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Elevate Physiotherapy

Wry Neck

What is the condition?

Wry neck is a condition where you develop neck pain and stiffness. It is characterised by an accompanying neck muscle spasm. This is a protective response that causes you to have an inability to turn your neck towards one direction due to the pain.

Wry neck can be quite a disabling condition. Fortunately, it can be treated quite successfully within a short period of time.

How do you get it?

There are 2 main mechanisms to wry neck:

  • Disc injury causing a discogenic wry neck
  • Locked facet joint – this is the more common cause of wry neck. People with this condition often report waking up in the morning with stiff neck. The actual cause of this is unknown but sleeping in an awkward position is thought to be the cause.

What problems does it cause?

There are 3 things that happen when you have wry neck:

  • Pain – you should get pain in the affected side of the neck. The pain should be one sided and does not extend to the shoulder
  • Loss of movement – your neck will be locked in an abnormal position (rotated and flexed away from painful side) and it will be painful to move it towards the painful side. This makes some activities like driving to be dangerous.
  • Muscle spasm – this is a protective mechanism that your body uses to limit further movement.

What is this treatment?

A locked faced joint wry neck can be unlocked almost immediately with manual therapy. However, the residual muscle spasm may linger for a while. For this, our radiofrequency treatment is one of the most effective in treating the condition.

How does it work?

Manual therapy – using a combination of massage and joint mobilisation techniques (including joint manipulation), our therapist will unlock the facet joint to allow your neck to move again.

Radiofrequency therapy – using the radiofrequency therapy will allow our therapist to reduce the muscle spasm and reduce the inflammation that resulted from the trauma.

How Elevate physiotherapy does this treatment?

As the treatment for facet wry neck and discogenic wry neck is quite different, our therapists will assess you and ascertain which type of wry neck you have before proceeding the treatment. Also, we use the most modern modality like the radiofrequency treatment to get the best outcome possible.

What is the process of getting this treatment like? (preparation, duration, any pain during it, time taken, etc)

The treatment does not require you to make any preparation. You may feel some discomfort as your therapist works to release your muscle spasm, but most people tolerate it very well.

Any post-procedure pain or downtime? What is the aftercare like?

No. You should be able to resume normal activity immediately. You will be given some exercises like stretching for your neck to regain its full mobility. You will need to do them for the best results.

What results to expect?

You should feel relief immediately after the session but may have residual muscle soreness in the neck for the next few days.