You probably have a hectic day ahead with an array of meetings lined up at work, and you wake up with a stiff neck that threatens to thwart all your preparation and plans. We’ve all been there and done that, but the important question is: What causes a stiff neck and what can one do to prevent it from recurring?
A stiff neck can be extremely painful and debilitating. It can prevent you from turning your head without experiencing sharp pain, and the constant discomfort can make it nearly impossible to concentrate on the tasks at hand. In some cases, the pain may even extend to one or both shoulders and cause a lingering headache.
While is it most commonly caused by a strained muscle, this condition can also be due to excessive stress. At times, it can even be an early indicator of a severe spinal disorder.
If you find yourself thinking of drudging through the day despite the strain, think again! Doing so will only exacerbate the condition and cause you to miss even more work days. You need to take care of yourself and avoid strenuous activities and any jerking or sudden action involving the head and neck region.
Continue reading to find out the causes and symptoms of a stiff neck, along with preventive measures, exercises, and home remedies to fix it.
A stiff neck is characterized by a sharp, tingling pain in the neck that worsens whenever you try to turn your head. It can last for a day or more if left untreated and can keep recurring in the face of constant stress and strain.
If you’ve frequently been dealing with a stiff neck, you should take it as a wake-up call from your body telling you to reduce your load and take things a little easier.
You should also consult a doctor to check whether your stiff neck is being caused by a spinal condition and get proper treatment if needed.
However, if it is occasional, all you have to do is rest and use any one of the following home remedies and exercises to fix a stiff neck.
While you need to be extremely careful regarding your movements when you have a stiff neck, doing some light and simple neck exercises can relax and refresh your muscles, along with your strained cervical tendons.
Follow the instructions below to perform an incredibly simple and effective set of exercises that will provide relief from a stiff neck.
Regular exercise and stretching program prove effective in decreasing pain in neck and shoulder.
Perform this set every 3 to 4 hours to get relief from a stiff neck.
Repeat this exercise every 2 to 3 hours throughout the day to get relief from a stiff neck.
Heat therapy will ease out the tension from your muscles and let them relax. This will slowly alleviate the stiffness in your neck and restore mobility. To this end, you can make your own warm compress and apply it on your sore neck.
Do this 4 times throughout the day to get relief.
You’ve probably soaked in an Epsom salt bath from time to time for your overall health, but did you know that an Epsom salt soak can also help you to fix a stiff neck?
Even though it is called salt, Epsom salt is actually magnesium sulfate, a naturally occurring mineral. It is easily absorbed through the skin and will improve blood circulation in the neck, thereby relaxing the strained muscles and reducing tension.
Repeat twice a week until you get relief from the stiffness in your neck.
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar can truly be called a health elixir, as it can be used to treat a wide variety of internal and external conditions.
As far as a stiff neck is concerned, applying apple cider vinegar to the strained area can help relax the muscles and provide quick relief.
Repeat twice daily until you find relief from a stiff neck.
Alternatively, you can add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to a warm bath and soak in it for 20 to 30 minutes. Ensure that your neck is completely submerged.
Turmeric has often been called the “queen of spices.” From spicy curries to natural remedies for ailments like psoriasis, arthritis and the common cold, this spice has a wide variety of uses and health benefits.
The active compound in turmeric is curcumin, which gives this spice its characteristic yellow color and also endows it with anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
If you’ve been suffering from regular stiffness and pain in your neck, all you have to do is follow the instructions below to make highly beneficial and nutritious turmeric milk and let it heal your body from within.
Things you’ll need:
Continue drinking turmeric milk twice daily for at least 1 to 2 weeks, or until the pain and stiffness are gone entirely.
When it comes to dealing with stiffness or pain in the neck, nothing can be better than a massage. However, not just any type of massage will do. You need to pick the right ingredients as well.
Peppermint essential oil has incredibly potent anti-inflammatory properties that work to relax your tense muscles. Yet, as it is a powerful oil, you will need to dilute it in a carrier oil like extra-virgin olive oil that is easily absorbed into the skin.
Things you’ll need:
Do this twice daily until the pain and soreness are gone.
The world will end either in fire or ice and so will your neck pain. If you do not find relief using a warm compress, we suggest that you make a cold compress and apply it to the affected area. A cold compress is ideal for a stiff neck caused by an injury, as it constricts the blood vessels and numbs the area to provide pain relief.
We’ve used a ziplock bag and some ice cubes. You can also use a bag of frozen peas or a gel-based cold compress that easily conforms to the shape of your neck.
Do this once every 3 hours, and you will feel some relief after each session.
Cayenne peppers are some of the fieriest peppers on Earth. All that heat comes from the main compound capsaicin that acts as an analgesic. The peppers have potent anti-inflammatory properties as well.
You can also use cayenne pepper powder to get relief from a stiff neck. Capsaicin also increases blood circulation in the affected area, which will help relax and heal your strained muscles.
Things you’ll need:
Apply this blend twice daily until your pain and stiffness are gone.
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