Posted by MVMT Team
Among the number of repetitive stress injuries, shoulder and neck pain (including stiffed neck) are most common. Gladly, there are quick stiff neck treatments and fixes that you can do from the convenience of your home.
Quick facts about stiff neck
Stiff neck is a bothersome condition characterized by soreness and difficulty of movement, most specifically as you turn your head to the other side. The stiffness can be felt on the neck area, headache and shoulder.
Stiff neck pain could last for days to a week and may range from mild to extremely painful. Muscle strains, tissue sprains, sports injuries and excessive stress put around the neck are the most common causes of this condition. Some rare cases of stiff neck can be caused by meningitis or infection.
Stiff neck happens when the neck muscles are weakened from prolonged misused or wrong postures such as on instances like staring down at a computer or long drives. In most cases, stiff neck isn’t dangerous although it is a factor that can affect everyday life. It can even make a simple head turning or nodding difficult for you.
Here are 4 fixes to stop neck pain and avoid them from coming back.
1. Proper sitting posture
Tight muscles in your neck lead to poor posture and eventually, neck pain. You see, when you are sitting in front of the computer, everyday for long hours, this affects your posture. Slouching is a common posture mistake more specifically to office workers. When you slouch, your shoulders are hunched forward. Overtime, this sitting posture become your “new normal” and it actually causes stiffness and pain to the neck. This is why it’s so important to practice straight sitting. Eventually, proper sitting position will solidify a good posture.
Spine Health recommended these routines to practice straight sitting on a desk.
- Eyes should point directly at the top third of the screen.
- Forearms should be approximately parallel with the floor when typing.
- Elbows should be at the side.
- Feet should be flat on the floor with the thighs parallel with the floor.
Other considerations include:
- Position of your head. Make sure you keep the weight at the base which is your neck. Refrain from leaning your head and neck forward, like when you are staring and reading intently at the computer screen.
- Make sure the weight of your arms is supported. This will ensure that your shoulders do not experience unnecessary stress as you work all day.
- If you are using a computer, position the keyboard and the mouse closely so that you need not stretch your arms and shoulders all the way.
2. 60-second stiff neck fixes for smart gadget users
In an article from Today Health and Wellness, Dr. Ken Hansraj, a spinal and orthopedic surgeon from New York stated that our gadgets have impact to our body posture. It sums up that bending your head when holding your smartphone or tablet for an excessive amount of time puts lot of stress to the cervical spine which may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries.
The fix is to create a healthy posture habit. Bring the phone to the eye level so you wouldn’t have bend down your neck. Do a gentle neck rotation every hour within the day. This simple routine will help ease out pain and prevent future pain re-occurrences.
3. Sleeping postures to prevent stiff neck
Stiff neck may also happen when you sleep in an awkward position, for instance, when you’re in a deep sleep and your head fell into a position that stresses the neck muscles.
While sleeping, the head, neck and the lower back area should have proper support. If you are sleeping in a side position, additional pillow support is recommended. A pillow must be placed between the knees to provide lumbar support. However, it’s not advisable to raise an arm above or under the head as this puts tension on the neck and shoulders.
For people sleeping on their stomach, it is recommended to avoid this position as it heightens the pain. However, if you find it hard to adjust, it would be good to put a pillow beneath the abdomen as well as under the neck and head.
Harvard Health recommends to use feather pillow. This conform the shape of the neck. You may also use traditionally shaped pillow with memory foam.
4. Fixing forward head posture
Forward head posture can lead to chronic neck pain. For every inch that you bulge out your head from its supposed normal position, you actually add 10 pounds of force on your neck, which leads to chronic pain overtime. Fix the forward head posture with the Scupular Wall Press Technique from Livestrong.
- Stand with your head, shoulders, back, buttocks and calves against a wall. Place your arms out to yours sides with your palms facing forward.
- Exhale and press your entire body against the wall. Push your lower back, buttock, arms and head back for a duration of five deep breaths. Breathe into your belly as you push.
- Walk around for about 30 seconds, maintaining the new posture.
- Repeat routine three more times.
Get the right stiff neck treatment
If you have injured your neck or is dealing with chronic conditions that may cause your neck to feel stiffed or sore, you need immediate help. A qualified physiotherapist will do a comprehensive individual analysis to evaluate your condition. Contact MVMT Physio & Chiro for a no obligation appointment and talk to a qualified clinician who can help you find the right stiff neck treatment for you.