How to Cure a Stiff Neck (at Least Temporarily)
August 24, 2016 • By
Knowing how to cure a stiff neck first requires that you identify the cause of your discomfort. Did you turn your head too quickly while deflecting a seagull attack? Wake up contorted on sad old bedding? Perhaps you were rear-ended in your golf cart… If it’s obvious, just avoid those circumstances!
The causes of a stiff neck are often just a bit of bad luck and the discomfort only temporary. If your stiff neck is persistent pain that isn’t obviously associated with any recent event, you might need some professional advice from a doctor.
Whatever the cause, a stiff neck can be really unpleasant and some quick relief is probably what you’re looking for.
Fortunately the ways to temporarily cure neck pain are reasonably consistent and simple.
How to Cure a Stiff Neck:
1. Give Your Neck a Break
Your big ol’ head weighs about 20 lb. That’s a considerable amount of weight that your poor neck has to support all day. As with many ailments, rest is often the best remedy. Give yourself a little time off: lie down. Make sure your head in a neutral position and that you’ve got a comfortable pillow.
2. Avoid Stressful Situations (and Clear Your Mind)
Are you worried that the government will discover you haven’t paid enough taxes? Nervous about the inevitable earthquake? Forget your problems with entertainment: turn on the tv and relax.
3. Ice Ice Baby
Using ice to cool the affected area can reduce discomfort for some, but it can worsen a serious issue. If the pain intensifies, remove the ice immediately.
4. Ask for a Massage
Do you have a considerate friend who is willing to give you a neck massage? Cash in! Even if the relief is only temporary, a good massage usually makes life a little brighter in the moment!
5. Apply a Hot Compress
A damp warm towel (use a microwave to heat it) can work to provide relief to a stiff neck. Remember that heat can make inflammation worse, so if your symptoms intensify, remove the it!
5. Try Over the Counter Pain Medication
Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen can go a long way to providing temporary pain relief. Please follow the directions on the packaging!
6. Warm Up and Stretch Your Neck
It’s always a good idea to take a hot shower or use a hot compress before stretching to avoid injuring yourself. The key is to not overdo it! Here’s 4 of the simpler neck stretches recommended by WebMD:
- Slowly turn your head to the left. With your left hand, apply very light tension on your chin so that your head turns slightly more. Hold for 20 seconds and return your head slowly to center. Repeat on the right side.
- Tilt your head to the left and try to touch your left ear to your shoulder. With your left hand, apply light pressure on your temple. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the right side.
- Bend your head forward and try to touch your chin to your chest. Relax the shoulders as you do this. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and a pillow under your head and neck for support. Nod your head forward gently, as though you were saying “yes.” Hold the position for 10 seconds and then relax. Repeat 10 times.
Consistent Pain in the Neck?
Remember, these are just temporary solutions to neck pain from sleeping incorrectly! If you’re recovering from a seagull attack, try all of the above. Hopefully you get some relief. But if you’re experiencing neck pain from sleeping on a consistent basis, do something that addresses the root of the issue(s) rather than just treating the symptoms.