Dealing With Neck Pain: Wry Neck
There are many reasons behind neck pain but the common things are the pain and discomfort. In our modern lives, there are stresses and strains that put the cervical spine and the neck’s mobility under pressure.The wear and tear of ligaments and some strain can lead to inflammation. When there is neck pain, its movement will be impaired. ‘Neck pain’ is used to generally refer to pain experienced around the neck region as a result of different causes. The fact that these problems are diverse is the main reason why it is important to see a qualified medical practitioner so that the problem can be dealt with appropriately. Let us look at one of the most common causes of neck pain and how to deal with it.
Also known as torticollis, wry neck refers to a tilted and twisted neck. This means that the top of the head is tilted to one side while the chin is tilted to the other. This is a condition that is acquired and can also be congenital in some cases.While wry neck can disappear without any form of treatment, there is always a chance for relapse.
People with chronic wry neck are under uncomfortable pain and cannot handle daily tasks because of the condition. The good news is that the pain can be dealt with using therapy and medication.If the two methods do not treat the condition, surgery is a viable option and can be used in correcting the condition.
Wry Neck Causes
Wry neck can be inherited by a child from their parents. It can also be developed while the child is in the womb. This condition has also been found to be caused by a lack of supply of blood to neck and muscle damage. After a nervous system or muscle injury, anyone can develop this condition. The most common wry neck condition is idiopathic torticollis, which means that the cause behind the neck pain and neck pain symptoms is not known.
Fixed torticollis is also called acute torticollis or permanent torticollis. It’s usually due to a problem with the muscular or bony structure.
This is the most common type of fixed torticollis. It results from scarring or tight muscles on one side of the neck.
This is a congenital form of torticollis and is quite rare. The problem is caused by incorrect development of neck bones especially the fusion of two neck vertebrae. Most of the children that suffer from this condition also have a problem seeing and hearing.
Also referred to as spasmodic torticollis, this is a rare disorder that causes spasms in neck muscles. This leads to the painful turning of the head to one side.The head might also tilt backward or forward.This condition will go away without any form of treatment but there is a recurrence risk.Though this condition can happen to any person, people at middle age level are at a higher risk and the condition is more common in women.
Symptoms of Wry Neck Pain
Wry neck pain symptoms can begin slowly and worsen with time. The following are some of the common symptoms to look forward to:
- Inability to normally move your head
- Stiffness and neck pain
- A shoulder being higher than the other
- A tilted chin
- Swollen muscles around the neck.
A child with congenital wry neck will have a face that appears unbalanced and flattened. They may also show vision and hearing difficulties as well as motor skill delays.
Wry Neck Pain Diagnosis
When you go to a doctor, they will want to check your medical history and take you through a physical exam.Remember to mention any injury to the neck or head if you have had any. There are several tests that the doctor can use to check for injuries. These include EMG which determines whether there are damaged muscles around the neck and imaging such as MRI and X-rays which are used in finding structural faults that might be behind the pain and symptoms.
Though there is no medical way to prevent wry neck, early treatment can help in dealing with the pain and symptoms and prevent further damage.Stretching of neck muscles can help in the improvement of congenital wry neck. If this is started after a few months of birth, the success rate is quite high. If most of the other methods do not work as expected, surgery can be used in dealing with the situation.
The treatment of wry neck pain and symptoms is more successful if the doctor knows the cause of the condition other treatments may include massage, heat therapy, physical therapy, neck braces and stretching exercises.
Surgery is used in the fusion of vertebrae, lengthened muscles around the neck, cutting muscles or nerves, and the interruption of nerve signals through brain stimulation, which is most common for cervical dystonia cases.
Some of the medications used in treating the pain associated with wry neck include pain medications, muscle relaxants, botulinum toxin and medications for Parkinson’s disease treatment.
Living with wry neck can be stressful especially because the pain and discomfort will hinder the undertaking of normal activities. Some of the wry neck types like chronic wry neck can lead to complications such as isolation, depression, inability to drive and perform normal daily activities and swollen muscles. Wry neck is more treatable in young children because the faults can be easily corrected at this stage. If the condition is untreatable, there are support groups that make anyone with wry neck feel comfortable and learn how to live better with the condition.
Seeing a professional highly qualified doctor is important because it determines the direction and outcome of your treatment. If you have been experiencing neck pain and would like to see a doctor that will use modern neck pain diagnosis and treatment technology, you should consider Integrated Pain Management, where the medical practitioners focus on neck pain and other forms of pain.Leave a reply →