At some, almost every one of us has experienced a stiff neck. Whether it stems from osteoarthritis in the neck joints, a neck trauma from an auto accident, a sports injury, or the mere inability to turn your head after waking up – this neck condition can be painful and can disrupt your day-to-day activities.
In many cases, simple sprains or muscle strains are the cause of a stiff neck. These issues are usually non-life threatening; these issues can also be treated within the span of a few days. It’s always a good idea to turn to your trusted medical professional if you are experiencing any pain in the neck region. This will ensure that it’s not anything more serious. And if it is, you can start the treatment right after the diagnosis.
In today’s post, we’ll talk about some of the things that will help you if you have a stiff neck.
Get Enough Rest
One or two days of adequate rest lets the injured muscles in the neck area heal. The spasms in the neck area are often caused by the conditions we mentioned above. While up to two days of resting is good, more than that may cause the muscles in the neck to start to weaken. This can lead to further injuries.
Do Gentle Stretches
When you are able, do gentle neck stretches. Doing so will help ease the stiffness in the neck as well as the pain. Eventually, you will start to restore the neck’s full range of motion. There are many different types of stretches to help alleviate neck pain. A lot of them are available online. Still, consult with your doctor or physical therapist first.
Low-Impact Aerobic Exercises
Walking, kayaking, rowing machine, yoga, and cycling are some examples of low-impact aerobic exercises. Aside from doing gentle stretches, low-impact aerobic exercises help reduce neck pain. These types of activities help circulate the oxygen needed to the tissues of the spine. Oxygen helps the body heal. And the more oxygen is sent to the body, the faster and better the recovery is.
Hot and Cold Compress
Alternating between hot and cold compress is ideal for any muscles that are stiff or sore. The cold helps numb the pain and lessen the swelling. On the other hand, heat helps promote blood flow, which will then result in faster recovery. Switch between hot and cold compress every 15 minutes or as necessary.
Apart from the ability to treat pain and stiffness in the neck area, chiropractic care is a natural way to make sure that the cervical spine is in good and proper alignment; this will ensure the overall well-being of the body. The joints in the upper spine are delicate, this a professional chiropractor will need to align it. The neck muscles often spasm because they support the head all the time, which is actually heavy. Getting the neck muscles realigned with chiropractic care is an excellent way to ensure their function.
Daily Care for the Neck
Giving your neck proper care and attention will not only prevent stiff neck but also make sure it’s in tip-top condition. Here are simple neck stretches you can do every day. Please keep in mind that before you do any of these stretches, it’s ideal to warm up the body with a hot shower or a hot compress. Doing so will help avoid any injuries.
- Turn your head slowly to the left. Use your left hand to apply minimal tension on your chin and turn your head a little bit further. Hold this position for 20 to 25 seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat this stretch on the right side.
- Gently touch your right ear to your shoulder while your head is tilted to the right. Using your right hand, apply minimal pressure on your temple. Hold this position for 20 to 25 seconds and repeat on your left side.
- Touch your chin to your chest with your head bent forward. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed as you do this stretch. Hold this position for 20 to 25 seconds and repeat as needed.
Keep in mind that these neck pain remedies are temporary. You still need to check with your doctor to address the root of the problem – especially if you’ve been having persistent pain.