8 effective ways to get rid of a stiff neck
A stiff neck is a common problem in modern society.
Research that was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that more than 17% of women and more than 12% of men suffer from some kind of neck pain or stiffness.
We’ve gathered some tips and simple exercises that can help you prevent and relieve this undesirable pain.
1. Do a stretch routine
Stopping your daily activities for a stretch is very helpful to prevent stiffness in the neck. A good method is to follow these steps:
- Roll your shoulders.
- Press your shoulder blades together many times.
- Slowly lower your ear toward each shoulder.
- Slowly roll your head left and right.
- Place your hand above your ears and press gently with your fingers, resisting with your neck muscle to keep your head upright.
2. Apply cold or heat
To reduce local inflammation, a hot or cold pack might do the trick. Putting some ice in case of a flare-up is helpful against inflammation and heat on the neck can stimulate blood flow. Both treatments are effective and it’s up to the patients to choose which one they like best — they can even be used alternately.
3. Reduce your pillow count
Too many pillows in your bed can be harmful to your neck during your sleep routine. The height of the pillow pile keeps the neck flexed, leading to pain as soon as you wake up. Also avoid very stiff pillows, because they don’t allow much neck motion.
4. Ask for a professional massage
When done properly, a gentle massage on the painful and sore areas can stretch your neck and back muscles. Besides that, a massage can also reduce neck pain, increase your range of motion, and even relieve stress.
5. Move around
If you work in an office or just spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer, it is possible that you experience a lot of neck pain. If you get up and exercise every once in a while, you can free your neck from staying in an unhealthy position for too long.
6. Try acupuncture
This technique has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine and consists of inserting needles into the pressure points of your body which relieves tension and helps with chronic pain in the neck region.
7. Poke the base of your tongue with a fork
Our tongues contain valuable information about our body’s problems, including neck issues. As we mentioned before, acupuncture can offer assistance to relieve pain, and there’s a specific type of it that can help a lot. This technique is called lingual acupuncture and consists in stimulating the tip of your tongue 10 to 30 times with a fork (or your fingers). The pain in your neck will subside quickly.
8. Don’t look down at your phone
A final tip is to avoid placing your phone, or any other smart device, in a lower position while looking at it. Forcing your head down aggravates your neck and increases the pain, so make sure to hold your phone at eye-level whenever possible.
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