A stiff neck is annoying as you will experience soreness and difficulty moving your neck. Turning your head to the side can be hard to do as well. What makes a stiff neck worse is when it combines with neck pain, headache, and arm pain. You need to turn the entire body to prevent the sensation from aggravating. Many of those who suffer from stiff neck get long-lasting relief from upper cervical chiropractic care.
Common Causes of Stiff Necks
- Sleeping with the neck positioned awkwardly
- Doing a strenuous activity
- Carrying something heavy for long hours
- Doing awkward positions involving the arms, spine, and neck
- Too much stress or anxiety
- Slouching with poor posture while working
- Looking downward at your smartphone for long durations
- Accidental falling or car crash
- Sudden impact that involves the neck or head, such as sports-related injuries
In most instances, neck pain and stiffness usually disappear naturally within a week. However, how a person cares and manages the stiff neck symptoms can affect the pain levels, recovery period, and the probability of this pain or soreness from coming back.
How to Prevent or Relieve Your Stiff Necks
#1 Don’t stress yourself out
Minimize the amount of stress you put on your spine, neck, and head. Always try to keep your neck flexible and relaxed. It begins with mindfulness when you perform your daily tasks. Be sure you are doing them the correct way. Also, use good posture in your daily activities at home or at work. Having a healthy and positive mind is a prerequisite to having a reliable and healthy body.
#2 Straighten up!
Practice using your postural muscles—they’re there for a useful purpose. Be mindful of your posture. Keep your chest out, head straight over your shoulders, and stomach tight and tucked in. When you are walking, make sure your posture is straight, no slouching.
Regularly make an effort to maintain good posture in all of your daily activities. This mindset can be challenging. But you can do it, even if it takes more muscular and mental effort to maintain it.
#3 Use a stand-up desk
The newest trend in many offices nowadays is changing the workstation to your advantage by using an adjustable sit-to-stand desk. This move allows for a more relaxed and more comfortable working environment.
Your computer screen should be at an eye level. Place your keyboard at elbow height so that your arms make two 90 degree angles. You can also use a book stack under the monitor or screen if you cannot produce this position quickly with the equipment you have.
#4 Take breaks and do stretches
Whenever you use your phone or read a book for extended periods, take the time to stretch a bit and move your body now and then to prevent stiff necks. Sitting down in prolonged periods without breaks can cause stress on your spine and neck. This activity also causes your spine to bear more weight and pulls your head forward.
Make sure you are moving around for at least a minute every hour. Bend your knees, change position to relax your muscles, and allow blood circulation to be more active.
#5 Adjust your car seat properly
For most people, driving is a regular daily routine. People do it for work, for leisure and for traveling wherever. Therefore, it is a must on this list. To adjust your car seat correctly, make sure it is close enough to the dashboard. If your car seat is far back and it makes you sit with your head leaning forward, that is bad for your neck.
Fix this problem by using a lumbar roll on the seat and lumbar support for you back. Make sure your car seat is level (not in a bucket position). Sit down straight with your head resting comfortably against the headrest. You can adjust the steering wheel so you can reach it comfortably while keeping your shoulders back and your chin tucked in.
#6 Use the right sleeping position
Lie on the bed with your spine in a neutral position. Do this either on your back or side, using one pillow for your head. If you’re on your side, make sure the head is straight in line with the spine. Doing the right sleeping position also puts the spine in alignment; thus, the neck relaxed.
#7 Do exercises
Exercise is excellent for your health. There is no doubt about it. Doing stretching exercises once a day is beneficial for your spine, neck, and muscles. Walking for 30 minutes is a good exercise routine. It encourages proper blood circulation, muscle activity, and gets the heart pumping.
Not sure where to start? Consider doing yoga. Many of the yoga poses incorporate stretching, relaxation, and use breathing techniques.
#8 Practice good posture
Keeping the spine straight and the neck in a neutral position is a good sign of a good posture. Do this while sitting down, sleeping, walking, working, and other daily activities. Do not slouch. Stand up straight, sit erect, and sleep in a good sleeping position.
When doing exercises, it is crucial to mind your proper body position as well. Keeping your neck secure and flexible is beneficial. When the neck’s muscles are strong and resilient, they are better suited to maintain good posture for more extended periods, and less likely to spasm and become painful.
#9 Apply cold and heat when needed
Cold packs minimize neck pain and relieve stiff neck by limiting lactic acid buildup. Ice can numb pain and decrease inflammation. Heat can tighten the muscles. Apply heat after the cold compress to increase blood circulation. It also relaxes the muscles, mind, and nerves.
#10 Do more neck strengthening exercises
Maintaining a flexible and robust neck lowers the risk of a stiff neck in the short term while keeping postures proper can regularly help keep the cervical spine healthier in the long run.
#11 Consider using homemade analgesic
Get quick relief from the stiff neck by using a balm with a mixture of menthol, coconut oil, peppermint oil, beeswax, and eucalyptus oil to soothe the muscles and skin. Various herbs can also help alleviate stiff neck discomfort. Camphor can minimize swelling and increase blood circulation. Turmeric can heal pain utilizing its natural healing properties.
#12 Get a therapeutic massage
You can achieve fast stiff neck relief by using tension-releasing exercises. Do the proper exercises for 15 minutes, as needed. Be careful not to overexert yourself as doing so may pull a muscle. Massaging the neck properly, either by yourself or with a professional, can relieve your stiff neck.
#13 Seek Professional Help
Physical therapy or physiotherapy treatments offer relief from neck pain. Chiropractors use a unique holistic technique to work out and relieve stiff neck pain. Professional massage, as mentioned above, is also an excellent way to relieve stiff neck and pain.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care for Stiff Neck
You may have experienced chronic neck pain or stiff neck without any clues as to why it happens. You can choose to consult an upper cervical chiropractor near you.
Upper cervical chiropractors perform an evaluation first before they plan a relief program. During an assessment, they look for any misalignments in your neck that may have occurred due to muscle strain, overexertion, trauma, or injury. They correct it and once they are successful, many patients experience feeling better immediately. Many have attested to an increase in their overall health and well being after receiving upper cervical chiropractic care.
Feel free to browse for an upper cervical chiropractor using the search function here on our webpage.