I just woke up…
Now I cannot turn my head at all..
and it hurts like hell… HELP!
Sounds like a Wry Neck!


A wry neck is one of the most common neck issues we see in our community. It’s characterised by severe limitation in neck movement and excessive muscular spasm. And it hurts…. A LOT!

What causes this reaction is trivial movement or a sustained position of your neck eg. sleeping in a car or twisting your neck quickly for something. The facet joints of your neck lock up due  excessive spasm in the surrounding muscles causing pain and loss of movement.

Good thing is they don’t last long with proper management and the quicker you restore that movement the quicker the pain dissipates.

Our top tips to you fix your wry neck?

1. Get moving as soon as possible!

  • The longer we wait to start moving the longer it generally takes to resolve.
  • It will be sore but trying to move the neck in the directions that are less painful is a good start.
  • It’s very rare for all directions of movement to be severely limited.

2. Heat packs will be your best friend 

  • Keeping heat packs applied regular or hot showers is a very effective way to limit the amount of muscular spasm.
  • Ensure you don’t burn yourself but there is no limit to how much you can do this.
  • The quicker the muscle spasm settles down the quicker the neck movement will be restore.

3. Gentle PNF Stretches (We will explain what that is!)

  • Gentle muscle contractions and movement will help this resolve quickly.
  • Find a spot on the floor.
  • Use your hand to create a pressure against your hand – Do a little contraction.
  • Let your head fully relax.
  • Then try and turn your head a little bit. Repeat this process as far as you can. (You can see a video on our insta or facebook page)

4. Seek treatment as soon as possible

  • The quicker you restore your movement the better and Physio can help with this immediately.
  • Massage treatment to settle muscular spasm.
  • Joint mobilisation to restore joint movement.
  • Advice, education and reassurance surrounding your condition.
  • Exercises to help you manage this at home so you get better faster.



If you have any questions shoot us a message or book an appointment online!

Any questions about an  injury shoot us a message, give us a call on (02) 4751 9127

or book a session online here.

Written by Patrick Lincoln


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