We are all too familiar with the feeling of waking up and realising that your neck isn’t able to turn to one side. It can quickly sour your mood and make the simplest of movements unbearable. At that moment, you’ll do almost anything to try to solve it – head to buy a Tiger Balm patch, while googling the nearest massage place available.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what you can do to address your morning neck pain.
Home remedies for neck pain
Here’s some DIY options you can try to help ease the pain:
1. Hot or cold?
Should you use a hot or cold compress for stiff necks? The answer is both, but not at the same time. Our Doctors of Chiropractic generally recommend that ice be used first on a stiff, painful neck for the first 24 – 48 hours. When an injury is first sustained, applying ice helps to reduce the inflammation and naturally control the pain. Applying heat prematurely can cause the inflammation to worsen.
After the initial period of swelling, applying heat or using an analgesic (e.g. Tiger Balm patches, Bengay, standing under a hot shower) helpsto loosen tense muscles.
Regardless of whether ice or heat is being used, it should be used in moderation – you should only do so for 20 minutes at a time, and give the area at least a 40-minute break before using it again.
2. Can I just stretch it out?
While it may be tempting to just force yourself through painful movements to increase your range of motion, don’t do it. The key is to keep your neck moving through a pain-free range of motion, which can help with the loosening of the muscles. The idea is to continue to keep blood flowing to your neck. Don’t stop moving altogether, as this may cause your muscles to tighten up.
3. Over-the-counter medication
If the pain is a significant hindrance to your day, you can consider taking over-the-counter painkillers. You should consult your doctor if you are unsure of what medication is suitable for you.
Getting to the root cause of your neck pains
All said, it is more important to look at the root cause of your neck pains. In our next part of this series, we will share more about potential causes of your stiff neck.
If you or someone you know often wakes up with a stiff neck, this could be due to a spinal misalignment that is hindering the proper functioning of your spine and central nervous system. Read about how we’ve helped people who suffer from persistent stiff necks here .
Know someone who has been suffering from chronic neck pain? Get that neck pain checked today and we’ll try our best to help.