Woke Up With a Stiff Neck? Try These Things!

ISTOCK/DIEGO_CERVO

That stiff neck feeling is a literal pain in the neck. But luckily there are some ways to ease the pain, right from your own home.


Give your neck a gentle stretch

There are a number of neck exercises that can help to relieve the pain of a stiff neck. Shelly Coffman, a physical therapist at 360° Sports Medicine and Spine Therapy in Portland, OR, recommends the following to get blood flowing and relieve inflammation: Lie down flat, with a rolled towel or partially-inflated beach ball behind your neck. Rotate your head slowly as if saying “no.” Then nod your head slowly as if saying “yes.” Do two sets each of 20 reps, two to three times a day.

Another move: While sitting in a chair, bring one arm across your body toward the opposite hip and hold that hand with your other hand. Keeping your head and body facing forward, bend your ear toward the same shoulder as your hands. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat three to five times on each side, once or twice a day.

Another chair exercise: While sitting in a chair, grasp the bottom of the chair with one hand. Tilt your ear toward the opposite shoulder, using your other hand to gently pull your head down to increase the stretch. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat three times.

Apply hot and cold compresses

Applying heat to your stiff neck helps to relax the muscles and bring fresh blood to the sore spot, Coffman says. You can get the heat you need with a heating pad set on low or a warm washcloth. Alternating with a cold compress helps to numb the pain and bring down inflammation.

You can alternate between hot and cold for up to 10 minutes at a time of each, several times a day and up to every hour if you’re experiencing a lot of pain. If you are feeling a lot of pain—not just stiffness—stick with the ice, cautions Coffman. Heat can make pain worse by increasing inflammation.

Break out the meds

Anti-inflammatory drugs, like Advil or Motrin, can be quick-acting stiff neck remedies. These over-the-counter drugs work by reducing inflammation, so you can feel better fast, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Tylenol does not confer the same anti-inflammatory benefits, but it can help with pain management. However, all drugs, even over-the-counter drugs, have risks, so be sure to discuss these medications with your pharmacist or doctor first.

Take a soak

A warm Epsom salt bath does double duty as a stiff neck remedy. The warm water from the bath helps to relax and sooth the muscles, while the magnesium and sulfates in the salt help to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow and oxygenation, according to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. “Put 300 grams of Epsom salt into a bathtub filled with hot water. In just 15 minutes, you will start to experience the mental and physical benefits of Epsom salt,” experts at Cleveland Clinic write.

Walk it out

It may seem counter intuitive, but low-impact exercise, like walking, is a great stiff neck treatment. Exercise helps to circulate oxygen through all the soft tissues—including in the spine—which helps with the healing process. “Just like when you’re sore from exercise—the best thing you can do is to do a little bit of easy exercise,” says Coffman. Be sure to avoid jerking or painful activities though.

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Reddit
Delicious
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

READ NEXT

8 Foods That Are Healthier Than You Thought

You will be surprised to see how many foods are actually healthy for you, despite of their myths and rumors. For example, spaghetti and meatballs is a great choice to

8 Dangerous Viruses That Can Cause Cancer

Viruses are tiny, infectious microbes. They’re technically parasites because they require a host cell to reproduce. Upon entry, the virus uses components of the host cell to complete its life

How to Make Water Taste Better (6 Ways)

Everyone knows they need to drink more water, but glass after glass of plain H2O can get boring. Flavored water alternatives, though, may not be worth it: There’s little or

6 Bad Habits That Are Damaging Your Brain

Many of us fall into a trap of bad habits that are damaging our brain. You should take care of an essential part of your body—YOUR BRAIN. Almost everything you

These Are the Worst Habits for Your Heart

The heart is one of the most important organs in our bodies. It pumps blood to deliver the needed oxygen and nutrients to the cells and tissues. As you probably

8 Easy Tips to Make Your Coffee Super Healthy

Many scientists believe that coffee is one of the healthiest beverages in the world. For some people, it’s the single largest source of antioxidants in their diet, outranking both fruits

6 Surprising Health Benefits of Eating Watermelon

Watermelon is not just water and sugar—it is nutrient dense food. This delicious fruit provides high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and just a small number of calories. Also,

8 Things That Can Damage Your Liver

Most people associate alcohol abuse with damage to the liver, but other factors can also play a role. These are the health conditions, drugs, and lifestyle habits that can cause

5 Reasons You Have Swollen Fingers

You have arthritis pain, and the inflammation in your joints causes your fingers to swell up and resemble little sausages. Or maybe you’ve chowed down a salty meal, and now

Scroll to Top