5 Ways to Alleviate the Symptoms of a Stiff Neck

With more time spent in front of a screen, a sore and tight neck may be more common than you think. Thankfully, there are options for treatment, both at home and in-office. Two of the worst culprits for a sore, stiff neck are a sedentary lifestyle and poor sleeping habits.

Self-Care for a Stiff Neck
An individual can do several things on his or her own to begin treating a stiff neck. Some common self-care strategies include:

1.Apply heat or ice

Ice can help reduce inflammation and swelling by lowering blood flow to an area. Heat does the opposite, stimulating blood flow.

Both ice and heat can work together to help soothe a strained or torn muscle, and give it time to heal. They can provide timely pain relief for an overworked spot on your body, such as the neck.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) recommends applying ice for 20 minutes a few times a day for soft tissue injuries. Make sure you buy or make a cold compress that prevents the ice from directly touching your skin.

You can alternate between applying ice and heat. Taking a warm bath or shower or using a heating pad may also help.

2.Try a Chest-Opener Exercise

If you sit with your head and shoulders forward, lay on the ground or a foam roller and allow gravity to push them back in the opposite direction.

  1. Position a foam roller lengthwise on the ground. Sit directly in front of the roller with your back toward it.
  2. Lie back slowly and carefully on the foam roller. Once your spine is laid out on the length of the foam roller, slide your heels towards your bottom.
  3. Extend your arms out to the sides, feeling your chest open.
  4. Stay in this position for 60 seconds or, if feeling comfortable enough, move slowly from side to side.

3.Pick Up a Foam Roller

A softer foam roll with a bit of a give is a handy tool for improving stiffness and maintaining muscles at an optimal length.

Lay the roll horizontally on the floor. Then lie down on the foam roll so it rests just under the shoulder blade region.
Slowly roll your body back and forth for up to 2 minutes, pausing at areas that feel a bit sore or tight.
Take a break and sit up.
Now place the foam roll horizontally just above the shoulder blades and focus on the area above the shoulder blades to the base of the neck. Work on this area for 2 minutes.

4.Try acupuncture

Acupuncture involves inserting needles into specific pressure points on your body to relieve stress, tension, and pain. It’s a form of traditional Chinese medicineTrusted Source that has been practiced for thousands of years!

Some researchers believe acupuncture can trigger our body’s natural pain relievers, while others think it only creates a placebo effect. Regardless, acupuncture continues to be a popular holistic treatment approach across the world.

Acupuncture is considered safe, but going to an expert is key. Visit only a board certified practitioner, and ensure that needles are fully sterilized.

5.Try Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can work the soft tissues of the neck to relieve pain and reduce stress. Stress can cause us to tense our neck and shoulders, leading to stiffness and pain. By increasing relaxation with massage therapy, stress levels can dec

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