ost people, at some point in their lives, experience a stiff neck problem. It may be accompanied with headache, neck, shoulder or arm discomfort or pain. The pain can be aching, sharp, or felt only when trying to turn the head to the side.
Some people have a chronic problem with a stiff neck which is harder to deal with.
What causes a stiff neck?
There are many causes why people get a stiff neck, all of which can be grouped in the following four categories:
- Most common, mechanical cause due to a muscle strain. It can be instigated by sport injuries, strenuous activities, inactive lifestyle, muscle overstretching, etc. Often this type of problem not felt right away but may appear after a little while. Above causes are by far the most common ones of a stiff neck.
- Physiological origin. This pain is associated with a particular disorder such as cervical herniated disc and cervical degenerative disc diseases, cervical osteoarthritis, tumors, infection, etc.
- Psychological origin. The pain in a neck area can be caused by mental stress or severe nervous breakdown. The human body can be affected by mental issues, and any emotional stress can easily knock off-balance of any organ. The neck is no exception.
- Temperature exposure effect. The neck is easily susceptible to cold exposure which may cause muscle hypothermia. This may lead to a spasm and very sharp pain or a nagging but lasting pain.
You can reduce or completely eliminate your neck pain by applying these simple methods from the comfort of your home!
Do special physical exercises 2-3 times a day
There are many special exercises that can help to relax as well as warm up the muscles of your neck area. Here are a few simple exercises to try:
- Carefully and slow move the neck in the direction of “back and forth.” Do this slowly while listening to your feelings. This exercise is also good for prevention. Do it several times a day.
- Slowly and steadily move your neck to the left and to the right. There is no hurry either. If you do this exercise every day, you will significantly reduce the load on the cervical muscles. You just train the muscles, and the pain will gradually go away.
- “Eight.” This exercise is amazing in strength. Slowly move your head in a shape of “eight”, while carefully listening to your own feelings. By doing this exercise several times a day, you can easily reduce the pain and strengthen the muscles of your core. Over time, you can accelerate the pace and increase time.
You can read more about very effective exercises and pain management methods in the book: Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain
Spend regular time in warm water
Spending time under streams of warm water or swimming in a pool will absolutely have a positive impact on your stiff neck.
For a soft water shower, turn on water and adjust the shower head to a massaging, gentle stream. The temperature of water should be pleasantly warm.
Direct the shower head to the neck area and drive it up and down, as if you are making light strokes. This will help your muscles to relax and ease stiffness. Do it for 5 – 20 minutes every day.
Activities in warm water can relieve stiffness in your neck, improve blood flow and vitalize your whole body. Therefore, spending some regular time in a swimming pool, bathtub or under a shower will definitely expedite your recovery.
Get enough of good sleep every night
Sleep on a hard mattress and in the “embryo” position. Doctors consider this position is the most relaxing and comfortable for both the spine and the neck.
The pillow is no less important. It should not be too high or stiff to promote proper neck alignment.
Take herbal remedies
Herbal medicine offers a variety of remedies to help you with your stiff neck. Here are some popular herbs used for natural pain relief:
Take a massage therapy
Massage therapy is known to be an effective way to relieve muscle tightness, release nerve compression and improve blood circulation.
You can even try to massage yourself by gently pressing and stroking the neck or back area.
When should you see a doctor?
Remember that this part of the body is not only very complex and crucial in its function, but also quite delicate.
If you are not sure about the source of the pain or your stiff neck has not improved after 5-7 days, it is a good idea to see your doctor who can determine the cause of your stiff neck with more certainty.
Should you neck pain be accompanied by a fever, severe headache and nausea, you should seek help of health professionals immediately since such symptoms often indicate a more serious problem.