Back / Torso


Acute Wry Neck (Torticollis) Information

Acute Wry Neck (Torticollis)


The cervical spine (neck region) consists of seven bones (C1-C7 vertebrae), which are separated from one another by intervertebral discs. These discs allow the spine to move freely and act as shock absorbers during weight bearing activity. Ligaments support the joints of the spine. There are also several muscles that attach to this region of the spine.

Anatomy: Back / Torso - Injury: Acute Wry Neck (Torticollis) Information

Mechanism of Injury

  • Acute Wry Neck due to facet joint (small joints between each of the vertebra on the sides) dysfunction is generally caused by a sudden movement.
  • Acute Wry Neck due to intervertebral disc injury is of more gradual onset and pain may be first felt on waking from sleep.


Acute Wry Neck due to facet joint dysfunction:

  • Sudden onset of sharp unilateral neck, localised.
  • Can be severe pain however it doesn’t usually extend below the shoulder.
  • Fixed neck deformity, usually holding the head bent to the side and turned away from the painful side, this is unable to be corrected due to joint being ‘locked’.
  • Neck movement triggers the pain.
  • Tender and tense musculature.
  • Impaired mobility of the back of the neck.

Acute Wry Neck due to intervertebral disc injury:

  • Gradual onset of a dull, less localised pain.
  • Usually felt lower in the cervical region or upper thoracic region.
  • Pain may radiate down the arms.
  • Head and neck may be held away from painful side; however this movement is only limited by pain, not mechanically blocked.
  • Neck movement triggers the pain.
  • Tense and tight musculature.


Please consult with your medical professional for a complete diagnosis and treatment plan.

Recommended Thermoskin Product

Under the direction of your medical professional and in conjuction with your advised treatment plan, any of the following Thermoskin products are recommended.

Soft Cervical Collar

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Adjustable Neck Wrap

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