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What is a neck brace (stiff in the neck)?


A clean neck latch (stiff in the neck) is due to a muscular spasm condition in the neck and it is the equivalent of what is called a back shot in the lumbar spine. The medical name for this is torticollis. The human head weighs 4-5 kg and the muscle of the neck has the task, together with the skeleton, to ensure that the head is kept up so that we can see and take in information about the position around us. The work that the neck muscles perform is very ingenious and requires coordination. Sometimes there is a breakdown in the system and the cramp occurs. This is common and affects most people at some point in their lives. This can occur if you do an activity that the neck is not used to, such as fast movements, jumping movements or repainting ceilings where you look upwards much more than usual. If you happen to lie in an odd position with your neck, it can occur while you are sleeping and you wake up with a neck lock. Sometimes this occurs without being able to identify the cause. If there is wear and tear in the neck joints or discs, it can be an underlying reason why the muscles end up in a state of cramping and create recurring neck blockages.


Symptoms of neck obstruction


Neck lock often begins with rapidly increasing pain and stiffness in the neck that is provoked when you move your head. You usually have more discomfort locally on one side of the neck. It can also hurt with positional changes in landscape. Sometimes the pain can go down to the shoulder or shoulder, but it is most common that it sticks to the neck and the transition to the thoracic spine. If the symptoms are intense, it can be difficult to keep the head in a neutral position without pain, which leads to increased tension and even more pain.

Treatment for neck obstruction


In most cases, a neck brace releases in a few days without treatment. If it does not release, manual treatment can usually shorten and relieve the pain period. When we meet these patients, we talk through the course of events, examine and make sure that it is precisely a torticollis / neck barrier. We then perform manual treatment with the aim of reducing the cramp, improving mobility and restoring the function of the neck.  Shock wave therapy  is also an effective treatment option to relieve cramping muscles. Ergonomics regarding posture and working position we inform about when needed. Circulation and mobility-promoting exercises are instructed.

Everyone can get a neck brace. It is only when it is a recurring problem that more in-depth information may be needed  exercise rehabilitation  to improve coordination in the neck, shoulders area. We can also refer the patient to an orthopedist to see if there is osteoarthritis or an oddly placed disc herniation in the neck.

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Prognosis in torticollis


The prognosis is in most cases very good. We solve a lighter neck lock in a couple of treatments. If it has been in for a long period, we can treat the neck a few more times before it releases. The times we do not succeed with the treatment, it is almost always due to the fact that there is another diagnosis that is the basis for the problems, such as herniated discs or osteoarthritis. In the acute stage, everything can look like a neck barrier, but when the symptoms during the treatment period do not follow the usual pattern, the suspicion of another diagnosis can be raised and we may change the treatment strategy or refer the patient further.

Physiotherapy at Alta Vita physiotherapy

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