Neck- related tics

The neck is a very sensitive region. Tics involving the neck are done through specific movements, sometimes to create a ‘popping’ sound. These tics may be done with force, and come with a risk of injury if not addressed.

This article is of particular importance, as these tics can be more harmful than others. It is very important for the person suffering neck tics to have these addressed with a specialist and not played down.

The neck is a very sensitive region

Pinnacle Orthopaedics states the following about the neck region:

The neck is very flexible. The bones in the neck allow greater movement than other areas of the spine. Its flexibility is vital to perform its role but, at the same time, the fact it moves so easily means that it is less protected than the rest of the spine, more vulnerable, and prone to injury.

The necks strengths are its weaknesses. Seven bones and 20 muscles, all being overworked when tics are present.

It is no surprise to see frequent injuries in professional athletes also, particularly in contact sports such as American football and rugby.

recent neck injuries reported in football, soccer

Some people have done damage with simple movements

There was a story circulating of a 28 year-old American man that suffered a stroke after stretching a sore neck, one that led WebMD to run this article linking neck popping and strokes.

'In general, you can't generate enough force or movement on your own to cause a tear of the blood vessel, which ultimately is what probably causes the stroke'

He went on to say that:

‘…in some, their genetics may make their blood vessels a little more fragile or their connective tissue a little more pliable. So, in general, I recommend patients don’t do it.

This is easier said than done for those of us with a tic disorder.

meme of doctor talking to a patient asking them not to do neck tics

Dr. Kim was not referring to a tic disorder. But reading this is frustrating from a sufferers perspective, given that tic disorders have a terrible track record of caring what we do or do not want to do.

The risk of injury is very slim for most people. However, if these tics are a problem, it is best to get specialist advice and let them know about this specific tic.

Overuse= increased risk of injury and strain

There is no doubt that repetitive movements can cause lasting damage. And this is why talking openly about motor tics is so important.

The more forceful, the more likely medical intervention is required. 

Sufferers, don’t be afraid to talk to someone with concerns. Family members, don’t hesitate to speak to a professional if such tics appear to be forceful, painful and/or harmful.

It may prevent injury and permanent damage.

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Hi, I'm Sam. I write about Tourette and OCD to help myself and others.


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