Do you ever wake up in the morning and your neck is stiff and it’s hard to turn to one side? Some people call this a crick in their neck. Most describe it as the type of stiffness that makes changing lanes hard when you’re driving. Let’s dive into what’s actually causing a crick in your neck when you wake up. Hint: It’s usually a strained Levator Scapula muscle.
The Main Culprit – The Levator Scapula Muscle
Your levator scapula is an important muscle that attaches from your neck bones to your shoulder blade. It’s job is to elevate your shoulder blade and move your shoulder joint downwards. It gets strained and over stretched If you sleep a funky position for a long period of time.
Here’s a picture of the Levator Scapula.
Treatment options for a Crick in the Neck
If it’s a strained muscle causing your pain, then we need to choose an appropriate treatment. When a muscle is strained, there will always be a lack of blood flow, lack of oxygen and lack of nutrients in the tissue. This leads to a build up of inflammatory waste chemicals which can cause muscle knots (trigger points). These trigger points can be painful to the touch and feel like a little knot. This changes the length of muscle tissues and can lead to further problems. Which is why once you’ve strained your neck once, you are more prone to strain it again.
So we have a couple of options when it comes to treatment. You can just mask the discomfort with an OTC medication like advil or alive or you can treat the root cause.
Acupuncture & Dry Needling for Crick in the Neck
Acupuncture & dry needling work by treating the affected muscles and helping to eliminate trigger points. The goal is to restore your whole neck and shoulder region‘s function so you can move the right way.
Dr. Josh will evaluate how you move your neck and shoulder and determine the exact muscles that are not doing their job correctly. Once a thorough evaluation has been performed, we will then work on correcting those dysfunctional muscles.
Acupuncture & Dry Needling work to restore function, increase blood flow and speed up the healing process.
Prolozone Injection for Crick in the Neck
Prolozone is one of my favorite treatments for cricks in the neck because it works on so many different levels. Prolozone is an all natural injection of vitamins and ozone. This helps reset your nerves and restart the healing process by jump starting your cells.
I haven’t seen a more effective treatment for strained muscles than the combination of acupuncture, dry needling and Prolozone.
The Bottom Line
You have a crick in your neck because your muscle got strained. The real question is what’s causing you to be prone to straining your levator scapula? A thorough examination by a skilled hands on practitioner like Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM can help to determine the cause of your pain.