Do you suffer from soreness in the neck that makes it difficult to move the head from side-to-side? According to Spine Health, stiff neck is most often a muscle strain in the back and side of the neck. It may be the result of sleeping in an awkward position, a sports injury, stress, or poor posture, especially when looking down at a computer for an extended period of time.
Stiff neck is usually painful but harmless. However, when accompanied by a high fever, it is important to seek immediate medical attention, as these symptoms together point to the dangerous bacterial infection meningitis.
For a more routine stiff neck, we recommend the following home remedies:
1. Stretch :
Cleveland Clinic recommends a stretching routine that can be easily done at your desk or in your car. Begin by rolling your shoulders backwards and downwards 10 times. Next, squeeze your shoulder blades together 10 times. Now, cup your hands behind your head and push you head back into your hands for a count of 30. Lastly, dip your head to the side, reaching the ear to the shoulder. Repeat 10 times on each side.
2. Sleep on your back or your side:
According to Cleveland Clinic, sleeping on the stomach removes all support from the lower back and strains the neck. If you think your sleeping position is the main cause of your stiff neck, take extra care to sleep on your back or on your side. If the pain persists, you may want to ask your doctor about the benefits of a special neck pillow.
3. Castor oil massage:
Earth Clinic recommends this common home remedy for pain relief. Lightly heat castor oil and massage it into your neck muscles. Ask a friend or loved one to knead the oil into the muscles around your upper spine.
4. Myofascial stretch:
Begin by elongating the body and dropping the chin to the chest. Place clasped hands or a towel at the base of the neck and use the weight of your arms to gently stretch your neck, shoulder, and back muscles. Hold for 3 to 5 minutes. In the Earth Clinic video below, Myofascial Release Therapist Erica Reid explains the longer you hold the stretch, the deeper and more permanent the release.