Recently one of my closest friends asked me how to cure a stiff neck. She confided that she suffers from chronic stiff neck and is in pain most of the week. If you’ve ever had a stiff neck you know it can radiate excruciating pain. Your whole life is more difficult to live. Every movement, every sneeze, every turn can mean pain. It slows down your quality of life and takes the wind out of your sail.
Whether you slept bad, was in a car accident, stumbled and was forced to tense up your body or suffering from ongoing stress, your stiff neck is a sign of muscle pain. Often stretching from your neck and shoulder down to your back, you can feel the tightened muscle that is causing the pain. Without proper care and attention a stiff neck can last for days and even weeks. Depending on the cause of your particular pain, there are steps you can take to relieve the discomfort. If you choose not to take any action and the injury was caused from sleeping in an awkward position, it will correct itself within a few days.
If you want to address this right away, here are the three main remedies suggested for pain of this magnitude:
1. Massaging the muscle will help to relax the area, release the tension and bring relief. It is suggested that you use your fingers to rub the area gentle in a circular motion. Begin from your neck all the way down to where the pain stops in your back. Be careful not rub to hard or too aggressively, this could worsen the problem and extend the discomfort. It would be best if you can have someone else provide the massage. You will be in a more relaxed state and another person will be able to massage the affected area without you having to use other muscles during the process.
2. A hot shower has been known to relieve muscle pain and stiff necks. When you shower, try to make the water as hot as you can bear. Stand still and allow the water to beat on the affected area. If possible rub this area gentle as the water hits your body. This can be done each time you shower and should produce results in a matter of days.
3. For immediate relief there are two products that I highly recommend for stiff necks. The first is ThermaCare heat packs. No, I am not commissioned by them to sing their praises. When I’ve used something that works, I spread the word. Far too many complain when a product doesn’t meet their expectations, but too few acknowledge their satisfaction for something that does.
4. Plainly put, ThermaCare heat packs work. I’ve used them for stiff neck pain and they provided relief within an hour. Once you remove the adhesive from the heat pack, apply it to your neck and allow air to reach the package it quickly starts getting warmer and warmer.
5. The second product I suggest for serious instant relief is IcyHot. This cream is amazing. If you want immediate, instant relief, take a hot shower and then apply IcyHot. Beware however, that this will intensify the experience. Within a couple minutes you will feel a burning sensation (do not apply after a hot shower if you cannot take too much heat). Shortly after the burning sensation subsides, you will then start to feel relief. This is an extreme method for relief and should be used with caution and care. It is not suggested for children or those with sensitive skin.
A stiff neck and can be a real pain, but it doesn’t have to last long. As with any injury, your treatment should depend on the cause. Once you’ve determined the reason for your pain take the right steps to get rid of your stiff neck.