Recently one of my closest friends asked me how to cure a stiff neck. She confided that she suffers from chronic stiff neck and is in pain most of the week. If you’ve ever had a stiff neck, you know it can radiate excruciating pain. Your whole life is harder to live. Every movement, every sneeze, every twist can mean pain. Slow down your quality of life and blow the wind off your sail.
If you slept poorly, were in a car accident, tripped and forced to tense up your body, or suffered ongoing stress, your stiff neck is a sign of muscle pain. Often by stretching from the neck and shoulders to the back, you can feel the tight muscle that is causing the pain. Without proper care and attention, a stiff neck can last for days and even weeks. Depending on the cause of your particular pain, there are steps you can take to ease the discomfort. If you choose not to take any action and the injury was due to sleeping in an uncomfortable position, it will correct itself in a few days.
If you want to tackle this right away, here are the top three suggested remedies for pain of this magnitude:
1. Massaging the muscle will help relax the area, release tension, and bring relief. It is suggested that you use your fingers to rub the area gently in a circular motion. Start from the neck to the point where the pain stops in the back. Be careful not to rub too hard or too aggressively, this could make the problem worse and extend the discomfort. It would be better if someone else could provide the massage. You will be in a more relaxed state and another person can massage the affected area without having to use other muscles during the process.
2. A hot shower is known to relieve muscle pain and stiff neck. When you shower, try to make the water as hot as possible. Stay still and let the water hit the affected area. If possible, rub this area gently as the water hits your body. This can be done every time you shower and should produce results in a matter of days.
3. For immediate relief, there are two products that I highly recommend for stiff necks. The first is ThermaCare heat packs. No, I have not been commissioned to sing their praises. When I’ve used something that works, I spread the word. Too many complain when a product doesn’t meet their expectations, but too few acknowledge their satisfaction for something that does.
4. Simply put, ThermaCare heating pads work. I have used them for stiff neck pain and they relieved me in an hour. Once you remove the adhesive from the heat pack, apply it to your neck and allow the air to reach the pack; it quickly starts to get hotter and hotter.
5. The second product I suggest for serious instant relief is IcyHot. This cream is amazing. For immediate and instant relief, take a hot shower and then apply IcyHot. However, keep in mind that this will intensify the experience. In a couple of minutes you will feel a burning sensation (do not apply after a hot shower if you cannot get too hot). Shortly after the burning sensation subsides, you will begin to feel relief. This is an extreme method of relief and should be used with caution and care. It is not recommended for children or people with sensitive skin.
A stiff neck can be a real pain, but it doesn’t have to last long. As with any injury, your treatment should depend on the cause. Once you have determined the reason for your pain, take the appropriate steps to get rid of your neck stiffness.