It can be really irritating when you wake up in the morning with a severe pain in the neck while being unable to move your head in any direction. A stiff neck typically is the result of muscles weakening over time from poor posture or misuse, says chiropractor Andrew Bang, DC, of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine. Neck stiffness is characterized by the soreness of neck along with a difficulty to move the neck sideways. Stiff neck may also cause headache, shoulder pain, and even pain in the arms. Let’s discuss the causes and symptoms of neck stiffness.
- Sleeping in an awkward position that strains the neck muscles
- Improper posture at work
- Jerk in the neck due to an accident
- Using a pillow that gives no support or using too many pillows while sleeping
- Contact sports
- A forceful sneeze
- Decrease or limited movement of neck either to left or right
- Pain in the neck, shoulders and upper back
- Feeling uncomfortable while sleeping
- Muscle spasm in the muscles of the upper back and the cervical
- Headache and fever (stiff neck along with fever and headache may also be the reason for meningitis)
Remedies to cure Neck Stiffness
Massage is a good cure for stiff neck. You can use essential oils, like pine, rosemary, lavender or juniper for massaging as it will provide the necessary warmth to the neck muscles along with increasing the blood circulation. A gentle massage greatly helps in relaxing the muscles while reducing the stiffness.
2. Heating Pad
Place a heating pad over your sore neck. It is a useful remedy which will increase the blood flow while decreasing the stiffness of the neck.
3. Ice Packs
Crush some ice and wrap it in a poly bag. Now, cover the stiff part of neck with a small cloth or towel, then place the wrapped ice over it. Ice is really useful for stiff neck pain relief. It also reduces the inflammation caused due to the soreness.
4. Hot Water Shower
Keep your neck under a shower of warm to little hot water for about 4-5 minutes. Don’t turn or move your neck while doing this. This is one of the best cures for stiff neck muscles.
Exercising helps a lot. Gently move your neck in a circular motion. You can also move your neck in back and forth position. Side to side movement is also good. You can also try moving your neck in a pattern of digit-8. But, make sure it doesn’t pain. If it pains, don’t do these exercises.
- Sleep in a proper position.
- Check your sitting posture, especially at work.
- Take a break of 5 minutes from your work every hour and walk around.
- Avoid too much stress,
- Use a proper pillow while sleeping.
- Don’t sleep with too many pillows.
- Avoid driving as it may aggravate the problem.