A Stiff Neck is an extremely common symptom, which may be caused by a variety of neck conditions. Most episodes of neck pain are related to soft tissue injuries, strains or sprains. Neck stiffness can be a symptom of an underlying disorder of the cervical spine. Disc herniation or cervical spondylosis can lead to a stiff neck and physiotherapy can help relieve your symptoms.
The symptoms of neck pain and stiffness can be secondary to several problems, such as a disc prolapse (slipped disc), a facet joint problem, or more seriously - an undiagnosed cervical fracture (broken neck).
Muscle spasm in the neck, leading to a stiff neck, is usually a protective mechanism which is secondary to an underlying neck problem. This is referred to as ‘Acute Torticollis’ or ‘Wry Neck’.
In most cases of Wry Neck, the person wakes up with the painful stiff neck, although occasionally the neck may become stuck following a sudden movement. The head will be held to one side and the neck is too painful to move. The pain may radiate up the neck or down to the shoulder area. There may be painful spasm in the neck muscles.
Stiff neck can be effectively treated by one of our highly skilled Physiotherapists, who will first determine the cause of the problem. Dependent on the cause of the problem, likely treatment will include gentle massage and mobilisations (see Manipulation and Mobilisation) along with the use of heat.
This involves the Physiotherapist applying heat to the neck then gently applying pressure to each vertebra in the neck in order to loosen them and allow a greater range of movement.
Another helpful treatment is the use of a heat therapy, to relax the muscles that had previously been in spasm. Gentle stretching exercises (see exercise and movement) may also be introduced to patient treatment to alleviate muscle spasm in the neck.
Our physiotherapists are highly trained and qualified to provide expert care to our patients. They are fully insured and are chartered by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP).
We have team of Clinical leads who visits our physios and clinics to ensure a level of customer service and quality care that exceeds our competition is given to patients every time.