A few weeks ago my youngest daughter woke up and couldn’t turn her head or get out of bed. She was literally stuck in one spot with her head turned as if to look over her right shoulder. She was crying because her neck hurt and she was scared that would never turn her head again. My daughter was also scared of the pain that I would cause her trying to get her neck to move again! I promised that I would not hurt her and we set about the business of getting her head moving and getting her out of bed. Here I will outline the basic steps for each of you to perform if you should find yourself “stuck” in bed.
1) Ice, ice, ice, and more ICE! Put ice on the area that hurts. This may change as one area starts to calm down and you realize that it’s another area that hurts. That is fine. It is okay to chase the pain with ice.
2) Use your hands to turn your head back to normal. Once the pain calms down a little bit, use your hand to turn your head so you are looking straight forward. This is called passive motion because you are not actively using the muscles in your neck. Take a deep breath. You’re almost there.
3) GENTLY turn your head from side to side – this time you are using the muscle in your neck to cause ACTIVE motion. Keep the motion pain free as you slowly turn your head from side to side 10 times. Continue to turn your head from side to side for 10 repetitions every hour. This causes a contraction and relaxation in the muscles that will help to loosen the muscles.
These tips should resolve your symptoms in 24-48 hours. If you continue to have pain or lack motion after 48 hours, feel free to give us a call here at Physical Therapy for EveryBODY. You can reach Amy at (360) 367-0970 or firstname.lastname@example.org.