If you have neck spasms, you are not alone. Neck spasms are very common and can be from an underlying problem. If left untreated, this problem can worsen over time resulting in permanent damage. So what causes neck spasms? And what kind of treatment is out there to ensure you fix the cause of your neck spasm instead of only hiding your symptoms? Read below to find out why you may be having these neck spasms and if our treatment is right for you.
Neck Spasm Symptoms
Unsure if you are experiencing a neck spasm? They will be easy to indicate once you are more familiar of what comes with them. Overall, the muscle spasm in neck is very sudden and an involuntary contraction. During the neck spasm, the neck itself can feel stiff and knotted. Below are common symptoms of a neck spasm:
- Muscle ache
- Reduced range of neck motion
- Joint locks in neck
- Nerve pain (this neck pain can flow to the arms and legs)
- Muscle knots (stress leads to a fluid build-up which causes painful muscle knots)
What Causes Neck Spasm?
Neck spasms are when you have an involuntary tightening of muscle in your neck. This muscle spasm in neck can cause you intense pain or discomfort lasting anywhere from minutes to hours or even days after the muscle is relaxed and the spasm subsides.
Those who experience a neck spasm feel a sudden sharp pain in either one part or multiple parts of their neck deep in their muscle tissue. If you touch these muscles, you may notice they become hard or tight making it painful to move your neck around.
While there are many causes of why someone will have a neck spasm, here is a list of the most common and a few more severe causes:
- Carrying something heavy with one or both arms
- Emotional Stress
- Poor posture (such as slouching or tilting the head)
- Strain during exercise
- Placing your neck in an unnatural position for long periods of time (including holding a phone between the shoulder and ear or sleeping in an odd position)
- Placing heavy weight on one shoulder
- Birth problems (some children are born with torticollis, a stiff neck, meaning they were in an odd position while in the womb)
- Overuse of neck muscles
- Cervical spondylosis (a condition of degeneration in the spinal cord)
- Herniated Disk
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the open spaces of the spine)
- Temporomandibular joint disorders (also known as TMJ or TMD and affect the jaw and muscles that surround it)
- Trauma from accidents or falls
- Meningitis (a serious infection that causes swelling in the brain and spinal cord)
- Ankylosing spondylitis (an inflammatory condition causing some vertebrae to fuse in the spine)
- Cervical dystonia (also known as torticollis – this condition is when the neck muscles tighten involuntarily and force the head to twist to one side)
Neck Spasm Treatment
While there are some over the counter pain relievers to help reduce neck pain from neck spasms, they only provide a temporary fix and do not go after the underlying problem. These pain relievers work by reducing inflammation by easing muscle tension but can become harmful to your body if used too often.
A healthier alternative pain-relieving treatment is the use of ice packs for neck spasms. This is a short-term pain reliever for the muscles by dulling nerve action.
Massage, another short-term home treatment for neck spasms, uses pressure applied on the affected muscles to promote relaxation and help release tension to relieve your neck spasm. If you need quick relief while waiting for an appointment to help your neck spasms, these two methods are the safest to use.
In order to see positive neck spasms results, such as seeing a reduction in occurrence or being completely rid of them, you need someone who can fix where the neck spasm is coming from.
All of the above alternatives help provide quick neck spasm pain relief by masking the pain from the neck spasm and do nothing to stop the neck spasms from occurring; this is when an upper cervical chiropractic treatment comes in handy.
For a truly effective, all natural, neck spasm treatment, upper cervical may be the answer you are looking for. Neck spasms are usually due to a variety of different nerve or cervical related issues. In upper cervical chiropractic, we focus on the cervical area of the spine that protects and house all of your body’s nerves (the brain stem).
If any of these cervical bones are misaligned, they will pinch your nerves and affect the way they work significantly.
When your nerves are compressed, it can lead to neck spasms and other problems in the body – so when compressed nerves are left untreated it can cause you a lot of trouble down the road and worsen your symptoms (this is because if the brain stem is disrupted from a misalignment it can flaw the brain to body communication that is in charge of proper bodily functions).
Neck spasms can be greatly reduced, even eliminated completely, once adjustments are made to correct your upper cervical spine. Upper cervical adjustments provide great neck spasm pain relief that helps heal the cause of the problem and can provide permanent results.
All adjustments are gentle and safe for any age and do not come with any negative side effects. When your nerves are no longer compressed, the body will begin to feel overall relief.
Having stress put on your nerves for a long time can result in permanent damage so it is best to consult a professional in upper cervical to ensure you get the treatment you need as soon as you feel an issue arise.
While neck spasms are not considered life threatening, they could be from an underlying issue and having pinched nerves will disrupt your body’s natural functions to heal itself properly. If you are feeling any pain and discomfort with your neck spasms, know that you do not have to suffer in silence and we are here to help.