The root cause of a stiff or hardened neck is a debilitating pain in the neck muscles due to a patient’s age or because of poor body posture. Research suggests that around 70-80% of Americans face the issue of neck pain at some point in their lives. Neck pain predominantly impacts your daily routines and also causes discomfort while working. Hence, we will talk about a couple of reasons behind a stiff neck and the measures which help provide relief from neck pain.
Causes of neck pain
Numerous circumstances can cause neck pain. It’s imperative that you consult a qualified specialist to have the problem examined so that you can get to the root of the problem. When you know the cause of the pain, it’ll be easier to treat it. Some reasons for neck pain are as follows:
- Poor working posture while working on a PC or laptop. Sitting for long hours leads to bad posture.
- Neck strain or different types of neck injuries
- Common diseases or infections that may result in swollen lymph nodes
- Stress as it can cause pressure in the neck region
- Squeezed nerves
- Degenerative disk problem
- An uncomfortable sleeping position
Measures to treat neck pain
If neck pain persists due to bad posture, sleeping in an uncomfortable position or due to any pressure while exercising, you will not need serious medical attention. Try the methods listed below to get instant relief from neck pain:
- Use the perfect pillow
If you are facing this problem due to your sleeping habits, then it is best to change your pillow and get a new one that offers excellent support to your neck while sleeping.
Make use of a feather or memory foam pillow which provides a contouring effect to your head while sleeping. Avoid using high and heavy pillows. Ensure that your head and neck are properly aligned to lower the risk of neck pain due to poor sleeping posture.
- Consider hydrotherapy/water therapy or exercise
Hydrotherapy exercises can provide relief from neck pain, especially if you have osteoarthritis. Water exercises offer a gentle and soothing effect to your neck, and it enhances your range of motion as well. Thus, this method is better and more useful than aerobics.
- Try cold or warm therapy
Many people are confused about whether they should apply ice or warmth to ease the pain. Ice is better for wounds, while warmth is perfect for muscle sprains or fits. If you’ve pulled a muscle in your neck, you can apply a hot bag to your neck after the swelling has gone down. If your neck hurts due to injuries like whiplash, then you must try ice therapy.
- Try acupuncture therapy
Acupuncture is a traditional medicinal system that is said to provide relief from pain. It involves applying pressure through the use of thin needles on specific body points, depending on where one feels the pain.
It is an effective way which helps ease the pain. However, it is advisable to get this procedure done under the guidance of acupuncture professionals. The effectiveness of it also depends upon the skills of the professional.
- Massage your neck gently
You can massage your neck to get relief from neck pain. If you are dealing with a stiff neck, it can also help improve the agility. You can try massaging your neck gently as it will help relieve any tension or stress and offer you instant relief.
At the same time, regular massages will keep your joints agile, which will diminish the possibility of pulling or stressing your muscles in the future.
- Try gentle stretches
Regular stretching helps to ease out your neck’s stiffness and also helps your neck get back to its original state. Ensure that you only avail of medical assistance from a professional and qualified therapist who can guide you on proper stretching methods.
- Take help from a chiropractic professional
If you do not get any relief from all the measures mentioned above, then you can consider taking assistance from qualified chiropractic professionals. He or she will guide you on the right methods to ease neck pain, which will surely offer you relief. It is recommended to try a chiropractic service after getting a referral from your friends or family members as there are many practitioners out there. Thus, you can select the best one for your needs based on the advice of your close ones.
If the neck pain persists even after trying the alternatives mentioned above, you should not delay any further and seek medical help immediately.