Waking up with a stiff neck or a kink in your neck can ruin your entire day, and sometimes most of your week! Or sometimes it's just from being in a particular position at your desk for too long, staring at a computer screen and all of a sudden your neck is as stiff as a board. We've all been there at least once and know how utterly frustrating a kink in your neck can be, but thankfully some DIY fixes that can ease the pain of a stiff neck in moments. Here are a couple of top tips to help you get back into proper working order if you're suffering from neck stiffness!
1. Applying direct heat or cold to the affected area can relieve you of pain and also relax those neck muscles and return them to their normal state. This isn't an instant fix, as it's recommended to use a cold source on the area first (typically in 48-hours) and then apply heat after. Do NOT use cold/hot compresses on your neck while you're asleep because this could lead to an even stiffer neck since you don't have control of its position as you're sleeping.
2. Stretttttttttch those muscles! Rotating your neck, arms and shoulders will help relieve the stress built up in your upper body. This is especially true for your neck, and it's recommended to take a few moments out of your schedule to stop, breathe, and stretch. A few stretching techniques for a stiff neck are;
Slow clockwise/counterclockwise rotations of the neck, letting each ear hit their respective shoulder and your chin touching your chest five times. (If this exercise causes too much discomfort, leave out the clockwise/counterclockwise motions and move your head slowly from side to side - letting your ears hit your shoulders).
Rotate your shoulders backward and down as well as squeezing your shoulder blades together roughly ten times.
Push your head gently back into a headrest or your hands and hold the position, straightening out your neck, for 30 seconds.
3. Don't stop moving! It's hard to want to move when you have a kink in your neck; most want to lie down and pray it goes away, but the smart thing to do is keep moving. Avoid any jerking reactions or moving too fast, ease into the movements and let your muscles strengthen again.
4. Over the counter pain relievers is a huge help. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are fast acting pain relievers that can numb the pain and make it easier to get through your day. On top of the other steps given, following the recommended dose of the over the counter pain reliever will help you recover quicker and more comfortably.
So the next time you're thinking about picking up a neck brace to work to keep the pain from taking over, just follow these steps to get yourself back on track. Stretching while at your desk, even when your neck isn't sore, is an excellent way to keep the blood flowing and will guarantee no stiffness while you sit. That way you can prevent having to go through any of the other helpful steps listed here!
A relaxing massage is also a great way to relieve pain from your neck and anywhere else. Schedule a massage with Kristin Churchill today!