Hi everyone. Have you ever woken up with such extreme neck pain, you found it hard to move your neck? Are you afraid it will happen again? Have you found yourself wondering what to do in such a situation? This is Dr Chana Sztajer from Golden Spines Chiropractic in Chatswood, Sydney. If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep on watching. Here are the five essential steps you need to take to help you relieve acute neck pain.
Hi everyone, today I will go through with you the five essential steps you should take if you find yourself with neck pain and what’s known as torticollis.
Firstly, what is torticollis?
It’s more commonly known as ‘wry neck’. Torticollis is when the neck gets ‘locked’, where the muscles spasm to a point that it’s hard to move the neck and is painful to move. The person is often ‘locked’ into a specific position. It can be due to trauma but can also have an unknown cause – it’s often common for someone to just ‘wake up’ and find their neck in this position. I’ll be discussing what to do if you haven’t had some sort of trauma – of course, if there’s been an accident or some sort of trauma, you need to call an ambulance immediately.
First step – STAY CALM.
Firstly, check you can move your arms and hands, and that you can still feel them. Most of the time torticollis doesn’t have neural type symptoms such as weakness or paralysis of the arms. If you can’t feel your arms, or move them, call an ambulance immediately. If you can, however move, it’s more likely that you have torticollis.
Second step – REST.
If you are lying down, relax in that position. If you need to get up get someone to help you. You want to avoid moving your neck as much as possible in this first stage. If possible, sit up and rest.
Third Step – ICE or HEAT.
Basically, we want to decrease the amount of inflammation occurring in the neck at this time, a little bit like when you sprain your ankle. There is a debate over whether ice or heat is better. Generally, I would suggest ice for at least the first few days, with 20 minutes on and 40 minutes off. If however, you are reacting badly to the ice – your neck is getting more painful or tense, then try heat and see if that improves.
Fourth Step – Anti-inflammatory cream or tablets.
Again, we want to get that inflammation down. I myself would go for a cream mainly because then you are bypassing your internal digestive system and applying it straight to the affected area. In terms of anti-inflammatory tablets – if you really need them, that’s fine, but I would still take it only if you find the cream is not strong enough for the pain that you’re in. Also be aware of the dosage – follow the directions on the packet, or talk to your pharmacist about how much you should take.
Fifth and Final Step – See your chiropractor.
The reason being, is that as a chiropractor we can help release those muscle spasms, and if there is a joint dysfunction that caused or exacerbated the torticollis or neck pain in the first place, we are trained to help relieve these. Now you may not be able get in straight away to see the chiropractor – in fact, I would recommend you waiting til the second day, and concentrating on getting the inflammation down as much as possible. If it’s a choice between the first day and 4 days time however, go in that first day. The sooner the chiropractor can see it, the sooner we can get you down that road to recovery.
If you are experiencing neck pain or torticollis, like I’ve mentioned in this video, the best thing to do is call us on 02 9412 2722 and book an appointment at Golden Spines Chiropractic. To repeat, that’s 02 9412 2722. This is Dr Chana Sztajer from Golden Spines Chiropractic, your Gold Standard for Spinal Health. Hope you have a great day and remember to Heal, Renew, and Live Life.