Easing Stiff Neck Pain

Easing Stiff Neck Pain Quickly and Easily

easing stiff neck painThere are few things as pesky as neck and shoulder pain. Much like headaches, these are the sort of pains that seem to draw your focus, greatly distracting you and putting you in an ever increasingly foul mood. It can seriously get in your way as the day moves on, making you less likely to get things done and also highly irritable. Fortunately, there are a few easy steps you can take to begin easing stiff neck pain.

First of all, practice good posture, even when sitting. It is important to sit up straight as much as possible. This will help prevent a lot of the neck pain to begin with, and help it go away more quickly if it does start since continued bad posture will only cause a degenerative effect that is akin to pouring salt on an open wound. Straighten your spine up and you will likely begin to feel more comfortable soon. Following proper ergonomics is essential.

Another method to get relief from neck muscle stiffness is to use either heat therapy or infrared applications for deeper penetrating heat. Muscles can become stiff from stress and tension. Add this to the effects of poor posture and it can limit neck mobility and be sore, even to the touch. Moist heat can be used by taking a hot shower and doing mild stretches under the water. Moist heat packs permit easy application directly to the neck and shoulders.

If that is not enough, another great method of easing stiff neck pain is to put the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, with your thumb on one side and your fingers resting on the other. You can basically massage your neck like this if you knead the skin while pressing in with your thumb and fingers. You do not want to do this too hard, but some firm pressure is recommended and there are many well designed tools to help.

You may want to try bringing your head back over the shoulders. This is called a retraction exercise and holding this position for a few second helps top train the muscles for better posture. Another simple but effective way to help with stiff neck pain is when the head is in the retracted position, nod your head, like saying “no” or trying to form a “double chin”. Holding this position for a few seconds helps to strengthen the deep muscles of the neck and can provide some with immediate relief. These are simple do do and can be done just about anywhere, anytime. It may seem an unconventional method for easing stiff neck pain, but it works neck muscles that are often ignored. It can often help ease neck related headaches. As such, done routinely, you will strengthen your neck and ultimately lessen the effects of bad posture.

Below are some useful home methods to help:

A high percentage stiffness in muscles encompass not only the muscle, but the surrounding connective tissue of fascia and this is often called myofascial pain syndrome. In this way it can affect muscle groups instead of a single muscle, however, it often involves trigger points that are specific areas of muscle strain that can be addressed specifically with the methods above as indicated in a 2015 published review.

A 2015 review in the Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics states, “Myofascial trigger points are a prevalent clinical entity, especially in patients with neck pain.”

Author Bio

Stephen Ornstein, D.C. has treated thousands of neck, shoulder and back conditions since graduating Sherman Chiropractic College in 1987 and during his involvement in Martial Arts. He holds certifications as a Peer Review Consultant from New York Chiropractic College, Physiological Therapeutics from National Chiropractic College, Modic Antibiotic Spinal Therapy from Dr. Hanne Albert, PT., MPH., Ph.D., Myofascial Release Techniques from Logan Chiropractic College, and learned Active Release Technique from the founder, P. Michael Leahy, DC, ART, CCSP.