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What to Do for a Stiff Neck

Here are some simple remedies for a stiff neck.
Sujata Iyer Apr 19, 2019
Sometimes, the simplest of things that we do can turn out to be really problematic for us and the ones around us. For instance, we all know very well the importance of a good posture and proper sleeping habits. However, we still indulge in sitting in an unhealthy stoop, and do not rest our bodies enough.
As a result of this constant stress on our body, our muscles begin to bear the brunt of it, and they retaliate in the form of a stiff neck. A stiff neck can be caused due to many reasons, but the most common one is undue stress and tightening of the muscles in the neck and the back.
This results in what is called a cervical spasm, and the neck continues to remain stiff for a period of 3 to 4 days causing a lot of discomfort to the person. If you experience stiffness in your neck, then the given remedies will help you ease the pain and relax your muscles.


The safest way to alleviate the pain is to massage the area gently but firmly. There is a special technique that you can use. Ask another person to place his/her hands on the upper-trapezius muscle. This is the muscle that is on the upper portion of your shoulder. Ask the person to place the hands on both sides and gently pinch the area.
As he/she pinches the right shoulder area, turn your head to the left side, and when the left side is pressed, turn your head to the right side. Repeat this procedure gently in other areas of your shoulder and the back of the neck too. They will help relieve the tension in the muscles, and your neck will feel much better.

Gentle Exercises

Apart from a massage therapy, you can also try to do some simple neck exercises that will help create some movement within the muscles, and thus relieve the stress and tension that they experience. These exercises are very simple and should be done very gently, so as to avoid any kind of jerk.
The first one is to simply turn your head from one side to the other, horizontally. Another one is to move your head up and down, slowly. Then combine the two and move your head up, down, left, and right.
Another simple exercise is to rotate your head. Begin by facing the ground and turn your head clockwise, and then anti-clockwise. Continue these exercises with reasonable time intervals, and you'll feel relieved.

Hot and Cold Treatment

Hot treatment is one of the best ways to cure sore-neck muscles. In the morning, take a hot shower. During this shower, let the hot water fall directly onto the affected area of your neck. The heat will help relax the muscles. You'll feel much better. You can also try using a hot-water bag or a heating pad during the day.
However, wet heat is much better than dry heat. For cold treatment, you can make your own ice pack by placing a few ice cubes within a small cotton napkin and gently rubbing it over the affected area. Do this about 3 to 4 times a day and see the difference.

Painkillers or Local Application

If all else fails, then you can finally opt for a medication that will help relieve the stiffness in your neck. You can consult a doctor for a painkiller, or you can take some safe, over-the-counter pills to experience some relief.
Alternatively, you can also purchase local application gels that have ingredients which help cure sore muscles and relieve tension from them. Stick to gels that have herbal ingredients because these are the ones that do not have any harmful side effects.
In addition to the aforementioned treatments, you need to take care of some very basic things like your posture, your sleeping position, the mattress, and the pillow that you use to sleep. Maintain a good sitting posture, use a mattress that is comfortable, and a pillow that gives your neck adequate support to avoid discomfort.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.