Neck pain and stiffness refers to the discomfort in moving neck due to problems in any structures of the neck including nerves, muscles, spinal vertebrae and cushioning disks midst the vertebrae column. It can also be due to pain in adjacent regions of head, shoulder, upper arms and jaw.
Under neck stiffness, neck may become sore and pose difficulty in moving, especially to one particular side. Under neck pain arising due to pressing of nerves by slipped disks or muscle spasms, one may experience weakness, tingling or numbness in hand, arm or some associated regions. Of all neck stiffness and pain, cervical stiffness is the most commonly observed, where there occurs a damage to nerves, bones or/and muscles of the neck.
Getting Rid Of Neck Stiffness And Pain
Undergo a massage therapy to get relief from stiffed neck and associated pain. Neck massage can be done by professional or a friend or by yourself. While massaging the neck, reach back at your neck with arm and grasp it with hand, keeping thumb one side and rest of the fingers on the other end.
Then knead the neck region on both sides by digging your fingers and thumbs and squeeze them gently. Perform massaging in up and down motions for a number of times, till one start to feel relieved from the pain and stiffness.
Fill the plastic bag with ice, seal it and wrap it in a thin towel. Then place it on the stiffed region of the neck, normally at the back of neck, near the hairline region. Hold the pack there for 20 minutes to offer sufficient coldness that relaxes the stiffed muscles or/and nerves.
Instead of holding the ice pack, one can relax on chair and keep the cold pack between the bottom of head and shoulder, supported by back end of the chair. Then lean back against the cold pack, for providing maximum benefits of cold temperature to the stiffed neck. Even a bag of frozen peas can also be used to serve the same purpose.
Soon after the cold treatment, heat application should be performed to rapidly relieve the discomfort and pain of the stiffed neck, and recover faster. Cold reduces down the neck pain and inhibits build up of lactic acid that may lead to soreness, and heat further aids in tightening the relaxed muscles.
After performing cold application for first 48 to 72 hours, continue with heat therapy thereafter. Apply heating pad for a minimum of 20 minutes at the back of the stiffed neck, for three times. Alternatively, a heat wrap or hot water bottle can also be used or one can have a hot water shower or bath to attain the same benefits.
Perform Therapeutic Neck Exercises
A series of neck exercises can be performed to relieve tension from stiffed, strained neck muscles and get rid of the enormous neck pain. Nod the head in forward and backward direction, by tilting the chin towards the chest and then towards the sky alternatively. Perform it for 10 to 20 times. This can be painful to perform as neck is stiff, so go till the point where it is comfortable to move and avoid going too forward or backward.
Secondly, tilt the head sideways to stretch the neck muscles both at the front and back of the neck. Perform the sideways head tilting till the pain is reduced and muscles feel less rigid. Thirdly, revolve the head from left to right gently for several minutes to overcome the nerve stiffness of the neck. This is most difficult to perform with a stiffed neck, but continue doing it slowly and regain mobility of the neck.