5 Stiff Neck Remedies | Stiff Neck Causes

5 Stiff Neck Remedies

1.      Hot/Cold Neck Compress

If you have a stiff neck, applying a cold compress can help relieve inflammation and swelling after a sprain. The cold can also numb your neck to temporarily relieve pain from stiff muscles. Applying a cold compress is most effective within the first 2 days of a neck injury. After 48 hours, try using a heating pad for up to 20 minutes at a time. This should relax and soothe the muscles.

2.      Stiff Neck Exercises

Gently stretching your neck can help relax the muscles in your neck and release neck stiffness. . Stretching can also prevent stiffness in the future. Be sure to avoid sudden movements and be careful not to over-stretch

Try the following stretches:

  •       Roll your shoulders back and down several times
  •       Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for a few seconds, repeat several times.
  •       Gently roll your head from side to side.

3.      Adjust your sleep environment

Sometimes, changing your pillow or mattress can make a huge difference. Your head, back, and neck should be in alignment while you sleep. Using too many pillows or a super thick pillow can put your neck out of alignment, causing neck pain. Next time you get tucked in, pay attention to your alignment and make sure you’re not sleeping on your stomach.

4.      Manage stress

No one has a completely stress-free life; however, we can learn to manage it in a way that reduces tension in the neck. Taking five or ten minutes to meditate during stressful times can ground you and cause your body to relax. Yoga can also be a good way to bring yourself back to the present moment and de-stress.

5.      Limit how long you look at a smartphone

Repeatedly looking down at your cell phone puts a constant strain on your neck muscles, resulting in a stiff neck. If you have to look at your phone often, try these tips to reduce the impact on your neck:  Hold your phone at eye level.

  •       Hold your phone up at eye level, allowing you to keep your head level
  •       Gently stretch your neck after using your phone
  •       Use headphones to avoid holding your phone between your ear and shoulder.
  •       Take a break from your phone hourly.

Stiff Neck Causes

Muscles, tendons, bones, and ligaments work together to support the head and enable it to move in different directions. You may experience more pain when you try to move your neck or head. This is because a stiff neck is caused by muscles that have become tense, over-used, or strained. Stiffness may also develop if from a minor injury or accident if the vertebrae is injured.

A stiff neck generally is the result of a minor injury or strain, possibly due to:

  •       sleeping awkwardly
  •       looking down repeatedly, like at a cell phone
  •       sitting or slouching for long periods of time
  •       a sports injury
  •       tense muscles due to stress
  •       whiplash
  •       arthritis
  •       meningitis –which is inflammation of the coverings on the brain and spinal cord









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Dr. Barry

Dr. Barry

March 20, 2019