Stiff neck remedies

stiff neck remedies photo.Stiff neck remedies depend on the cause

We have all suffered the consequences of a stiff neck at one time or another as a result of sleeping at an odd angle, from overuse or as a result of an injury so we can all relate to the inconvenience of having a stiff neck and the mobility issues that arise. When experiencing a stiff neck we want relief fast, we want it to be effective, long-lasting and if possible we would like it to be inexpensive.  Remedies for stiff neck can vary and treatment will depend on the cause of the stiff neck. There are many causes for a neck being stiff so it is important to seek medical attention to determine the cause especially when the condition is severe, persists after home treatment, or if an injury occurred to the neck or head region.

Possible causes

Although we might not even remember how our neck became stiff there are many common reasons for having a stiff neck including holding the head in a forward position while watching TV, while reading or while working. If your pillow is too flat, or too high or does not support your head adequately especially while sleeping on your stomach; the neck can be twisted or bent in an odd angle while you sleep causing you to wake experiencing a stiff neck. Those of us assuming the “thinker’s pose” with forehead resting on an upright fist or arm can also experience stiff neck. Believe it or not stress can cause us to tense neck muscles causing them to tighten and become stiff and painful.

A stiff neck can also result from medical conditions such as arthritis, the flu, as a symptom of a heart attack or from a condition called torticollis, which is a severe muscle contraction on just one side of the neck that causes the head to tilt to that side.

When a stiff neck is the result of an injury it is very important that the person suffering from it seek medical treatment immediately because there may be serious damage to the spinal cord or other head trauma that requires quick medical treatment to avoid worsening condition.

Stiff neck remedies for postural causes

If you wake up with a stiff neck after sleeping awkwardly on the couch all night or after a night of sleeping at an odd angle or with a pillow that is too high or too flat you may try the heat remedies that have been useful for treating stiff necks when improper posture is to blame:

Heat does wonders to loosen up stiff muscles. Applying heat to the area where you are experiencing the stiffness by using a hot water bottle wrapped in a thin cloth or a warm, moist towel can bring relief. Taking a hot shower can also help loosen up those stiffened neck muscles.

If you suspect that stress may be the culprit you can start to feel relief from your stiff neck when you actively strive to follow relaxation techniques, listen to soothing music or relax in a hot bubble bath. You can also try progressive relaxation or slow breathing exercises.

Stiff neck remedies when arthritis is the cause

When the cause of your stiff neck is arthritis you are most likely also experiencing pain in the neck region. As we age we are more likely to encounter this problem and may even be diagnosed with cervical spondylosis, also called osteoarthritis of the neck or cervical osteoarthritis. Your doctor may prescribe a cervical collar to limit the movement of your neck for a specific period of time and also recommend that you use Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to reduce the pain and help relieve any swelling you may be experiencing. Physical therapy may also bring relief as well as using ice therapy and practicing exercises that are designed to improve your posture because poor posture can add to your neck problems when you have arthritis. Chiropractic manipulation may also help relieve the pain and neck stiffness and in severe cases steroid injections may be the answer.

Stiff neck remedies when the flu is to blame for your symptoms

We all ache all over when we have the flu but some of us can experience a stiff neck along with the other symptoms of the flu, which can improve when we rest, relax or treat ourselves with a soak in a hot tub and also by taking acetaminophen for any pain or discomfort.

Stiff neck remedies when torticollis is the cause

The treatment plan will typically involve applying heat to the affected region of the neck, traction applied to the cervical spine area that will help to relieve the muscle spasms and also medications including baclofen or an injection of a botulinum toxin to bring temporary relief. These injections may have to be repeated every three months. If it is discovered that the torticollis is the result of a dislocated vertebrae surgery may be necessary.

Stiff neck warning signs

Individuals can be experiencing a stiff neck as a result of a disease or even a disorder because the neck region contains vertebrae, discs, nerves, lymph glands, other structures and the thyroid, parathyroid glands, as well as the esophagus, larynx and trachea are located in the neck area; so many things that can contribute to or be involved somehow in the symptom of neck stiffness. Neck stiffness can even be a symptom of a serious medical condition called meningitis when accompanied by fever and headache. Individuals experiencing a heart attack have also complained of a stiff neck and in this case it would be imperative to seek immediate medical care especially if the stiff neck is in combination with other symptoms of a heart attack such as pressure or tightness in the chest region, a squeezing or aching sensation in your arms that may spread to your neck or jaw.

It is always wise to consult with a medical professional when the cause of your still neck is unknown, is chronic, is combined with other symptoms such as pain, fever or headache or when you have recently experience head trauma as a result of an accident or sports injury. If you have tried home remedies such as self-medication with over-the-counter pain meds, icing, or heat treatment with no improvement in the symptoms it is time to seek medical advice. Neck stiffness can be the only symptom that occurs after sleeping in an odd position or it can be one of multiple symptoms that might signal the presence of disease, a disorder or severe injury. If you are unsure, have any doubts about how to treat your stiff neck or if the stiff neck is one of many symptoms it is best to error on the side of caution and seek medical treatment.

Remember that this or any other website cannot diagnose or treat a medical condition.

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