Stiff neck treatment – how to relieve your stiff neck

stiff neck treatmentStiff neck treatment – how to relieve your stiff neck

The stiff neck treatments mentioned below may help you relieve a stiff and sore neck. Please bookmark this page for future reference.

1. Place a warm water bottle or heating pad on your stiff neck for 20 minutes every one hour until the stiffness lessens or disappears.

2. You can apply a pain relief ointment prescribed by your doctor or purchased over the counter. You can also massage your neck while applying the ointment to improve blood circulation in those areas.

3. A qualified massage therapist can help you a lot by providing a good massage that would ease your pressure points in your neck, back and spine.  Alternatively, a good home neck massager (this is the one I have and I love it!) can provide relief and is often more convenient until you can get a massage scheduled!

4. If the stiffness is severe enough, ask your doctor to prescribe something to relieve the pain.  Unfortunately pain seems to get compounded – it hurts and you tense up and it hurts more.  Sometimes you need to just break the cycle.

5. If it’s a strong or sudden pain then please consult your doctor as soon as possible. If you have experienced neck pain before then you should know when you should seek medical advice.

6. Use the right pillow that supports your neck and suits you.  The same pillow will not work for everyone!  You have to experiment to find the one that will give you the right support and place your neck at the right angle.  Sometimes I do best sleeping on my back with no pillow, especially if I’m traveling and the available pillow is not comfortable.  When I travel, I always try to take along my favorite little down travel pillow, though.  I can kind of mush it and adjust it to work whether I’m sleeping on my side or my back.  It’s not cheap but the quality is amazing and it’s totally worth it for me.

7. Sleep on a good mattress as it provides adequate support to your back and neck.  Again, the same mattress won’t work for everyone.  I particularly love memory foam, and a memory foam mattress topper is a more economical way to improve your existing mattress without having to buy a new one.  A 3″ topper is plenty, and you will be rewarded not only with less pain, but with better sleep.  The only problem is that you will find it much harder to get out of bed in the mornings!

8. If you sit and work in front of the computer for too long then I would advise you to take a break of 10 minutes every 50 minutes.  It not only reduces stiffness of your neck but also gets your body and mind rejuvenated. You can take a brisk walk for 10 minutes to increase your heart rate.  If you have to make phone calls for work, get up and walk around the room while you are on the phone.

9. Exercises for Stiff neck muscles – Ideally, start with heat therapy (see recommendation #1 above!).   It really helps increase the effectiveness of any exercises you do by loosening and relaxing the muscles (ever heard of bikram or hot yoga? the heat really helps). Now stretch your neck. Place one hand under your chin and the other one at the base of your skull and lift your head slowly. Now using your right hand and arm reach over your head and place your hand about behind the left ear, pull it to stretch to one side.  Then use your left hand and arm to stretch your head to the other side. Wait for 5 seconds between each stretch. Now bring back your head to its initial position. Do this 5 to 8 times and then relax.

10. Get in the bathtub!   You can use essential oils such as rosemary, juniper, lavender, pine or nutmeg rejuvenate your entire body.

11. Increase your fluid intake – this is really important for muscle health (and for your whole body health!).

12. Arnica as a homeopathic remedy that can help with all kinds of aches and pains.  You can use either tablets or a gel that you rub into your skin.

13. There are acupuncture points used specifically for a stiff neck by professionals. Acupressure has known to provide relief from severe neck pain and stiffness.  Acupuncture can also be very helpful, I have used acupuncture effectively many times to manage my chronic pain.

14. Hydrotherapy is also helpful for stiff neck.  If you have access to a really good jacuzzi, take advantage of it.

15.  Soaking your body with epsom salts by taking an epsom salt bath can relax your neck.  I buy quality epsom salts in bulk for this purpose.  Add 2 1/2 cups of epsom salts to a warm bath full of water and you should soak your neck in it for 15 – 20 minutes, so that your skin can absorb the magnesium content in the epsom salt.

16. A great exercise for a tense and stiff neck is squeezing your shoulders up to your ear and holding that position for 15 seconds and then releasing your shoulders. You can do this 7 – 10 times and you would feel much better. You can do this anytime, anywhere.  I highly recommend doing this multiple times during the day, especially if you spend a lot of time working at a desk or computer.

17. Relax yourself by sitting or lying down with your eyes closed. If you are experiencing acute pain, do this every 3 hours for at least 30 minutes for your neck muscles to relieve tension and de-stress themselves.  Learning how to do breathing and progressive relaxation exercises has really helped me to reduce my overall level of pain.  Tension and stress in the muscles just compound pain.  This is a natural and drug free way to help with a stiff neck.

18. Good posture, regular exercise, and keeping your muscles flexible (doing yoga regularly is a great way to do this) also plays a major role in keeping your neck, back and spine healthy.

I hope you will find relief from these strategies.  Please leave a comment below with your results, or any other techniques or treatments you have used to treat a stiff neck!

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