There can be few greater nuisances than a stiff neck. Whether it be from some form of physical activity or simply waking up sore, a stiff neck can put a damper on any day. A stiff neck can lead to decreased productivity at work, limit your ability to perform athletic motions, or even make everyday actions that you would normally take joy in a pain in- well, the neck!
Luckily, there are numerous methods you can try that can help alleviate a stiff or sore neck.
The first option you should try is a massage. Massage is a fast way to relieve muscle tension and can provide immediate results. While a massage therapist will get you the best results, in a pinch you can consider doing this yourself until you’re able to make an appointment. Tilt your head forward slightly and clasp the back of your neck with both hands. Apply pressure and make circular motions covering the stiff area continuing for several minutes. Repeat as necessary.
After massage, stretching is another great and immediate way to loosen up your neck.
Gently tilt your chin toward your chest and allow it hang loose for 5-10 second then return it to an upright position. Repeat this motion 5-10 times then do the same thing tilting your head back. Next, stretch your neck from side to side by gently pulling your head so your ear folds toward your shoulder holding for a stretch again. Do this on both sides for the same number of reps and repetitions.
It should be noted that when stretching your neck, you should avoid performing “neck circles” or rotating your neck in a 360 degree motion. This can actually aggravate your stiffness and lead to further injury.
If you’ve tried massage and stretching and still are feeling stiff, applying heat is another simple home remedy that can help get you temporary, but immediate, relief. Simply apply a heat pack to the stiff area or soak a towel in warm water and wrap it around your neck.
If none of the above suggestions are effective or you’d really like to banish that stiff neck even further, an Epsom Salt bath is not only good for the skin, but can help relieve muscle tension. Pour two cups of Epsom Salt into a warm bath and soak for twenty minutes. The magnesium that is absorbed through your skin will help relax your muscles and relieve stiffness.
If you’re constantly waking up with a sore neck, you may want to invest in a new pillow that will provide proper support and prevent your head from flopping into compromising positions while you sleep.
If neck pain or stiffness persists after all of this, a visit to Dynamic Physiotherapy will be in order! Contact our helpful staff today and feel the difference we can make.