5431 Jonestown Rd

Harrisburg, PA 17112 US

(717) 540-8448

Open mobile navigation

What Are Neck Spasms and Why Do They Occur?

Man having neck spasm

What You Need to Know About Neck Spasms

When a neck spasm hits, even the slightest movement can cause intense pain. Although the spasms are usually short-lived, they can become a chronic problem in some cases. If you suffer from frequent neck spasms, understanding the cause can help you avoid future bouts of pain.

Why Neck Spasms Happen

Have you ever turned your head quickly and felt a tight, painful sensation in your neck? The pain occurs when the muscles in your neck spasm or tighten unexpectedly. Spasms can last several minutes or linger for days or weeks. Chronic or frequent spasms can cause pain and headaches that interfere with your usual activities. Even if the spasm goes away quickly, you may still experience pain due to sore muscles.

Neck pain and spasms are common problems for many of us. In fact, 20 to 70 percent of Americans will experience neck pain that interferes with their usual activities at some point in their lives, according to Practical Pain Management.

Neck Spasms can be caused by:

  • Poor Posture. Slouching strains your neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles, increasing your risk of spasms. In addition to spasms, you may also develop headaches due to poor posture.
  • Using Digital Devices. Looking downward to use smartphones, tablets, and other digital devices can cause a condition called tech neck. Holding your head in a downward position stresses the muscles in your neck, triggering spasms. Eventually, tech neck can cause spinal misalignments, early-onset arthritis, and muscle or nerve damage.
  • Holding Your Head in an Uncomfortable Position. Spasms can be a problem if you're a mechanic, plumber, or work in another type of job that requires you to twist or turn your head.
  • Stress. Stress can tighten the neck, shoulder, and upper back muscles, causing spasms.
  • Your Sleep Habits. Sleeping on a pillow or mattress that doesn't adequately support your body may mean that you wake up with an aching neck.
  • Sprain or Strain. An injury to the muscles or ligaments in your neck could also be to blame for your spasms.

What You Can Do About Neck Spasms

Do you reach for a bottle of ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) when you have neck spasms? Although many people believe taking an NSAID can be useful in treating your symptoms, long-term or frequent use of NSAIDs can cause upset stomachs, ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, or even liver damage in some cases. Luckily, trying a few of these recommendations will help relax your muscles and ease your pain naturally:

  • Ice and Heat. Ice packs reduce inflammation and relieve pain. (Don't use ice packs for more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time, as frostbite could occur.) A heating pad, hot water bottle, or a stream of hot water from a showerhead will help loosen and relax tight muscles.
  • Massage. Do-it-yourself or professional massages relax tight muscles and prompt your body to produce endorphins, chemicals that act like natural painkillers.
  • Stretches. Slowly dropping your head toward your shoulder and other gentle neck exercises may help stretch the muscles and put an end to the spasm.

If you still have spasms, it's a good idea to call the chiropractor. Your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan based on your symptoms and your physical exam. The plan may include:

  • Spinal manipulation. This hands-on therapy realigns the vertebrae in your neck and decreases muscle tension.
  • Massage. In addition to loosening muscles, massage also improves circulation, which can speed healing.
  • Trigger Point Therapy. Trigger point therapy relaxes muscle fibers that cause knots in your neck and may reduce your spasms.
  • Ultrasound Therapy. Ultrasound waves relax and warm muscles, relieving pain.
  • Soft Tissue Manipulation. Your chiropractor uses handheld tools to find the source of your pain and loosen tight tissues.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). A gentle electrical current prevents pain signals from reaching the brain.
  • Traction. This treatment relieves pain and loosens muscles by gently increasing the space between your vertebrae
  • Exercises. Your chiropractor can teach you exercises that improve your posture and strengthen the muscles that support your neck and core.

Could a visit to the chiropractor ease your neck spasms? Get in touch with us if you're ready to schedule your appointment.

Sources:

Practical Pain Management: About Back/Neck, Spine and Shoulder Pain - The Statistics, 7/29/19

SPINE-Health: How to Relieve a Neck Muscle Spasm, 11/19/19

MedlinePlus: Neck Pain or Spasms – Self-Care, 7/11/19

Spine Universe: Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain

This screening is entirely FREE!

** Due to Federal Regulations, This offer does not apply to Medicare/Medicaid. **

Regular Office Hours

By Appointment Only

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-12:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-12:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "Great Doctor! Amazing Staff! The first time I went to skocik chiropractor I was in a lot of pain but after just a few months I feel so much better."
    Waslat W.
  • "Very great dr.Skocik, and amazing nurses they definitely know what they doing."
    Alona L.
  • "Helped me with a damaged disk.very knowledgeable and a great way to go to handle pain in a natural way."
    Tommy H
  • "The best Chiropractor in town."
    Bryan D.
  • "Good experience. Explains things patiently. Friendly Staff"
    Amit K.
  • "The staff is all great and Dr. Skocik is one of the best and nicest chiropractors."
    Matthew G.
  • "Dr. Skocik did a wonderful job helping me get back to normal. He explained things in detail. A very pleasant and courteous atmosphere. I found my go to chiropractor!!"
    Diane L.
  • "Dr Sk is thorough in his exams and explanations of recommended treatment and process. The staff are courteous, friendly and professional. I have seen improvement in my range of motion, mobility and reduction of pain in back and spine."
    Arlis V.
  • "I love this place. I have been going through a rough time, injuries, employment, school, death in the family, and stress. Dr. Skocik and his staff are a blessing. They have been there to help me not only with my injuries but with my life in general. No matter how much pain and misery I may be going through, I always leave feeling better and with a smile on my face. I think the entire staff is awsome."
    Melissa J.
  • "Quote from the movie The best exotic marigold hotel- โ€œMost things donโ€™t work out as expected, but what happens instead often turns out to be the good stuff.โ€ - reminded me of you all. Thank you for helping me through my rough and frustrating healing process !!"
    Shirly P.
  • "Great office, sure had helped me"
    William G.
  • "Thank you to the entire team, Dr. Skocik, Kourtnay, Shannon, Nicole, and Daphne for taking great care of me. From not being able to walk to using a cane to now...you are a god-send! Highly recommended!!!!!"
    Dwayne D.
  • "Thanks"
    Jody B.
  • "Very nice people."
    Kim D.
  • "Great Doctor! Amazing Staff! The first time I went to skocik chiropractor I was in a lot of pain but after just a few months I feel so much better."
    Waslat W.
  • "In addition to the standard chiropractic services, Skocik also offers massage. The massage therapist is awesome, the prices are fantastic and I have never left anything but totally satisfied. You do give up a tiny bit of ambiance compared to a "spa", but what you get is more than worth it in my opinion. Highly recommended."
    Tiffany I.
  • "I appreciate Dr Skocik calling me at home to inquire about my recovery!
    Try stem cell & PRP therapy. It's worth it if it means having your life back without surgery!"
    Regenerative Medicine Patient O. Olagbemi
  • "I have been coming to this office for years and I would refer anyone to come to this office I never have had a bad experience."
    J. Weldon
  • "I like the combination of services they have.
    Adjustments, Maintenance, Physical Therapy options, massage and laser therapy.
    Not many places have that."
    A. Schultz
  • "The staff was very welcoming & make you feel completely comfortable. I would recommend them to anyone."
    T. Mahone
  • "Great Chiropactor , great staff, they are passionate about what they do and it shines through. I would highly recommend Skocik Chiropractic ! ๐Ÿ‘"
    T. Romberger
  • "Dr Skocik treats his patients like family, great rehab equipment, phenomenal staff and amazing massage therapists!!!"
    T. Warner
  • "I go here for massages, best you'll find in the area, and very good prices. The large office that has a wide range of chiropractic treatment equipment, and is a complete back treatment and rehab facility."
  • "This office is highly professional and organized! Great chiro service and I highly recommend!"
    J. LeCadre
  • "Simply the best! Period."
    J. Williams
  • "Dr. Skocik office treats you like family, wonderful staff and I will recommend anyone to his office.๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘"
    K. Trollinger
  • "Amazing first impression and excellent, thorough exam for diagnosis. Physical therapy feels great."
    C. Campbell
  • "This office is organized and very professional, great chiro care! Would definitely recommend this office!"
    C. Myers
  • "I've been seeing Dr. Skocik for many years. Very professional office, he and his staff take great care of me. I recommend them often."
    T. Mowatt
  • "Absolutely love Dr. Skocik and his staff!!! I treated with this practice for several years after a really bad fall, thanks to the wonderful chiropractic care and massage therapy I am pain free and have my mobility back!! Highly recommend Dr. Skocik!!!"
    T. Coffman
  • "Coming from Toronto and seized up shoulder. Dr went way out of his way on a Saturday to open the clinic for me to assess. Very professional and kind. Wonderful."
    A.C.
  • "Doctor Skocik is really sincere about helping people"
    J. Peiffer
  • "What I love about my experience. I was able to be seen with in a 24 hours window..For those who suffer from lower back pain will truly understand how important that is. For that alone i give you five stars .. Excellent staff"
    F. Jackson
  • "I love coming here. The staff is very Friendly! I have had all kinds of issues with my back and ever since I started coming here i have made lots of improvement. I highly recommend Skocik Chiropractic!"
    Jessica C.
  • "The level of care, from the chiropractic services, to the massage therapy..to the office staff...EVERYONE treats you like family. I can honestly say that their is a genuine concern for your progress and well being.
    I would highly recommend."
    Craig W.
  • "I have always had a good experience with them and I have been a patient for a number of years. They are very nice about rescheduling appointments. The staff is always very friendly and I have always found them reasonably priced."
    L. Henninger
  • "I had a great experience in Skocik Chiropractic and they are very professional and fixed my lower back pain problem. My whole family goes to this practice and we highly recommend to other people."
    F. Zhang
  • "Skocik Chiropractic was very personable and informative. Dr. Skocik and his staff purposefully takes care of their patients with attentiveness and professionalism. I enjoyed my time there and highly recommend Skocik Chiropractic."
    B. Wanda

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Sign up for more articles