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How to ease a stiff neck

A stiff neck is nothing to worry about, but it is a pain. It can be very uncomfortable and leave you feeling a little down. Any kind of pain or discomfort can effect daily life and put a damper on your mood. Neck stiffness can be a result of sleeping awkwardly, bad posture or from injury. Whatever the reason, a stiff neck can be treated at home. With a little care you can be feeling good again and go about your life with a smile.

Home remedies for a stiff neck:

Heat for pain relief

Heat is great for healing pain and body aches. The warmth takes away the pain and relaxes the area to help soothe the discomfort. A wheat bag can be heated in the microwave and draped over the neck to provide a little relief. Otherwise, a heating pad can work wonders, or a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel can be used. Using heat intermittently throughout the day can really help to ease the pain and discomfort.

Pain killers

Taking pain killers can help alleviate any pain that is caused from your stiff neck. This aids in allowing you to move your neck more freely, which can help to ease the stiffness. Regular pain killers are sufficient enough, and other home remedies can be used in conjunction with taking pain killers to give relief. Taking the edge off of the pain can help you to use other ways to lessen the stiffness and alleviate the problem.

Gentle exercise

Whilst a stiff neck is painful and uncomfortable, it can leave you wanting to keep your head in a stationary position. However, this can actually exacerbate the problem and make the neck become stiffer, prolonging the agony. The best course of action is to gently exercise the neck by rolling your head in a circular motion. Dropping your chin slowly down to your chest, rolling the head to your shoulder, with your ear almost touching your shoulder, gently roll your head back and bring it to the other shoulder. Repeat this action a few times, clockwise and counter clockwise.

Sleeping position for neck stiffness

Your stiff neck could be a result of sleeping awkwardly. Even so, it is wise to use a low, firm pillow to give the right support. Lie on your side and ensure your neck is in line with your spine. This is the most comfortable position when suffering and it actually prevents the neck from being pulled or bent in an awkward position. It may take time to adjust sleeping in this position; however, it will certainly help to improve your neck stiffness. This is a good way to sleep if you regularly suffer with neck stiffness.

When to see the doctor

In the main, neck stiffness should resolve itself with the correct self-care. However, if you are at all worried, or the symptoms are worsening rather than improving it is best to see your doctor. Other symptoms are often associated with neck stiffness which includes headaches, shoulder pain and soreness. This again is nothing to worry about, and pain killers can help alleviate these symptoms. Once the neck stiffness goes away, so should any other symptoms that are connected. You should only need to see your doctor if the pain is unbearable and you are unable to gain relief.

Neck stiffness can leave you feeling sore and make moving your head uncomfortable. This often results in you turning your body rather than just your head to look left or right. By doing this you are actually causing your neck to become stiffer which increases the pain. To help, take some pain killers, use heat on the neck to provide relief and follow gentle exercises to loosen the neck and regain movement. It is a good idea to alter how you sleep, so that your neck is in line with your body to prevent further aggravation as well as lessen the likelihood of suffering from sleeping awkwardly in the future. If you are unable to gain relief or the symptoms worsen see your doctor for further advice.