Nobody wants to take up with a stiff neck. No matter how you’ve slept the night before, you may be someone that finds themselves waking up with a stiff neck a lot of the time. You turn your head and before you know it the pain has moved from your neck to your back.
If this is you, then it may be the result of a knot having formed in your neck during the night. While it may just begin as an annoyance, it can exacerbate throughout the day to affect you in everything that you do.
When it comes to looking for effective remedies, you want something that’s going to work, but that’s also sensitive to this vulnerable area of the body.
Quick Stiff Neck Remedies You Can Try
Remember, if you consistently suffer from a stiff neck, it’s always recommended to consult your healthcare professional about the right care. Until then, here are a few quick remedies you can try.
1. Apply Cold Or Heat
While applying cold and heat are both useful, there’s actually an order in which you should do them. This means that you should always use cold before heat. This is because heat can actually work to tighten or compress your muscles, which will make cold therapy virtually ineffective when it’s applied.
Lactic acid buildup is reduced when you apply cold therapy. It can fight inflammation, and it also numbs the area, therefore numbing any pain or discomfort as well. So, once you’ve cooled the problem area down with some cold therapy, try applying some heat to it.
Start your stiff neck remedy by applying a bag of cold peas covered by a tea towel for approximately twenty minutes. After this, hop in the shower, the bath or just use a hot water bottle for another twenty minutes to the affected area.
Repeat this process as many times a day as you need.
2. Stretch it and Rub it
There are a few things you can use to rub the sore spot in your neck. From a tennis ball to the edge of a chair and even your hand, there are a lot of items around the home that can be used to rub the knot in your neck.
Rub the knot both completely up and down, so both right up into your neck and then back down into your back. Always rub a larger area than you think is affected by it.
As you’re rubbing the area, turn your head away as far from the spot as possible. The more you’re stretching the sore spot at the same time, the more effective the rubbing is going to be. Try nodding your head from side to side and up and down as well, to really get the muscle moving again.
Rub and stretch your neck in this way as many times a day as it takes not to feel stiff again.
3. Use Oils and Herbs
As well as the above methods, there are some great homeopathic oils and herbs that can help alleviate stiffness in your neck. Let’s take a look at a few of these.
You can combine peppermint oil with beeswax or even coconut oil – this helps to dilute it a little bit. This combination is best applied to your neck warm, so make sure to warm it up first.
Turmeric is one of nature’s greatest anti-inflammatories, so it’s no wonder that it’s going to be effective at reducing stiffness in your neck. Always remember to take turmeric with black pepper – this will help it absorb a lot more smoothly.
This natural element is found in a lot of spices, especially chili peppers. Capsaicin can work against stiffness and inflammation by softly numbing the nerve endings that are affected.
menthol is a topical application that can have an incredibly cooling and soothing effect on sore and stiff muscles.
Camphor can not only reduce swelling, but it can also help to increase blood circulation in the affected area, which causes natural warming of your neck and reduction in stiffness.
So, How do You Avoid a Sore Neck?
One of the easiest pieces of advice to give when trying to avoid a sore neck is simply this: sleep better. This means choosing a sleeping position that’s going to promote alignment of the neck and spine, preventing both from becoming stiff and sore.
The best ways to sleep for this are either on your side or your back. Neck pain can often come about as a result of sleeping on your stomach, as this awkward position can put your spine out of alignment. While side sleeping is a good option, sleeping on your back is definitely the best position to be in.
Another way to reduce stiffness in your neck while you sleep is to sleep with a small pillow. If you sleep with a pillow that’s too large, it can create awkward positions and angles for your spine, neck, and shoulders, which can result in tightness and stiffness.
If you work long hours at the office and are spending a lot of this time in an office chair, you may be causing unnecessary stiffness in your neck and shoulders.
When sitting in one position for a long time, try keeping your back nice and straight, your feet flat on the floor, and try to find a nice cushion that contours with your posture. It’s also important to find time during the day to move around and stretch your back, neck, and shoulders.
When thinking about your neck being stiff, how stressed are you? Being stressed can play a big part in stiff muscles.
To reduce the amount of stress you’re dealing with, try taking time out to relax, exercise and find other ways to wind down and reduce general stress in your life.