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WHAT IS IT? LOCKED JOINT/CERVICAL FACET DYSFUNCTION/APOPHYSEAL WRY NECK
A facet joint can become locked in the neck. This often occurs following a rapid movement. It is extremely painful and restrictive to movement of the neck.
Signs and symptoms
- Sudden onset of pain
- Sharp pain on movement of the neck
- Pain affecting one side of the neck
- Tilting of head away from the painful side
- Muscle spasm
WHAT CAUSES IT?
- More common in adolescents and young adults
- Sudden movement
- Poor stability of the deep stabilising neck muscles
HOW TO SELF MANAGE
Avoid moving the neck into painful positions
Use ice to reduce pain and swelling
If tolerated, and if spasm is prominent, heat can be used to decrease pain and relax muscle spasm
Can resolve spontaneously, but if pain and restriction continues, medication and manual treatment would be of great benefit.
HOW PHYSIO HELPS?
- Joint mobilisation
- Joint manipulation
- Manual traction
- Prescription of exercises to address muscle tightness
- Prescription of strengthening exercises to improve stability of the neck
- Use electrical therapies including ultrasound
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