***This article was so popular that we updated it here***
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.
These tips will help you get your neck moving when it is absolutely stuck but we encourage you to see one of our neck specialists to address this problem in the long term. Because the truth is this is a short term fix to a long term problem. And, you don’t want this problem to continue to show up in your life!
Our neck specialist will help get to the root of your problem with a complete assessment of your neck story and your neck problem. From here we can create a customized plan to address what is going on with your neck.
There are not pre-written, off the shelf programs here at Physical Therapy for everyBODY. We offer customized solutions that are tailored to you and your neck.
If you have decided that you are done struggling with this neck problem and ready to find a real, permanent solution to your neck pain then we encourage you to sign up for one of our Free Discovery Visits. This is for people who are ready to find a solution to their problem but still have a couple of questions they would like answered.
If you are not going to spend one more day struggling with neck pain then this free Discovery Visit is perfect for you. We look forward to helping you here at Physical Therapy for everyBODY.