What To Do With A Freshly Cricked Neck

bowl of sliced broccoli

I cricked my neck this morning. I’m not sure how. Could have been putting my boots on. These sort of things happen as I get older. Any muscle I have that is not already in an advanced state of atrophy, is ready to pop out from where it belongs at a moment’s notice. If it’s not weak or damaged, then it gets cramp. It’s just one of those things that you learn to live with. Like broccoli. Whatever their primary purpose in your youth, the primary purpose of muscles as you get older is to ache. They appear to have no other function. Nature’s way of telling you that the cork is well and truly out of the bottle.

Of course, a cricked neck is somehow quite unlike any other physical pain: it is the stealth bomber of bodily discomfort. You are blissfully unaware of its presence until, without thinking, you turn around and… too late, it’s got you… Like a well-directed rubber band in the darkness of a cinema, there is no way of even telling where it came from. Like the house guests who have lingered just a little too long, there is no way of telling when it might go. There can be no more exciting moment than that at which you realise that your crick has disappeared – just as suddenly as it appeared – but none quite so disappointing as when it returns the very next time you turn around.

I once suffered a whiplash injury. It was like a crick in the neck with knobs on. Big knobs. This was a crick that somehow belted down my back and into my legs without warning. A crick that meant that I felt absolutely fine until, quite suddenly, I wished that somebody could remove my head from my shoulders – very quickly. A flash of pain that was so intense it physically convulsed me, often provoking laughter from those around me who did not know what was happening. Laughter, I always find, is infectious, but boy does it rattle the whiplash. The doctor put me in a neck brace that made me laugh every time I caught sight of it. Laugh, wince, laugh, wince, it was torture. I can’t explain if you’ve never had it. If you have, you’ll be wincing now.

Anyway, this is not whiplash, this is a common-or-garden crick in the neck, and I have no real idea how I got it. The trick is to move slowly, never turn quickly and, for some reason I can never quite fathom, hold one arm across the chest. As I daren’t look down or around, I keep clipping my ankles on immovable objects. I flinch, the pain flashes down my neck, I wince, I catch sight of myself, I laugh, I wince… I’m getting a bit fed up with it all to be quite honest. Pretty soon I will take to my bed with a small nightcap and the firm resolve to wear shoes instead of boots in the morning…

8 thoughts on “What To Do With A Freshly Cricked Neck

  1. OUCH! I hope the neck-soothing fairies visit soon.
    But please explain how broccoli is one of those ‘things you learn to live with’? One of those things you eventually learn to spell maybe, but I’m fairly sure it’s easy enough to avoid. Just swerve towards the carrots (not quickly, that’ll crick your neck again) or avoid the fresh vegetable section altogether. Or accidentally buy some and then push it to the back of the fridge and wait until it’s gone limp and then welded itself to the shelf with mould and spilt pickled beetroot juice, I do it all the time!
    But really, I’m very sympathetic about the neck. 🙂


    1. Oh Lord. Have I mis-spelled broccoli? For me it is one of those words, like restaurant, that I can never get right. I can avoid broccoli as long as I make my own meals, but whenever they are made for me, those bloody florets appear somewhere or another. It feels really rude to leave them – and I hate being rude. I could hide them in my pockets, I suppose, until I find an apposite moment to divest myself of them – although almost certainly I would ram them in the same pocket as my car keys and have to spend the next six months picking bits out of the car’s ignition. Why does it exist in only two conditions, either raw and crunchy or mush? Best thing I can do, I find, is to eat it and pretend that I care that it is good for me.
      And beetroot – pickled or otherwise – oooooooh no. Never eat anything that dyes everything else on your plate – that is my mantra.
      And thank you for the neck sympathy, although I’m not certain about the neck soothing fairy – sounds fairly sinister to me…

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      1. The neck soothing fairy IS sinister, like a chiropractor, but she’ll sort you out. Probably. Or leave you a ten pence piece in exchange.
        I think you spelt the ‘b’ word ok, I think I also spelt it ok, but I suspect the accepted spelling gets changed every few weeks or I would have learned it by now.
        Just think, if you threw away some sauce or other from the fridge you’d have space for the bright splattering qualities of beetroot. Not every foodstuff can tie dye your shirts.

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    1. Thankfully I woke up fine (or whatever passes for it) the next day. Just as well, because I really don’t like the sound of having my neck put back in – although I suspect there may be plenty of people who would offer me the service..

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