What causes stiffness in the neck?
Neck stiffness is usually associated with weakness from long periods of use and results in neck muscle tension, even headaches. For example, sitting at a desk or working and leaning over for long periods will aggravate the neck musculature. The muscles become inflamed, and tight as a result. Trauma, such as a sprain and / or strain can result from a motor vehicle accident, sports, or even going to the gym and over doing it.
6 Tips to Combat Neck Pain and Stiffnes
1 Keep yourself hydratedDrinking lots of water during the day is vital to ensure your body is well hydrated. Remember, if you are properly hydrated, the discs (spongy structures) between the vertebrae in your neck will retain a healthy amount of fluid, making them stronger and more flexible when moving. You need to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day to remain hydrated. In fact, staying hydrated prevents deterioration of the cervical discs and lessens the episodes of having neck pain.
2 Hold your mobile phone properlyUsing your neck to hold your mobile phone could lead to muscle strain. Aside from that, other habits that will stress the neck are texting or browsing the internet. Some stiff neck remedies to prevent pain or tight muscles while using a mobile device include:
• Use hands-free devices to answer or make calls
• If you need to text or browse, it’s better hold the mobile phone at a high angle to prevent your neck from looking down.
• Do neck stretching between of long periods of work.
3 Consult a chiropractorChiropractic care is considered an effective treatment for different types of pain and illnesses. Here are some signs that will tell you if you should book an appointment with a chiropractor:
• The neck pain or stiffness has been there for days and hasn’t improved.
• You are in deep, agonizing pain whenever you turn your head.
• Over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t helping in reducing the neck pain or stiffness.
• You feel numb in your hands and wrists.
• Your sore neck started after a recent car accident.
• Stiff muscles in the neck occur when waking in the morning and worsen throughout the day.
4 Try massage therapy treatmentMassage therapy can focus on your trigger points to help release tension in the areas where pain is intense, such as the neck. Trigger point massage is designed to treat the source of pain through the use of isolation pressure and release. It is recognized as effective stiff neck treatment to control pain and other forms of chronic injuries.
5 Perform exercises involving neck stretchesExercises that involve stretching the neck could improve the flexibility and strength of this area. One of the recommended forms of neck exercises is the chin tuck exercise to prevent tightness.
6 Maintain a good posturePoor posture could strain the muscles and joints that support your neck and eventually lead to further harm or injury. Avoid slanting your neck because any inch you compel the head to slant forward could add ten pounds of weight in the upper back muscles and neck. So, imagine if you slant the head forward at 5 inches distance, this is already 50 pounds of force. The best position is keep your chin tucked in to prevent incidence of neck strain leading to debilitating pain or muscle stiffness.
The stiffness in the neck may eventually subside, but if pain worsens or never disappears, there could be underlying health problems causing this condition. Some common causes of stiffness in the neck that may need immediate medical attention include cervical spine problems, spinal stenosis, cervical disc disorder, and infection. Consult your doctor if your pain persists.
Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain and Stiffness
Regular visits to a chiropractor can help you reach your desired goals to effectively manage muscle pain and reduce occurrences for long-term relief.
Cervical manipulation is usually performed to the joints of the neck using only noninvasive hands-on pressure. The objective of a neck adjustment is to improve spine mobility and restore range of motion. Patients who undergo chiropractic treatment will notice an improvement in their neck movement when turning or tilting the head, as well as decreased pain, swelling and/or stiffness.
In addition to manipulation Dr. Kaster offers:
- Traction/Spinal Decompression Therapy for neck injuries that are the result of disc herniations or nerve root impingements.
- Physiotherapy including ultrasound, high volt, and interferential current help to reduce tension and inflammation.
- Massage therapy to help with tension, myofascial release, taping, and rock blade technique to reduce scar tissue and adhesions.