Nowadays, most people are sitting in front of the computer all day, and when they aren’t, they spend the rest of the time on their phones. While they may feel just a small pain at first, the reality is that the pain can end up being more and more challenging. What’s important to realize is that neck pain comes from the spinal cord, and it’s generated by a change in the nerve signals. What a lot of people don’t know is that the neck is very susceptible to any signs of tightness, strains or stiffness. Usually, this is caused by the mobility and range of motion as well as the role it plays during your day to day life. If you are interested in reading more about dealing with a stiff neck, keep reading.
5 Major Causes of a Stiff Neck
There are 5 major causes of stiff neck problems, as you can see below:
- Muscle strains or soft tissue sprains tend to create stiff neck problems. If you have the same position for multiple hours, you will notice that the levator scapulae (see below) will end up being damaged and thus the nerves on your cervical spine will be affected.
- Excessive stress and anxiety can lead to neck tension as well. This is why it is extremely important to research and find ways to relieve some of the stress you might be feeling, otherwise you will end up dealing with major issues down the road.
- Keeping your neck in an abnormal position for a prolonged amount of time. Sitting at the computer or talking/using the phone is another way to end up with a stiff neck. Keep both to short intervals if possible.
- Sudden impacts or falls that end up pushing your head to the side. For example, from intense sports injuries.
- Repetitevely turning your head side to side during an activity. This includes swimming, crawling and so on. The faster you turn your head from side to side, the more you may deal with the stiffness in the long run.
As you can see, there are many things you might be doing that can cause stiffness in your neck. Sometimes it’s easy to tell what’s causing it, sometimes it isn’t. When you do feel it coming on, try to write down what you were doing that day and the day before.
Tips on how to deal with Stiff neck
- A good way to eliminate stiffness in your neck is to use either a hot or cold treatment. There are hot pillows that you can use right on your neck, and those will help you quite a lot. Hot towels or ice packs will be very good too. The idea is to use these cold or ice packs to ease the pressure on your neck, as it will help you quite a bit.
- Stretches will also relieve your stiff neck problems too. Nodding your head forward and backward is a very good option, and it’s not that hard to do either. But it can provide some impressive results, so try to keep that in mind.
- Modify your sleeping habits and set-up. For example, choose a pillow that offers good support for your neck. You want to feel very comfortable when you go to sleep. Any neck pain will just accelerate in time, so try to consider that. Having a firm mattress will help quite a lot in this regard.
- Massage your neck often and don’t be afraid of using any alternative therapies like acupuncture. It can still work very well for you; the idea is to adapt this as much as you can to your own lifestyle. Once you do that, it can work better than you would imagine, so consider that.
- Magnesium supplements has been known to help lower neck stiffness. Chinese skin scraping or Gua Sha is also a good idea if you want to eliminate the pain. Even using Epsom salts in a warm water bath can help. The idea is to check these out and see which option works for you in the end.
We hope that this info helps you get some relief. But remember, the most important thing you need to do is NOT ignore the pain. If it persists more than a few days, we highly recommend that you consult your doctor to get an assessment. One more thing, if you try one suggestion and it doesn’t help you, move onto another one. What works for one person may not work for the next. If you have experience dealing with neck stiffness and have some recommendations, we would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below. Until next time!
Disclaimer: We are not medical practitioners here at Cold and Hot Therapy Shop. The information on how dealing with a stiff neck that we mentioned in today’s article was for informational purposes only. You should always consult a doctor to get a proper diagnosis.