Most of us have experienced waking up in the morning with a crick in the neck. You go to bed feeling normal, only to wake up to stiffness and limited mobility. This stiffness and limited mobility can last hours or even days. Sleeping in an incorrect position is the most common cause of a crick in the neck, but it can also result from poor posture, improper exercise technique, sitting in an awkward position, or even injury.
Here are some tips to help alleviate the crick in your neck:
Applying heat can relax sore, stiff muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Heat loosens muscle spasms which are a large contributor to pain and stiffness. Try a heating pad, warm compress, hot bath, or a hot shower. Once your muscles are warm, try some light stretching.
Ice reduces inflammation which can alleviate pain and stiffness. You can alternate heat and ice. If one works better than the other, then continue using whichever works best.
Gently roll your neck from side to side. Nod up and down in a slow steady motion. Look side to side slowly to stretch tight neck muscles. Roll your shoulders forward, up, and back and set them in proper alignment.
Focus on good posture:
Maintaining proper posture helps to keep your vertebrae in alignment. Check your posture periodically throughout the day and correct any slouching or hunching over.
Have someone gently massage your neck and shoulders. This will help loosen any knots and tightness.
Over-the-counter pain medications:
Pain medications such as Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen can reduce swelling and relieve pain and stiffness.
If you have a crick in your neck that is not getting better with home remedies, or if your symptoms worsen, call our office and book an appointment today!
Dr. Ramesh Chandra has been practicing orthopaedic surgery in the Washington DC Metropolitan area since 1984. The Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine is easily accessed from anywhere in the Washington DC metropolitan area, with offices located in Falls Church, Reston/Herndon, and Tysons Corner.