Even stiff neck is usually caused by relatively small injuries, like ligament sprain or muscle strain, don’t be fooled, they can be pretty painful flare-ups can be really burning or sharp. The best thing you can do in this situation is minimizing movements and just provide your stiff neck with a rest. At the same time, it is pretty important to keep your neck moving in order to avoid further muscle deconditioning or stiffening. Neck pain or tension is something that we are going to experience one way or another. They are mostly caused by degenerative changes in the cervical spine or a bad posture. The result is stiffness that limits the mobility of your neck and shoulders, inflicting pain and tension in the process.
What Causes Neck Stiff?
According to the majority of the experts, the primary reason for neck pain and tension is often caused by the mobility of the thoracic spine. The main reason for this happening is people are sitting and not moving for a majority of the time. There are several things that cause the neck stiff. We are going to name them.
- Stress: Psychological strain
- Poor Posture: Poor posture means that there is a constant strain on the neck and head because of the improper movements or position.
- Injuries: Pulled muscle or whiplash
- Weak immune system: Due to a cold
Naturally, neck stiff catches people off-guard, you can’t predict where or when it’s going to happen. For example, it can happen due to a bad position during sleep. The good thing is that this stiffness and pain can be relieved, if not cured, by a few simple exercises you can perform in the comfort of your own home. In this article of ours, we are going to talk about these exercises that could help you. It is important to point out that you should immediately stop if you start to experience some uncomfortable experience while you are doing some of these. Just stop and try another one. Now, without further ado, let us start with the next part of our article.
We are going to start with the simplest one. It’s called neck flexion, or forward bending. When you start experiencing some neck aches, you should just start lowering your chin to the chest. Also, in the process you need to only your head and looking down at the same time. Once your neck reaches the point where it can continue comfortably, you should hold five seconds before the neck goes to its natural position. The neck flexion stretch should be felt at the back of the neck.
Backward bending is the process of extending the neck by lifting your head and looking upward and bringing it back, while not moving back and shoulders in the process. When the neck goes as far as it can go without experiencing the pain, you should try to hold the stretch of the neck for at least five seconds before it returns to the neutral position. During this exercise, the stretch should be felt along the front part of the neck and through the throat. Also, you can feel the muscles who work at the back of the neck.
Sideways Neck Flexion
Bending your neck side to side means that you are clinging your neck from the right ear to the right shoulder. In the process of stretching the back and shoulders should remain stick, while the neck stretches should remain alongside to the side. At the moment when the neck is flexed enough when you don’t experience any stiffness and pain, you should hold that position for at least five seconds before returning the head to the natural position. After that, you should repeat the same action in a different direction. The stretch is going to be felt along both sides of the neck.
You should keep shoulders and back straight and still, and gradually turn your head to the left until the pain stops. After that point is reached, you should do it at a different turn. On both sides, you should remain still for at least five seconds before your neck turns back to its neutral position. Out of all of these home exercises for neck pain and stiffness, the neck rotation is the most challenging of them all. We recommend you to be extra careful with this one in order to prevent any unwanted effects of the exercise.
When You Should Perform Neck Stretches?
When it comes to neck pain and stiffness, it makes perfect sense to try out some of these exercises before you try to have some rest for your neck. But you should have in mind that these can be done whenever you want and that you should not force it if the pain is too great for your neck. Sometimes, a good rest can be the key element in curing the problem. If you are interested in reading about all of this in greater detail, you should visit Ohuhu Health.
In other cases, your stretches can become more and more comfortable, and sometimes, even enjoyable. You can increase the number of sets or the amount of time you are going to spend withholding your position, from five to ten seconds. For every step that you will come across, you should remember that you need to be careful not to produce some side effects that can even increase your neck pain or stiffness. Also, it is important to make a certain number of pauses in order to stop forcing the sets of exercises.
When Should You go to the Doctor?
Sometimes it can happen that the neck stiffness is accompanied by fever, dizziness, nausea, severe headaches, weakness, arm tingling, or other symptoms that are not common for neck stiff. In these cases, you should visit your doctor immediately and without any ado. In addition, if a person has a history of medical conditions that could be affected by neck stiffness, or neck pain doesn’t stop for a certain amount of days, we advise you to visit your doctor or at least make an appointment.