How to Combat Neck Pain and Stiffness

November 13, 2023 by First Federal Bank
neckIf you ever experience pain and stiffness in your neck, you’re not alone. This problem affects millions of people on a regular basis, disrupting sleep and making everyday activities more difficult. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to alleviate your neck issues and prevent them from occurring.
Symptoms and causes
Neck stiffness is an especially common ailment, making it difficult to turn your head normally and limiting other motion as well. Often caused by tight or spasming muscles, neck stiffness can also be accompanied by pain and headaches.
This strain and pain can be traced to many different causes. These include:
  • Looking up or down at a computer monitor all day
  • Sitting with poor posture
  • Looking down at your phone for long periods of time
  • Carrying unequally distributed weight (like a heavy bag or purse)
  • Driving for hours at a time without a break
  • Sleeping in an awkward position
  • Excessive stress.
It’s important to note neck issues can also be an indicator of serious injury or disease, so be sure to consult with a doctor if your neck problems persist or if you’re experiencing severe pain, swelling, weakness, or numbness.
Tips for easing pain and stiffness
When you experience common forms of neck pain and stiffness, you can treat yourself with a variety of remedies. Early on, applying an ice pack for short periods of time can soothe inflammation and relieve sharper pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can provide relief as well. Heat is another helpful remedy, but it’s best used after a few days — when the worst of the pain and inflammation has subsided.
Other remedies for neck issues include gentle stretches and yoga poses to help you regain your range of motion, massage therapy, and a neck collar (as long as you wear it in moderation so as not to further weaken your neck muscles). For longer-lasting or more serious pain, you may need physical therapy or other treatments. And of course, it’s best to consult with a doctor as you attempt to relieve neck issues.
Tips for preventing pain and stiffness
Building better habits can help you prevent neck pain flare-ups, and your posture is a good place to start. If your job involves a lot of sitting at a desk, make sure your computer is at eye level. That way you can sit up straight and look directly at it instead of tilting your head up or down. Constantly bending your neck while using a smartphone should be avoided, too. Pay attention to your sleep posture as well, keeping your neck and body aligned with a supportive pillow and making sure your favored sleep position doesn’t create neck pain.
If your work and lifestyle are more sedentary, it’s a good idea to take frequent breaks from sitting by getting up, stretching, and walking around. Regular exercise is another important way to keep neck pain at bay. And if your neck problems stem from stress, it’s important to seek out relaxation, recreation, and mental health care as a preventative step.
If you suffer from neck pain and stiffness, these tips can help you find relief — and don’t hesitate to seek out advice and treatment from a medical professional as well.

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