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April 2, 2008

New Light On Crick In The Neck

I learned something new this week. For years I've been practicing massage on cricks in the neck, which, along with low back pain, shoulder pain, and general relaxation, have been a mainstay of my business. I have always assumed that a crick in the neck is caused by spasm in the scalene muscles.

In Functional Anatomy this past week, we were locating and palpating the brachial plexus. So as we split into pairs for the palpation exercise, I asked the instructor about cricks, because I wanted to know more about this common condition. Cricks are actually spasms of the intrinsic muscles of the back and neck. This is a group of muscles we've been studying in detail this unit in gross anatomy. Muscles of the erector spinae group that could be causing crick problems include the spinalis cervicis muscles. In the transversospinalis group semispinalis (thoracis and cervicis) and multifidus could be implicated in crick pain. Deep erector spinae possibilities may include transversarii muscles in the cervical region (but don't hold me to that because they may only be present lower in the spine).

So, in conclusion, a crick in the neck is not spasm of the scalene muscles or impingement of the structures in the brachial plexus. Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks (cricks!).

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Posted by linda at April 2, 2008 8:01 AM

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