How to relieve a stiff neck Get expert reviews

The range of stiff neck remedies is wide. Apart from home remedies, you can seek the services of qualified therapists – physiotherapist, chiropractors, or osteopaths, or you can visit a medical doctor.

A stiff neck is not a cause of concern because it goes within a day or two. If the condition persists for weeks, then it is time to see a doctor. A stiff neck very uncomfortable. It causes some degree of soreness which is accompanied by a restricted range of motion.

What is devastating about a stiff neck is the accompanying effects such as headaches, pain radiating from the arm, and shoulder pains. If the cause is something severe, the pain may last longer – week or months.

While having a massager might alleviate some pain, seeing a doctor is vital to your well-being. A doctor can ascertain the real cause of what causes the stiff neck as well as propose tips on how to relieve a stiff neck.

Symptoms of a stiff neck

Typically, a stiff neck is experienced when you find it difficult to turn your neck. Again, the intensity varies. It can range from anything that is just an annoying discomfort to something that is extremely painful on any attempt to turn your neck.

The pain is usually sharp; thus, it limits you drastically. When you execute a motion, the excruciating pain prompts you to stop. This reduced range of motion of the neck, undoubtedly, affects your daily activities. For instance, you can drive with a stiff neck.

Also, you can experience tight neck muscles and spasms. A spasm occurs abruptly and is very painful. Though they are short-lived, they become more painful when they recur. That means you need medical intervention.

A common symptom of a stiff neck is usually headache, and shoulder pain. Sometimes, you might feel the pain radiating from your arm. Pain makes it difficult to move your head, shoulders, and arms.

How to relieve a stiff neck

The following are remedies for a stiff neck:

Take rest

With a stiff neck, you can practically do nothing constructive. Moving your shoulders and arms is quite painful. When you take a rest, it gives time for the strained and injured tissues to initiate the healing process. This relieves the pain and stiffness.

Only rest for a day or two. Too much muscle inactivity weakens the muscles.

Gentle stretches

Stretching is a good measure in decreasing the tension on the muscles. With a stiff neck, it is painful to execute a wide range of motion. Therefore, when you stretch with tolerable range, it eases the stiffness. With time, you’ll restore the natural state of your neck muscles.

Cold and heat therapy

Cold therapy (using ice packs) is excellent at reducing pain and inflammation. In the event of a stiff neck, apply ice within the first 48 hours to get the benefits. Heat therapy stimulates blood flow and eases tension on the muscles. This fosters better healing.

You can use the heat and cold alternately.

Low impact aerobics

Aerobic exercises can be an excellent addition to stretches. Simple exercises like walking, which stimulate blood flow to the whole body.

Over the counter medication

Getting non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can tremendously reduce inflammation. However, it is essential to take these drugs within limits, as they may cause adverse effects.

Do you need to see a doctor?

Home remedies are enough in managing stiff necks. The stiffness disappears gradually, and you might not need to see a doctor. However, when the stiffness persists, then it is time to see a doctor.

That said, you need to see a doctor when you have the following symptoms:

  • When you experience severe pain
  • When the stiffness is accompanied by numbness, tingling or pins, and headaches
  • Stiffness of the neck persist for a long time – several days without relief
  • When the pain spreads down to the arms

What to note

The neck supports the head. Besides, it makes it possible for you to turn your head in various direction without any pain. The flexibility of the neck is due to the muscles and the vertebrae.

Anything that tampers with muscles and the bones of the neck with restricting the range of movement of the neck. For instance, muscle strain, worn-out joints, injuries, nerve compression, and diseases, reduces the flexibility of the neck.


Understanding how to relieve a stiff neck is the first line of defence in case you have one. You can apply the measures above in isolation, or you can combine a number of them to get effective results. However, you need to learn tips that lower the risks of developing a stiff neck, e.g., practicing good posture.



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