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February 16, 2007

Teaching An Old Crick A New Trick

I've worked on three neck cricks in two days. I've written about cricks in the past, but I have some new observations to add.

First, in my reading, I've discovered various theories about the causes of neck cricks and alternate names. One physical therapist who works with athletes suggests that neck cricks are strains in the ligaments of the neck. I'm not disagreeing with their diagnosis, but their explanation does not explain the sudden onset of the condition by a minor movement. Muscular rheumatism is another name for Fibromyalgia syndrome, and while neck cricks commonly manifest in Fibromyalgia, the syndrome is much more than that. Another name, facet syndrome, seems is described as a much more severe injury than the common neck cricks I see, so I don't feel that description is accurate either.

In my practice, I have found that it is easier for the therapist (and probably the client where pain is concerned) to work on an old crick than one that has come on that same day. My concern with recent onset cricks is that they are so painful, it is easy to overwork the tissues. Range of motion is harder to improve unless there has been at least two to four days since onset.

Cricks affect the trapezius muscle, the scalenes, levator scapula, and the cervical muscles. Because of the involvement of trapezius, therapists may discover involvement of muscles down to the middle of the back and up to the occipital region of the skull. Patience and persistence is key to working out neck cricks.

Posted by linda at February 16, 2007 12:54 PM

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