Have you ever had a stiff neck? Would you like to learn how to treat this common problem? Then keep reading this article.
A stiff neck is characterized by difficulty moving or twisting the neck due to pain and discomfort. It can be accompanied by other symptoms like headache, discomfort in the shoulders or arms, stinging and unbearable pain in the neck, sleep loss due to the discomfort, etc.
More info on a stiff neck
The pain can appear from one moment in the neck and disappear just as quickly as it came on. If it’s recurring pain that doesn’t disappear after a few days or often occurs several times a month, it’s said to be a chronic case which needs to be attended to.
Why does neck pain appear? A stiff neck can be caused by a lot of things, including:
- Sprain or muscle injury
- Poor posture
- Remaining in the same position for several hours (sitting, above all)
- Poor sleep quality
- Forcing the neck to support weight or sudden movements
- Weight lifting exercises
It can occur as a consequence of more serious conditions that require medical attention. Meningitis and a herniated disc both causes a stiff neck, for example. It’s vital to not ignore the symptoms, especially if they become more intense.
Home remedies for a stiff neck
As we already mentioned, a stiff neck can be mild or intense (chronic). In the latter case, you cannot turn your head without experiencing intense pain. Some treatments that you’ll find useful if you’re suffering from this problem are:
This is the most popular home remedy. You can go to a massage therapist or ask someone at home to carefully massage your neck. For a greater effect, you can use essential oils. You don’t have to go out and buy some, you can use the ones you already have available in your home like olive or almond oil.
Just heat them a little in a double boiler or microwave. Be careful that you don’t burn your skin. The heat and movement are good for loosening muscles, whether on the neck or elsewhere on the body.
Take a few drops of oil (if you’re using essential oils, try lavender or rosemary) and apply to the affected area in circular motions with a gentle pressure. It will relax painful muscles and promote blood flow, reducing stiffness in minutes.
Applying heat to a stiff neck is an excellent way to relieve pain. You can, for example, take a hot shower and let the water run on your neck, wet a towel with boiling water and apply as a compress, or even use an electric heating pad.
When this alternative isn’t available, you can heat a blanket or something similar in the oven (be careful not to burn yourself) and place around the neck. Pillows filled with rice or seeds are useful for heating in the oven and accomplish the same function.
Taking a bath with Epsom salts is another excellent remedy for a stiff neck. This salt is rich in magnesium which promotes blood flow and has the ability to reduce muscles tension.
Fill the tub with warm water and add a handful of Epsom salts to dissolve. Immerse yourself in the water so that your neck can soak. The good news is that this remedy or technique will help you in general to be more relaxed and loose.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar offers many benefits for health. For muscle aches, it helps reduce swelling. Simply wet a cloth with vinegar and place on the neck as a compress. Another option is to rub the affected area with vinegar.
Cut a few slices of raw radish and apply to the painful area. Let work for a few minutes then rinse with warm water. It’s really calming and a refreshing and affordable remedy.
While you may not be able to move your neck, whether from pain or fear, it’s important to restore the muscle’s flexibility. Start with gentle and really slow exercises, watching out for pain.