We’ve all been there: we wake up in bed and notice our neck is tight, we’re stiff after a long day of computer work, or our neck hurts after a stressful day. Neck stiffness or discomfort is a typical condition that generally resolves within a week, although it can sometimes afflict individuals for much longer.
Many individuals reflexively go for a bottle of pain relievers when they have neck discomfort. However, if you have a stiff neck, there may be an underlying issue that has to be addressed. Neck joints frequently stiffen up and must be stretched and relaxed to allow unrestricted mobility and prevent future stiff neck problems.
Chiropractors employ a range of stretches and exercises to release the neck joints and stabilise the muscles around the cervical spine. So, keep a watchful eye on your discomfort and consider seeing a chiropractor for your stiff neck instead of using pain relievers.
Stiff necks are characterised by difficulties moving the neck from side to side and a headache or discomfort in the neck, shoulder, or arm. Pain may last from a few hours to a week, in which case you should seek expert care.
A few common reasons for stiff necks can be treated with rest or chiropractic therapy. When the levator scapulae, or the muscle that links the cervical spine to the shoulder, is overworked or stretched, muscular strains can result.
Strains can arise as a result of a range of ordinary activities, such as sleeping with your neck at an unusual angle or retaining tension due to stress. They can also be caused by a spinal misalignment, which causes the muscles in the area to be unable to adequately support the neck and head.
Neck discomfort might also be caused by a pinched nerve. When this happens, one of your spine’s vertebrae gets misaligned and compresses a nerve that protrudes between the spinal segments.
Larger, underlying concerns, such as a herniated disc, osteoarthritis, or disc degenerative disease, are less prevalent reasons for a stiff neck.
When You Should Seek Chiropractic Care
Try resting for a day or using an ice pack for 20 minutes if you have a tight neck. These techniques generally ease stress within a day or two. However, the stiffness and discomfort will not disappear in certain circumstances, necessitating expert treatment.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should consult a chiropractor:
- Pain or stiffness that does not go gone after a few days.
- Stiffness or discomfort that does not respond to cold treatment.
- Severe discomfort that makes looking to the left or right difficult.
- Pain or stiffness following a stressful event such as a fall or automobile accident.
When you go to a chiropractor, they will evaluate your neck and try to figure out what is causing the pain. For example, if your vertebrae are misaligned, they may perform a spinal adjustment to realign everything. They may also demonstrate neck stretches and gentle exercises to help maintain your joints and muscles healthy and flexible.