Neck Pain

"I Woke Up Now I Can't Turn My Neck"


A Crossfit athlete came in complaining about headaches not being able to turn their neck. Apparently, they woke up like that. I asked them to clench their jaw and try to turn their head. They had a full range of motion. So it was apparent that we weren’t dealing with a neck issue as much as we were dealing with a jaw issue.

After discussion, we found out that they had done pistols the day before. I investigated further and started testing the R quad. We found a very under-active VL and Gmax. We then tested these muscles against the jaw. We found a relationship was present. After using NKT protocols we found that the R Masseter was facilitated and the right VL and Gmax were Inhibited. We released the jaw and activated the quad and glute. The client now had full ROM in their neck again and their headaches had gone.

My thoughts on the dysfunction. Due to doing such a high threshold exercise in the pistol squat on a neurologically under-active leg, the right masseter had become overworked to the point where it reached its neural edge, (effectively the point of no return)

For the brain and body to continue to do pistols it had to recruit other muscles as a secondary compensation pattern. This is why the cervical rotators (SCM and Splenius Capitis ) tightened up creating the reduced ROM.