Waking up with a stiff neck is very painful. Neck discomfort may also cause other symptoms, such as numbness, headache, stiffness, and problems eating.
It may be alarming, but neck pain is usually caused by bad sleeping posture, tension, stress, or poor body posture. Neck stiffness and soreness may also occur after an abrupt neck injury, such as whiplash in a motor vehicle accident or shocks like a fall or a sports accident.
A stiff neck might go away in a few days or need weeks to recover completely. Here are a few effective strategies you may try to relieve neck pain before visiting your doctor.
1. Stiff neck remedies to try for pain relief
Try these essential solutions for mild, frequent causes of neck pain:
i) Use a hot or cold compress
A cold or hot compress can provide immediate neck pain relief. Ice and heat can both be used to relieve neck discomfort and decrease swelling or inflammation.
Begin with ice, such as an ice pack or a plastic bag packed with ice. Because ice may cause skin damage, cover it in a thin towel or cloth and use it for 10-15 minutes at a time. Ice your sore neck every three to four hours for neck spine pain relief.
If you suspect that your neck discomfort is due to a muscular strain, moist heat is an excellent neck muscle strain treatment. Take a steamy shower, a long soak in a heated bath, or relax for a while in a hot tub. You can also use a wet heating pad for 20 minutes every few hours.
ii) Essential oil massage
You can gently apply essential oils to your neck for neck strain treatment. A stiff, aching neck can be relieved by combining a few drops of essential oils and rubbing them into your neck and shoulders.
Add a few drops of lavender, peppermint, cypress, and basil oil to a teaspoon of olive or sweet almond oil as a base. For optimal effects, combine the ingredients and massage them into the affected regions twice daily.
The anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint and lavender soothe pain, and antispasmodic chemicals in basil and cypress oil soften the muscles.
iii) Apple cider vinegar for neck pain relief
This is a traditional home remedy for neck pain treatment. Apple cider vinegar contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that are believed to relieve stress and muscular discomfort.
Soak a napkin or tissue in apple cider vinegar around your neck. Allow the napkin to remain in the same position for 30-60 minutes. You must do it at least two times a day for good relief.
iv) Cervical collar and pillow
A cervical collar is used for neck injury treatment to support and restrict mobility while you recuperate if you have a neck injury. It also aids in the alignment of your cervical spine. Cervical pillows provide the proper amount of bend in your neck as you sleep. In addition, they release pressure on the nerves in the neck, subsequently improving sleep quality.
2. Stretches to relieve stiffness in the neck
Neck exercises may help release tight muscles and are especially beneficial in preventing stiff necks, according to Rahul Shah, an orthopaedic spine and neck surgeon at Premier Orthopaedic Spine Associates.
Among the exercises are:
- Slowly rotate your neck to the right. Pause for a few seconds. Next, look straight forward and take a few seconds to relax. Perform 15 to 20 times, then switch to the other side.
- Looking straight ahead, lean the top of the head to the right, attempting to connect your right ear to your right shoulder (without lifting the shoulder). Pause for a few seconds before bringing your head back to the centre. Repeat 15 to 20 times, then switch to the other side.
- Neck bending involves tilting your head forward and bending your chin to your neck. Do this 15 to 20 times.
In each of the above exercises, hold each position for a few seconds, then inhale and exhale. And after each neck stretch, release your neck and back muscles.
3. Stretch your back and shoulders
Because the shoulders, upper back, and neck muscles are interrelated, a muscle sprain in any of these areas may appear like a stiff neck. As a result, shoulder exercises are an excellent remedy for relieving stiff neck and pain.
Here are three upper-body exercises to attempt if you’re suffering from neck discomfort.
i) Cross Arm Exercise
Stretch one arm and bring it across the body. Slightly push the elbow of the crossed arm with your other arm. You should feel a stretch on the shoulder of the crossed arm. Pause for 30 seconds before switching to the other arm.
ii) Child Pose Exercise
Kneel on your knees in the child’s position. Put your arms on the floor, and slowly slide forward to feel the pull in your shoulders and upper back.
iii) Doorway Stretch
Place your hands on the frame of an open doorway and move your body forward, staying erect and without leaning forward. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Your chest muscles and shoulders should feel gently stretched.
4. Do yoga for neck pain relief
Regular yoga practice can aid with neck pain relief and help avoid it in many circumstances. Cat-cow pose, Warrior pose, Cow face pose, and thread-the-needle pose are a few that you can try. Get into the poses slowly, or else you may aggravate the pain.
To learn more, read: The most useful yoga postures for relieving neck pain
5. Physical therapy for neck pain relief
One of the most popular treatments for persistent neck discomfort is physical therapy. Physical therapy techniques and exercises, as well as the length of the treatment plan, might differ from person to person.
Physical pain therapy for the neck may be advised in various circumstances, including unspecified persistent discomfort and recovery following an accident or surgery. However, if the pain persists, you should visit the doctor for chronic neck pain treatment as soon as possible.
The bottom line
In most cases, neck pain and stiffness will go away with DIY home care. However, when the pain persists and is disturbing your daily routine, it is best to visit a doctor for detailed analysis and appropriate treatments.
Edited by love4wellness.com | Images: canva.com