A stiff neck could occur for any number of reasons. Perhaps you spent too long holding your phone between your head and your shoulder as you washed the dishes, or maybe you were too stressed out because of your fast approaching final exams. No matter what the reason, a stiff neck can be a major nuisance as the nagging discomfort continues. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to fix the sore neck and no, it does not involve any expensive medicines or injections.
Epsom salt; it has long been considered a healthy remedy for all kinds of muscle pains. Use Epsom salt and warm water to make a mixture. Perhaps you should add 1 or 2 cups of the salt to warm water of an adequate quantity. Then, you should soak your neck in this mixture for half an hour. As the salt (which is, in fact, magnesium sulfate) gets absorbed into your skin, the magnesium causes your muscle to contract thus relieving the pain.
Stretching and neck exercises; most experts suggest exercises to be the best remedy for stiff neck. There are a number of small exercises that can help relieve the pain. One exercise is to drop your head till the point of comfort while your face should be toward the ceiling. Another method is to rotate your head from left to right and vice versa. Tilting your head from one shoulder to another is also suggested. A fourth exercise would be to put your hands behind your neck and gently push your head down towards your chest. Remember that all these exercises should be done gently and if any exercise causes you discomfort, you should stop immediately.
Heating and cooling pads; just like all other kinds of muscle pains, stiff necks can be relieved through hot towels and other such methods. It is suggested that a towel-pad containing ice or a towel immersed in hot water can help to relieve pain by relaxing the muscles in the problematic part.
Acupuncture and massage; a simple neck massage can also be of great help. Again, the purpose of the massage is simply to relax the neck muscles so that the stiffness goes away. Acupunctures techniques have recently gained a lot of popularity as well. One such technique is to massage the opposite side of problematic part. Put a finger on the region opposite to the point where the stiffness occurs and make small circles with your finger. Continue to do this for 5-10 minutes and results would soon appear.
Pain medication; In case where pain is causing too much discomfort, you could use a muscle soothing balm. Such balms usually contain chemicals like menthol which relax the skin. You may also take painkillers such as ibuprofen.
In conclusion, remember that sometimes the stiff neck might just be a symptom of a more serious problem. If the stiff neck continues to cause discomfort despite applying all these remedies for a long period of time, you should consult a doctor.