and pain, heat aids muscle relaxation and blood flow. Ibuprofen, an over-the-counter pain medicine, can also aid in easing discomfort and swelling.
Gentle stretches and massages can help relax tight muscles and increase neck mobility. It is crucial to get in touch with a medical professional for additional assessment if your symptoms intensify or continue to persist.
Neck Stretches to Relieve Stiffness
Proper stretching and manipulation are essential to achieving relief from a stiff neck. The neck muscles can be gently stretched by performing gentle range-of-motion movements from ear to ear, up and down, and side to side.
Here are some other targeted stretches you can perform in the vehicle or at your desk to assist you in avoiding getting a stiff neck:
- Ten times, roll your shoulders down and back.
- Ten times, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Put your hands or the headrest of your automobile behind your head and hold for 30 seconds.
- Ten times each on each side, bring your ear to your shoulder.
Neck Care for Yourself
There are numerous options available to people on their own to start treating a stiff neck. Typical self-care techniques include:
- Rest. Resting for one or two days allows injured muscles and tissues to start healing, which reduces stiffness and potential muscular spasms. For instance, a swimmer may want to refrain from doing specific swim strokes that require a lot of head twisting for a few days.
However, it is advised to keep resting for one or two days since prolonged inactivity can cause muscle weakness. Weak muscles find it difficult to support the neck and head appropriately.
- Heat or Cold Therapy. By lowering local inflammation, cold therapy and ice packs can ease most types of neck stiffness. The most effective time to apply ice to reduce inflammation is typically the initial 24 to 48 hours of a painful flare-up. Heat therapy for the neck helps increase blood flow, which promotes a more favorable healing environment. While some patients enjoy the heat, others prefer ice. Both can be applied interchangeably.
- Aerobic Activity With Little Effect. Along with stretching, low-impact aerobic exercise, like walking, is frequently beneficial for easing any stiffness. Walking helps the spine's soft tissues receive oxygen, which facilitates healing even if it does not immediately affect the neck.
Reduce Your Risk Of Developing A Stiff Neck
- Maintain Proper Posture. Developing the practice of always standing up straight will help you avoid aches and pains in the long run.
Some examples include arranging a workplace in an ergonomically sound manner, lifting heavy objects using the legs instead of the back, and using an ergonomic pillow while sleeping on one's back or side.
The spine can remain naturally aligned, and neck strain can be reduced by maintaining good posture throughout the day.
- Keep Your Neck Flexible and Strong. Strong and flexible neck muscles are better equipped to maintain appropriate posture and are less likely to spasm and become painful. A physical therapist or another medical expert can work with a patient to create a physical therapy regimen that includes neck stretches and exercises.
An individual may typically maintain neck strength and flexibility by continuing with activities and stretches at home after discovering what works for them.
- Stay Hydrated. Staying hydrated will help keep your muscles healthy and lubricated, essential for avoiding stiffness. Inadequate hydration can cause a person to experience fatigue more quickly and painful muscle spasms in the neck and back. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Follow Up With Your Physician. If a person's neck stiffness does not improve with home care, it can be an indication of a medical ailment that needs attention. It is always best to follow up with a doctor to ensure the neck pain is caused by routine muscle strain and not something more serious.
Finally, regular check-ups with a doctor can help diagnose and treat any conditions that could cause neck pain in the future.
Do you have concerns about neck pain relief? Reach out to Peak Potential Family Chiropractor for advice. We'll talk about your options, including your insurance information! Seek help from a chiropractor in Houston today!