Thursday, 17 November 2016

Understanding Torticollis

Torticollis is a health condition characterized by the chronic neck pain with stiffens. It means twisted neck, which is commonly called wry neck. Many people often wake up with wry neck or acute torticollis. Usually, the pain and stiffness stay for a few days and subside without any specific treatment. Pain relief medications are helpful. Mild neck exercises relieve the pain and stiffness.

The cause of acute torticollis or wry neck is idiopathic. It may happen to people with no previous history of neck symptoms. Mostly, it is experienced due to a mild sprain or strain of a neck muscle or ligament. Some of the potential causes include:

·         Sleeping or sitting in an awkward position without proper neck support
·         Improper posture while using a computer
·         Lifting heavy objects or carrying heavy loads improperly
·         Exposure to extreme cold weather

It is very common to go to bed feeling good and to wake up in the morning with a wry neck. The awkward twisting of neck occurs when your muscles or ligament supporting the neck experience sprain or strain, which can be painful. Usually, the pain is on the either side of the neck. The pain aggravates when you try to straighten or move the neck. Sometimes, the pain may radiate to your head or shoulder. The affected muscles become tender and undergo spasm on pressure, because of which the movement is restricted.

Wry Neck Treatment

The aim is to relieve the pain and reduce the stiffness. Gentle neck exercises help relieve the pain as well as stiffness. Gradually try to enhance the range of movements. Do not to put more strain while performing neck exercises. Avoid driving until your neck pain subsides and you can move your neck freely.

Pain relief medications are often helpful, such as Paracetamol and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen, Diclofenac or Naproxen. Unfortunately, people with history of liver or kidney disease cannot use painkillers. In severe cases, a stronger painkiller (codeine) or a muscle relaxant (diaxepam) is beneficial. Heat wraps or heat & pain relief patches can help reduce the neck stiffness.

You can prevent acute torticollis by sitting and sleeping in a proper position. A firm supporting pillow is of great help when sleeping.

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