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Neck  Spasm

About Neck Spasm

A neck spasm is the involuntary contraction of neck muscles. Having neck spasms can be extremely painful and cause headaches and dizziness.

What Causes Neck Spasms?

The following are some of the most common causes of neck spasms:

  • Poor posture
  • Extended periods spent in front of a computer
  • Repeated movements of the neck (Repetitive Strain Injury)
  • Neck and shoulder sprain (i.e. Putting too much weight on one shoulder when carrying a bag)
  • Stress

External causes of neck spasms and stiffness are often injury or trauma related. After a neck sprain, most of them will recover without any sequelae. A small percentage may persist and progress to chronic neck spasms. Neck muscles have bursa which may be inflamed from overuse syndrome, resulting in bursitis.

Neck spasms may also be caused by more serious causes, such as:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Whiplash or other trauma
  • Herniated disk
  • Cervical Dystonia
  • Meningitis
  • TMJ

Some neck spasms such as dystonia may be due to over-activity of the nerves supplying the surrounding neck. In certain neck spasms, it may be due to degeneration of the brain, causing aberration of nerve function such as Parkinson’s disease. Rheumatism and Fibromyalgia are part of systemic conditions that can present primarily as neck spasms.

Symptoms Of Neck Spasm

A neck spasm causes abrupt, sharp pain deep within the neck muscles. The affected muscles may feel hard and tight. Moving your neck and shoulders may also be painful. This is usually in the background of chronic tightness and stiffness of the neck muscles.
Other Symptoms
Other symptoms include headache, dizziness or a tingling sensation in the base of the neck. It may be related to other conditions such as Occipital Neuralgia.

A Message About Neck Pain

A neck spasm may be a condition arising from the surrounding neck muscles or its cause coming from the cervical spine. One must exclude cervical slipped disc or bone spur causing nerve compression resulting in neck spasms. Addressing the underlying condition such as decompression of the impinged nerve will provide relief from neck spasms. For these conditions, Nucleoplasty and Neuroplasty will address the underlying nerve compression from the slipped disc.

Many neck conditions as well as systemic diseases can cause neck stiffness and spasm. Less well-known causes such as Parkinson’s, Rheumatism, and Fibromyalgia can also cause distressing neck spasms and related symptoms. Cervical dystonia is a condition where the cause of neck stiffness and spasms is unknown but associated with neck torticollis and involuntary contraction of neck muscles. In recurring conditions, the use of Botox injections may be needed to provide interval relief and focus on rehabilitation thereafter.

Diagnosing Neck Spasm

Here at Singapore Paincare, our team of experienced primary care doctors and pain care specialists will evaluate your condition. This includes a physical exam, questions about your symptoms and an evaluation of your medical history.

What Treatments Are Available for Neck Spasms?

At Singapore Paincare, we strive to treat your pain with the least invasive option possible after accurately identifying the cause. Our approach to pain resolution focuses on the removal of pain generators via specialised injection and minimally invasive procedures. Combined with pharmacological treatments and cognitive and physical rehabilitative therapies, we help patients improve their functions and prevent pain from recurring.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Neck Spasm

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs
NSAIDs have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. These drugs help to relieve pain.
Coreflex Injection
Our Coreflex injection uses a mix of local anaesthetic, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant, which helps to break the pain cycle, reduce inflammation, and improve healing.
Physical Therapy
Our physiotherapists use resistance training to reduce pain. It also consists of stretching exercises to increase the motion of the joint and minimize loss of muscle. However, the intensity and type of exercise may differ based on the conditions of the patient.
Botulinum Toxin Injection

Botulinum Toxin injections are given for refractory neck spasms in Cervical Dystonia, Rheumatism or Fibromyalgia. The painful neck spasm is isolated in the respective muscles such as Cervical Spinalis or Capitis Spinalis or Sternocleidomastoid and Botox are inoculated into the tight muscle spasm, stopping the spasm and contracture.

Surgical Treatments for Neck Spasm

There is no surgical treatment for neck sprains. Non-surgical methods are generally effective.

How Can I Prevent Neck Spasms?

The following tips can help you prevent having a neck spasm:

  • Try to keep a good posture at all times
  • Exercise and stretch regularly
  • Take regular screen breaks
  • Use supportive pillows

Get Your Pain Resolved

Send your enquiries or consult our pain experts today.

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