck which is not of serious nature and there are no underlying pathologies. Distinguishing features include pain located on one side that is increased when rotating or leaning towards that side. The majority of the time there is no specific mechanism, and your pain may arise from incidental activities such as sustained poor posture, a poor sleep or sudden movements that cause a painful spasm of the neck muscles.

Wry Neck may present as pain in one side of the neck that is increased with quick and sudden movements. At times, there can be a tilt away from the painful side of the neck which is the body’s way of telling you that there is pain present in the neck.

The pain of the Wry Neck may be attributed to the spasm of the muscles of the neck with the secondary joints of the neck becoming stiff from the lack of movement. Our neck is made to move and when we don’t the results can be increased symptoms from a wry neck.

We know that our musculoskeletal system (muscles and bones) and our stress levels are closely related. Increased stress levels may lead to poor sleep patterns and routines that normally keep our body functioning well Increased stress, as we have all experienced, may affect sleep patterns and may result in a wry neck. This example can be extrapolated to just about every aspect of the cause of a wry neck.

Physiotherapy may be of benefit for a wry neck. Our physios may use (but are not limited to) soft tissue technique, ART (Active Release Technique), dry needling and mobilisation to help relieve your discomfort. In addition to these manual therapy techniques, there will be individualised exercise programs prescribed for you to help relieve the discomfort away from PEAK.

Chiropractors are well equipped to help relieve a Wry Neck. Our chiropractors may use (but are not limited to) soft tissue technique, ART (Active Release Technique), dry needling, spinal manipulative therapy and mobilistation to help relieve your discomfort. In addition to these manual therapy techniques, there will be individualised exercise programs prescribed for you to help relieve the discomfort away from PEAK.

There are no specific time frames or sessions that will help everyone. Typically speaking, a Wry Neck may take 2-3 weeks to resolve and depending on severity, age and diligence with exercises may increase or decrease this time frame.

Our locations

Hawthorne

PEAK Hawthorne opened in 2012 and was extended and renovated in 2020. You see the same team whether we see you at Hawthorne or one of our other clinics.  Hawthorne offers private treatment rooms and a spacious exercise area incorporating the latest equipment and technology, unrestricted single level access and off-street parking. We also provide HICAPS for real-time private health claiming.

Our locations

New Farm

PEAK New Farm opened in August 2019. You see the same team whether we see you at New Farm or one of our other clinics. New Farm offers private treatment rooms and a spacious exercise area incorporating the latest equipment and technology, unrestricted single level access and off-street parking. We also provide HICAPS for real-time private health claiming.

Hawthorne

Address
5/171 Riding Road,
Hawthorne, QLD, 4171
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Opening Hours -
6 days per week
  • Monday - Friday: 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Saturday: 7:00 am - 1:00 pm

To make a booking outside of business hours, please use our form by clicking here.

New Farm

Address
1/15 Lamington Street,
New Farm, QLD, 4005
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Opening Hours -
6 days per week
  • Monday - Thursday: 2:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Friday - Saturday: 7:00 am - 1:00 pm

To make a booking outside of business hours, please use our form by clicking here.