Acute (sudden neck pain – with NO trauma)
Are you experiencing sudden neck pain just after waking up? Is it especially painful whenever you turn your head, in order to look left or right?
In most cases people experience a pinched or locked feeling at the end of their neck range. This could be attributed to a locked facet joint, meaning the joint connections between the Cervical vertebrae are injured. The joint surfaces, on the one side of your neck, are being squashed together, because you kept your neck in an unnatural position for too long (falling asleep on your stomach with your head turned to one side).
The joint capsule on the other side of the neck is trapped between the joint surfaces, meaning you will have no pain in certain positions. In other words, when you try to turn your head into a certain position, you will feel a sharp, stinging, pain shoot through your neck. Normally the one side is more painful compared to the other. Stiffness in the neck muscles increase as the day progresses, until you end up barely being able to move your head in any direction.
Physiotherapists are very effective at treating this specifically seeing as it involves; spinal joint mobilization (to release joint capsules), relieving tightened muscles and restoring normal joint movement.