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What is Acute wry neck pain?



Acute wry neck pain is a common and very painful injury characterised by a sudden onset of sharp neck pain with limitation of movement. It commonly occurs during a sudden quick movement or on waking.





Mobilisation and stretches applied to the cervical spine by therapistAbove: Mobilisation and stretches applied to the cervical spine by therapist



What causes Acute wry neck pain?



It is unclear what the exact cause of acute wry neck pain is. It may result from a minor injury or simply sleeping with the neck in an unusual position. It is thought that the joints in the neck become jammed or locked, which results in pain and muscle spasm.





Mobilisations of the cervical vertebrea to relieve pain and stiffnessAbove: Mobilisations of the cervical vertebrea to relieve pain and stiffness



Diagnosis of Acute wry neck pain



Your doctor will usually be able to diagnose acute wry neck pain from the description of the pain, and by examining you.


What are the symptoms/effects of Acute wry neck pain?

  • Pain
  • Unable to turn head, usually holding it twisted to one side,
  • Muscle spasms




Mobilisations of the cervical vertebrea to relieve pain and stiffnessAbove: Mobilisations of the cervical vertebrea to relieve pain and stiffness



Physiotherapy for Acute wry neck pain



Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio will relieve pain and keep your neck moving as normally, so that you make a full recovery as soon as possible.

A person with acute wry neck pain will benefit from physiotherapy treatment.

At Manchester Physio, your physiotherapist will prevent your neck from stiffening up and provide you with gentle exercises to gradually increase your range of movement.

Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio will depend on your current symptoms but may include:
  • Advice on painkillers and anti-inflammatories
  • Soft tissue massage to relieve pain and muscle spasm
  • Heat therapy to relieve stiffness
  • Ultrasound to promote healing
  • Active and passive range of movement exercises to improve range of movement and prevent stiffness
  • Postural advice to check that you are sitting appropriately at work or at the computer.



Assessment of the cervical spine, muscles and connective tissues in the neck performed by an experienced PhysiotherapistAbove: Assessment of the cervical spine, muscles and connective tissues in the neck performed by an experienced Physiotherapist



Your physiotherapist at Manchester Physio will ensure your treatment program is tailored to you to ensure you make the best possible recovery and continue to improve in the long term


For more information about physiotherapy for acute wry neck pain, or to book an appointment please call 0161 883 0077.




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