Your neck is composed of small bones called vertebrae, which are held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These components work together to allow your head to move in various directions.
However, sometimes these structures can become irritated or inflamed, resulting in a stiff neck. This is caused by several things, including poor posture, sleeping in an awkward position, or injury.
A pain management doctor can work with you to develop a treatment plan to help relieve your stiff neck and restore your range of motion.
Read more: What Is Pain Management and How Can Pain Management Doctors Help You?
A stiff neck will cause your neck muscles to feel tight and make it difficult or painful to move your head. You may also experience headaches, shoulder pain, or arm numbness.
You can do several things to help relieve your symptoms and eliminate a stiff neck.
1. Apply Ice or Heat
If you have a stiff neck, you can try applying ice or heat to the affected area to help reduce pain and inflammation. Ice should be applied for 20 minutes at a time, followed by 10 minutes of rest. Do this several times a day as needed.
Heat therapy helps to improve blood flow and can relax the muscles. You can apply heat using a heating pad, hot water bottle, or warm compress. Heat should be applied for 15-20 minutes at a time.
Cold therapy will help to reduce inflammation by constricting the blood vessels.
2. Use Over-the-Counter Medications
There are a variety of over-the-counter medications that can relieve the pain and inflammation associated with a stiff neck. These include ibuprofen (Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and naproxen (Aleve). Ensure to read the labels carefully and take them as directed.
3. Go for Physical Therapy
Physical therapy includes exercises that can improve neck range of motion and flexibility. A therapist may also use electrical stimulation or heat to reduce pain and muscle spasms.
Electric stimulation involves using electrical current to stimulate the neck muscles and nerves. This treatment can help reduce pain and muscle spasms.
Your therapist may also suggest wearing a neck collar or brace for chronic pain relief.
This equipment help supports the neck and reduces the strain on the muscles and ligaments.
4. Massage Your Neck
Essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender oil can also help reduce neck pain and inflammation. Mix 5 drops of these oils with one tablespoon of carrier oil like jojoba or almond oil. Apply it to your neck and massage gently for 10 minutes.
5. Do Neck Exercises
Different exercises can help reduce neck pain and stiffness. Try to do these exercises for at least 15 minutes every day. For example, you can try the following:
-Tilt your head to the left and right.
-Rotate your head in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction.
-Bend your head forward and backward.
-Lift your head up and down.
6. Use a Neck Pillow
Using a high or too-low pillow can strain your neck and lead to stiffness and pain. Choose a pillow that keeps the neck in a neutral position while you sleep.
If you are searching for a pain management center in Indiana, contact APAC Centers for Pain Management. Our team of pain management specialists is dedicated to helping our patients find relief from their neck pain and other chronic pain related problems.