The increased use of laptops, desktops, tablets, handheld consoles, and cellphones has forced people to angle their necks and backs in unusual ways. Neck stiffness and pain are commonly reported by people who work in front of computers for hours at a time.
Try to be at eye level when working on your phone, tablet, or computer in order to reduce neck pain and stiffness. Neck pain and stiffness can also be caused by blunt force trauma, such as whiplash from a car accident. Here, we will explore the causes of a stiff neck, as well as what can be done to get rid of it.
Reasons for a Stiff Neck
Neck stiffness occurs when the muscles in that area become strained, stretched, or overused. Minor strains and/or sprains can cause neck stiffness, swelling, and pain. Cervical spine disorders can also cause a stiff neck. Examples include facet joint disorders, cervical osteoarthritis, and a herniated disc. When any component of the cervical spine becomes misaligned, neck stiffness and pain will ensue.
As well, poor posture will invariably lead to neck stiffness and discomfort. Try and work at an ergonomic desk in order to help facilitate optimal posture. Injuries caused by falls, athletic mishaps, and automobile accidents may also lead to neck pain, soreness, and stiffness.
Remedies for a Stiff Neck
If you are currently dealing with a stiff and sore neck, then there are many remedies that you can try in order to treat these problems. For example, you can apply a hot or cold compress to the affected area. A neck massage may relieve swelling and tension. Some experts also believe that acupuncture may help those who suffer from acute neck and back spasms and related disorders.
Consider making an appointment with a reputable physiotherapist. They may take X-rays and conduct other tests in order to identify the root cause of your neck stiffness. They may then implement various massage techniques to treat your neck issues. Overall, you should think about looking into physiotherapy treatment in order to prevent such issues from occurring in the future.
It is also best to halt strenuous or dangerous activities, such as contact sports or heavy lifting, in order to avoid exacerbating the problem. However, you should exercise regularly, provided you are able to do so without causing great discomfort or pain.
How to Prevent a Stiff Neck
Making some quick and easy lifestyle changes will help you prevent a stiff neck. For example, you should use an earpiece for your smartphone while driving or while you are on the subway.
It is important to take frequent breaks. You should get away from your desk or living room entertainment hub every hour or so and stretch. Leave the office or your home for a few minutes and take a walk and get some fresh air to get the blood flowing. Avoid driving for prolonged periods of time. One of the leading causes of obesity is living a sedentary lifestyle. The human body was not designed to sit in front of a desk for 8 hours a day.
Try changing your sleep position in order to prevent a stiff neck. We would suggest that you invest in a high-quality pillow and mattress as well. Speak to a sleep expert to determine the right amount of support for your unique anatomical contours.
Stretch whenever you have a free minute to help prevent muscle atrophy. You should avoid carrying heavy bags that can strain your neck and shoulder muscles. Try and reduce stress in your life, as stress can cause muscle aches and stiffness. Speak to your doctor if you experience muscle stiffness, aches, inflammation, and unusual pain.
Exercise is also a great way to stay in shape, prevent neck stiffness, and relieve stress and tension as well. Swimming, biking, yoga, and walking may help prevent neck stiffness and pain.
Don’t Suffer in Silence
Minor neck issues can usually be treated with some heat, ice, and/or stretching. However, if your pain does not go away after a few days or gets worse, then see your doctor as soon as possible. A stiff neck may be a sign of something more serious, so you should play it safe and make an appointment with your doctor in order to get an accurate diagnosis.
Neck pain and stiffness can be debilitating, and may affect your home and work life. Fortunately, most neck-related issues are minor and will go away with physiotherapy, pain medication, anti- inflammatories, a neck massage, and a heat or cold compress.