How to Get Rid of a Stiff Neck? : Working all day on your computer or staring down at your smartphone for hours always gives us a stiff neck. In fact, in the past three months, nearly 20% of people have experienced neck pain, as reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s how common it is, and pretty much why it is always taken for granted.
Typically, a stiff neck is the result of muscles that weaken over time due to misused or poor posture. Looking down at your computer screen all day can overstretch and stress the muscles around the neck joints. Looking at your smartphone or driving for long periods will also have the same effect.
As much as it is taken for granted, the pain can be nagging, discomforting and basically make a good day go bad. But worry not, we have in line for you today a list of home remedies to get rid of a stiff neck.
Home Remedies for a Stiff Neck – How to Get Rid of a Stiff Neck?
Here are helpful ways to get rid of a stiff neck.
1. Massage – There is no denying the many benefits that a good massage can offer! A good rub down is a great way to treat a stiff neck. A gentle massage will help relax your muscles and increase blood circulation as well. This in turn will reduce the stiffness in your neck area. Plus, it will help you sleep better.
- First, relax your muscles by taking a hot shower or bath.
- Heat up some coconut, mustard or olive oil until it is slightly warm.
- Apply the oil on the affected area.
- Massage using gentle form of strokes for a couple of minutes.
If you’re unable to massage your neck on your own because of the stiffness, get a friend to help you out or visit a professional massage therapist.
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2. Cold Compress – You can soothe a stiff neck using a cold compress too. The cold temperature will numb the pain and also limit lactic acid buildup, which is a normal byproduct of muscle metabolism that can result in soreness. This is also a rather affordable remedy that will not pinch your pocket!
- First, wrap some ice cubes in a thin towel.
- Hold the compress against the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat this every 2 hours for the first 48 hours.
You probably have a bag of frozen peas in your fridge – get innovative and use it as an alternative. But remember not to apply directly on the skin.
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3. Heat Therapy –48 hours with a cold compress, and yet your neck hurts? Why not try heat therapy? Heat helps in increasing blood flow and this in turn will reduce stiffness. Since time immemorial heat is used to treat aches and pains. It is simple to use, and works like a miracle.
- Apply a hot compress on the affected part of your neck for a minimum of 10 minutes.
- Repeat this 3 or 4 times daily until you get complete relief.
- You can also stand in the shower and run warm to slightly hot water on your neck for 5 minutes or so. Make sure that you do not move or turn your neck while you are doing this. Repeat 2 or 3 times every day until the stiffness goes away.
You can use a hot compress in the form of a heat wrap, heating pad, hot towel or hot water bottle. No matter what form you use, heat will help ease the stiffness in your neck and get rid of the pain and discomfort you feel in no time.
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4. Peppermint Oil – The uses of peppermint go beyond just teas and holiday ornaments. While there is no denying that the minty taste of peppermint is no less than divine, there is more to this hardy plant than representing candy canes. The many health benefits of peppermint and its cosmetic benefits is only beginning to be explored! If you have a stiff neck, you can benefit greatly from the oil of this plant. Peppermint oil contains menthol which can help in soothing the stiff muscles in your neck. Also, it has analgesic properties that reduce pain and discomfort.
- First, warm 2 teaspoons of olive oil in the microwave for a few seconds.
- Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to it.
- Using the warm oil, gently massage your neck.
- Repeat this remedy 2 times a day for a few days.
- Alternatively, you can add 2 drops of peppermint oil to a big bowl of cold water.
- Soak a washcloth in the water and place it on your neck for 0 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat as often as you need to.
Keep in mind that peppermint oil is not suitable to use on children or those with sensitive skin.
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5. Epsom Salt – Contrary to what its name suggests, Epsom salt is not really a salt. Made up of magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt is a naturally occurring compound that is made of magnesium and sulfate. The salt gets its name from a spring in Surrey, where it found in abundance. This salt is used at home for myriad remedies and can also help in easing a stiff neck. It regulates the enzyme activity in the body and improves circulation. This in turn helps in reducing muscle tension and stress.
- Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to a bathtub full of warm water.
- Relax and soak in the water, ensuring that your neck area is submerged, for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Do this 3 times a week.
It is important to keep in mind that this is not the remedy for you if you have diabetes or kidney problems. Using this remedy will however effectively help in getting rid of a stiff neck.
A stiff neck is usually not an indication of a serious medical problem. However, it can make simple daily activities a challenge and cause difficulty sleeping. Lack of sleep can worsen things. A stiff neck usually goes away in a few days or a week. But making simple lifestyle changes and usage of home remedies goes a long way in easing the stiffness and pain. If it does not get better after a week or is accompanied by a high fever, make sure that you visit your doctor immediately.