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