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How to Get Rid of Stiff Neck Pain

Updated on September 24, 2013
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Kink in Your Neck

You have probably experienced waking up in the morning and finding out that you can't move your neck. Right then and there, you know that your day will literally be a pain in the neck. A stiff neck can ruin your day and make simple, everyday tasks a burden. It limits your ability to move and can interfere with your work. To take some weight off your neck and relieve the pain, here are tips on how to get rid of a stiff neck.


What Causes a Stiff Neck?

People who suffer from stiff neck usually say they slept funny. That's not quite clear, is it? That's just a funny way of saying that they slept in an odd position. Your sleeping position can put too much strain on your neck, and you will feel the effects first thing in the morning. Your activities the prior day are also to blame if you have a stiff neck. Holding your head in an awkward position can lead to pain and stiffness.


6 Ways to Get Rid of Stiff Neck Pain

1. Use heat pads.

For a fast relief, use heat pads to relax the neck muscles. This speeds up the healing process and makes the pain go away. You can also hit the showers and take a hot bath. Be careful though and do not take hot showers several times a day as it can be bad for your skin.

2. Apply a cold compress.

If you don't like heat, you can try applying a cold compress instead. This reduces inflammation and relieves pain. Remember: do not apply ice directly on your skin. Wrap ice cubes first in a towel then apply it to your neck. Do this for about 15 minutes. You can also try switching between cold and heat treatments.

3. Watch your sleeping habits.

Oftentimes, you do not care about your sleeping position and just fall straight to bed. But making changes to your sleeping habits might be just what you need in order to get rid of stiff neck fast. Avoid sleeping positions which put your head in an odd position. The most common culprit here is sleeping on your stomach. Also use a comfortable pillow which elevates your head at just the right position.

4. Use painkillers and anti-inflammatories.

If you can't stand the pain or cold and heat therapies do not get the job done, you can take over-the-counter painkillers to numb the pain. It is recommended to take medication that contains anti-inflammatory properties. Two common options are ibuprofen and aspirin.

5. Watch your daily habits.

Sitting in front of the computer for too long and holding your head in an odd position can put your neck muscles under too much stress. If you frequently use a laptop, find a desk where you can position it at eye level. The same applies when reading a book, using your desktop, and doing similar activities. This way, you do not have to look down and strain your neck.

6. Stretching and massage thereapy.

Stretching can be an effective way to treat a stiff neck. However, if you do not know what you're doing and do it the wrong way, the pain might become worse. This is why it is recommended to have a massage therapist to assist you. While you're at it, it's also good to massage the neck to soothe the ailing muscles. If your stiff neck doesn't go away after three days or if the pain is too much even after trying the aforementioned steps, consult your doctor immediately. In rare cases, an orthopedic specialist or a chiropractor might be needed to check your condition and get rid of stiff neck pain.


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© 2012 Cliff Mendrez

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