Saturday, December 9, 2023
Home Health Stiff Neck: Causes, Prevention, and Potential Treatments

Stiff Neck: Causes, Prevention, and Potential Treatments

What Causes a Stiff Neck?

Neck soreness is most often the result of strained neck and upper shoulder muscles. These muscles usually get weakened over time due to poor posture. Specific causes of neck stiffness and pain include inflammation,

a bulging disc, and even an injury or an infection. A doctor visit can determine what is causing stiffness or pain in your neck. Don’t attempt to cure yourself or prescribe stiff neck treatments at home if you:

  • Experience tingling or strength loss feeling in an arm or a hand 
  • Have soreness that comes from a blow or a fall
  • Have pain increasing when you lie down or become severe enough to disturb healthy sleep
  • Can’t find a comfy position
  • Start to lose urinary or intestinal control
  • Lose coordination, or the ability to walk without assistance
  • Have a lump or swollen gland(s) along with pain in the neck
  • Experience stiffness and any other symptoms of a heart attack

Any variation of these symptoms with a stiff, sore neck should be taken seriously, and immediately reported to a doctor.

Prevention of a Stiff Neck

To improve your future comfort, let’s cover prevention strategies

before exploring ways to alleviate a stiff or sore neck.

Start strong.

A physical therapist can be referred by a doctor, who will suggest which workouts and muscle stretch to add to a workout regimen. Strengthening the core will help to counter occasional slouching.

Learn proper posture, then practice it.

Keep your head held so that your ears are aligned with your hips, above your shoulders. Keep your eyes and chin up all day. You may need to get your workstation adjusted.

Take breaks for movement.

Even good posture requires improvement. Give “breaks for movement” a priority to stop sitting in the same position all day long.

Adopt healthy sleep alignment.

Choose a pillow according to your usual position at night. Spine alignment and support is the focus while the options are tested.

Manage Stress.

Learn to relax consistently during the day, particularly when faced with everyday stressors.

Effective Stiff neck Remedies

Sadly, even though you have done what you can to avoid a stiff back, there is always sporadic stiffness experienced by everyone. The right remedy for a stiff neck will rely on the situation, so consider a combination of the following methods if one solution does not bring relief.

  • Take a break from your usual cardio exercises or strength training.
  • Apply a heating pad on low every few hours for 15 minutes.
  • Try having a manual therapy appointment with your physical therapist.
  • Consult your doctor about taking an anti-inflammatory medicine over-the-counter.
  • Try some poses, if you practice yoga, that target those tight neck muscles. The National Institutes of Health states that isometric workouts, pilates, and yoga have “favourable effects on pain and functional scores.”
  • Relax and unwind. Conduct relaxing exercises as you recover, to reduce tension.

To learn how chiropractic care can help you recover from stiff neck naturally, consult a doctor at Vitality Chiropractic Centres.

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