10 Remedies for a Stiff Neck


A stiff neck is often the result of weakened muscles due to poor posture. Neck stiffness can interfere with sleep and daily activities. If this occurs, consult a health care professional.

10 remedies for a stiff neck include the following:

  1. Stretch. Stretching is a natural way to reduce neck stiffness. It includes shoulder rolls, shoulder blade squeezes, and shoulder taps to the ear.
  2. Ice. Applying ice to the area can soothe muscles. Use ice 15 minutes several times per day for the first few days.
  3. Heat. Following the first few days of ice, apply heat to the affected area to increase blood flow. Heat and ice can be alternated.
  4. Over-the-counter medication. Consider over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen to ease pain and inflammation. Do not use for longer than recommended.
  5. Rest. Avoid heavy lifting and physical activities that aggravate the neck. Rest periods should be determined by a health care professional.
  6. See a physical therapist. To strengthen neck muscles, PT may be recommended. Tailored exercises depend on the cause of the stiffness.
  7. Massage. Medical massages are helpful in alleviating neck pain. A deep tissue or sports massage can be beneficial.
  8. Collar. A neck support collar can be used for a few hours. Avoid overuse, as it can weaken neck muscles.
  9. Desk adjustment. A computer screen should be level with the eyes. Adjust the chair, so the knees sit slightly below the hips.
  10. Sleep position. Add a firm mattress topper. Pillows specifically designed to support the neck are recommended.
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