Condition: Wry Neck

Wry Neck is a condition of pain and stiffness in the neck. Sometimes referred to as torticollis for the twisted neck appearance people get, its onset may be sudden or it may build up over days. Although the injury may be minor, the pain and disability it can cause can be serious.

The causes of wry neck vary and range in severity. The more common causes tend to be less serious and are usually the result of overuse, poor posture or both. Cold weather is usually met with an increased incidence of wry neck at the practice. Being mindful of your posture and keeping warm are great ways to avoid getting a wry neck this winter. Read on for tips on keeping your neck safe this winter.

Keep Warm

It may sound silly, but a good scarf or a jacket that keeps your neck out of the cold wind will help you keep your shoulders relaxed and minimize the chance of jamming up the joints in your neck.

Check Your Posture

While the links between posture and pain and disability are debated, spending too long in one position can lead to discomfort.  Take plenty of posture breaks and do regular exercises that balance out your posture like the Wall Angel.

Use variety to help spread the load. Change your posture regularly, ask for a sit/stand desk at your work station.

Traction Your Neck

Using a rolled up towel under your neck is an easy way to put gentle traction on your neck and reinforce normal spinal curves. Roll up a towel and place it on your bed. It should be big enough so that your head just touches the bed when you lie over it.


Of course everyone is breathing. But are you breathing correctly. Most people in office jobs find themselves under a lot of stress and maintaining a poor posture at the desk. These two key factors change the way you breath. When we are stressed, we tend to use shallow breathing in the top of the lungs. Similarly, when we slump, we shut off our diaphragm and are forced to use shallow breathing. This creates a lot of tension in the neck. While using the rolled up towel under your neck, try practicing belly breathing.