A stiff neck can be a frustrating problem. Something as simple as watching TV or using the computer can lead to neck pain. Fortunately, there are several home remedies you can implement today to reduce your stiff neck symptoms.
What Causes a Stiff Neck?
In order to relieve symptoms of a stiff neck or neck pain, it helps to understand what causes these problems in the first place.
Typically, a stiff neck is the result of muscles weakening over time from poor posture or misuse. Many people get a stiff neck after staring at a computer monitor all day, for example. Others get it after driving for a long period of time, or after performing a repetitive head motion dozens of times per day – like turning your head to the left or right.
When left uncorrected over time, certain neck movements can cause your neck muscles to become weak. When you repeatedly use one muscle in your neck for most of your movement, it causes the other neck muscles to become weaker with lack of use.
When one neck muscle becomes weak, the joint no longer moves smoothly because it’s out of place. A joint might catch on something, pulling a muscle or hitting a nerve in a funny way. This can lead to instant pain and spasms.
As our modern lives have become more sedentary over time, neck problems have become more common. In some cases, your neck pain and stiffness can be treated with basic chiropractic care. In other cases, your neck issue requires medical treatment from a chiropractor or specialist.
How to Stretch your Neck to Relieve Stiffness and Pain
A lot of neck pain is caused by prolonged time spent in a hunched over position. You might sit hunched over a laptop, for example. Or, you might keep your head positioned too far forward when driving.
If you are engaged in an activity that involves stressing your neck, then you may want to stretch to relieve stiffness and pain. Some effective stretches include:
- Roll your shoulders backwards and down 10 times
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together 10 times
- Roll your ear towards your shoulder 10 times on each side
- Push your head back against your car headrest or hands and gently apply pressure, holding the pose for 30 seconds
Build a Better Workspace to Help With Neck Pain
A significant amount of neck pain and stiffness is caused by an improperly designed workspace. Some people spend 8 to 10 hours a day staring down at a computer screen, creating unnecessary stress on the neck. Solving your neck pain and stiffness may be as simple as creating a more ergonomic workspace:
- Adjust your chair into a comfortable position, keeping your feet flat on the floor and your knees lower than your hips
- Adjust your monitor so that the top of the screen is at your eye level when staring straight ahead
- Practice ergonomic posture when sitting, making a conscious effort to keep your back straight and your arms level to the desk
- Stand up to stretch and move every hour
Whether you’re driving, using a smartphone, or typing on a computer, taking breaks is a crucial way to relieve neck stiffness:
- Avoid driving for long periods of time; be sure to pull over and take a break, spending 5 minutes to stretch your neck, back, and body
- Avoid the temptation to spend hours staring down at your smartphone; or, if you need to stare at your phone for a long period of time, try holding it at eye level to prevent problems with your neck
- Set an alarm every 20 to 30 minutes as a reminder to get up and stretch away from your office chair or computer
Change your Sleep Position
Some people have neck pain and stiffness because of poor sleeping posture. The way you sleep at night can have a significant effect on our neck. Sleeping on your side or your back puts less strain on your neck than sleeping on your stomach, for example.
Try adjusting your sleeping posture to see if it relieves neck pain and stiffness. Some people have dealt with neck pain and stiffness for years, only to buy a new pillow and discover immediate relief.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Renew Chiropractic in Lakewood, CO to Discover Relief from Neck Pain and Stiffness
If you are dealing with a stiff neck or neck pain in Denver, Colorado, then consider scheduling a free consultation with Renew Chiropractic.
Renew Chiropractic is conveniently located near the Belmar Shopping Center at Wadsworth and Alameda in Lakewood. Call 720-493-5885 to schedule a free consultation for chiropractic care today. Dr. Jason Jumper and his team will work hard to identify the root cause of your neck problem. Then, they’ll implement proven strategies to provide effective, long-term relief from your neck pain and stiffness.