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Relieve pain in my neck?

With nearly one in three people suffering from neck pain when wake up, it’s nice to know there are strategies to relieve the discomfort at home. For many people, a few simple remedies can bring lasting relief.

If you try home remedies for neck pain without any results, see your health care provider. we Care spine specialists provide comprehensive treatment for neck pain to help you feel better and participate in the activities you enjoy.

Relieve pain in my neck?

Home remedies for neck pain

Although neck pain can arise from injuries or chronic conditions, it’s often the result of a muscle strain or weakening. Years of poor posture can weaken the muscles and joints in your neck, leading to chronic pain over time. In mild to moderate cases, home remedies may help.

Move more

You may have heard that rest is the best remedy for muscle pain and neck stiffness. But with neck pain, movement can actually help.

Exercise improves blood flow to stiff muscles and reduces inflammation. Just make sure to avoid jerking or sharp twisting movements that could increase or cause neck pain.

Hot and cold therapy

Using ice packs or heating pads can help relieve neck pain fast. Ice reduces inflammation, while heat relaxes the stiff neck muscles. For best results, you may alternate the two for about 20 minutes each several times a day.

Over-the-counter medications

Minor neck strains may get better after a day or so of over-the-counter pain-relieving medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen help reduce inflammation and decrease discomfort. Acetaminophen and naproxen are other over-the-counter medicines that can effectively relieve the pain of a stiff neck.

Postural changes

Pay attention to how you hold your head throughout the day, especially when staring at your computer screen or looking at your phone. Many people tilt their head down, which puts extra pressure on the neck muscles and can even lead to a repetitive stress injury called “tech neck.”

To improve your posture and decrease neck pain, make a few simple changes such as:

  • Holding your phone or other device up to eye level, instead of bending your neck down
  • Keeping your head in line with the center of your body
  • Rolling your shoulders down and away from your ears

How do I loosen up my neck muscles?

One of the best ways to loosen stiff neck muscles is with gentle heat. You may wrap a heating pad in a towel and place it on your neck. Or you may stand under a warm shower for a few minutes to loosen tight neck muscles.

Once your muscles are warm, give yourself a gentle neck massage or ask a partner to do it. Massage can loosen the muscles further. Make sure to direct the massage movements toward your heart to promote proper blood flow.

How do you release tension in your neck?

Regular stretching can help release tension in your neck muscles. Especially if you spend long hours at a desk, take breaks every one to two hours for a few minutes of stretches to prevent neck stiffness.

Neck pain exercises

Several exercises can help stretch your neck muscles and relieve your stiff neck symptoms:

  • Head presses: Clasp your hands behind your head or sit on a seat with a headrest. Keeping the chin level, gently press the back of your head against your hands or the headrest. Hold for five to 10 seconds and repeat.
  • Head tilts: Instead of rolling your neck, try head tilts. First, move your neck forward and backward by bringing your chin to your chest, pausing for a moment, then lifting your chin to the sky. After you repeat a few times, move to side-to-side tilts. Bring your ear to your right shoulder, hold for a few seconds, and repeat on the other side.
  • Shoulder blade squeezes: Sit with your spine upright and your feet firmly planted on the floor. Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat three to four times.
  • Shoulder rolls: Relieving tension in your shoulders and upper back may also help ease neck tension. Try to sync up your shoulder rolls with your breathing. When you inhale, bring your shoulders up to your ears, then roll them down your back as you exhale. Repeat five to 10 times.

What is the fastest way to cure a stiff neck?

There’s no shortcut for curing a stiff neck. Stretching, gentle heat and pain relievers are usually the best ways to decrease neck stiffness quickly.

For long-term neck pain relief and prevention of neck stiffness, improve your lifestyle by:

  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly, incorporating strengthening, flexibility and cardiovascular exercises
  • Managing stress with healthy coping strategies such as meditation, exercise, talk therapy or journaling
  • Quitting smoking, which can lead to disc degeneration and poor healing

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