Sudden recurring neck pain

December 19, 2018

I have recurring, sudden neck pain. It seems to happen when I raise up out of bed or turn my head rather quickly.

It is a very sharp pain on the right side of the back of my neck. It’s a very sudden pain, it takes my breath away. Yesterday, while driving, it took the ponytail holder out of my hair and kind of twisted my head and WHAM! It hurt so bad, I thought I was going to pass out. I had to pull over and catch my breath.

It happens at least once a week. It makes me gasp, it’s so sudden and sharp.

What could this be? Do I need to see a doctor?

December 19, 2018

Hi Pam

Probably not – I don’t think seeing a doctor will help you get any better any faster.

It sounds as if you’ve irritated a joint in your neck. Think of it like a really small blister after doing something repetitively.  It’s not an issue unless you put direct pressure on the blister – around the edges it’s all OK.

Same with your neck – only the joint surfaces can be much more sensitive. You can move your neck pretty freely, but if you get it just right….

The biggest and most obvious difference is when you get neck pain the muscles that support the neck will painfully spasm to protect the joint surface and prevent you from doing it again.

You need to make sure you can allow you “blister” to heal by making sure that you move well – and that’s getting head on neck posture, optimal.

Have a look here for some really good rehab exercises (don’t worry about the titles!)




Take some over the counter painkillers and anti inflams (if you can), don’t be tempted to stretch your neck and you’ll be good to go by the weekend.

The Guru

Guru Responded

Have more questions?

If you're struggling with Neck issues then we'd love to help. We offer appointments within 24 hours whether face to face at one of our London Physio Clinics, virtually or if you’d prefer we can arrange a home visit.

Request An Appointment

We aim to get back to you within an hour

How should we contact you?