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Stiff Neck Causes and Treatment

By on November 20, 2012

If you, just like me have at one time woken up and the first thing out of your mouth is ‘my neck hurts‘  or you are experiencing a stiff neck and don’t know what exactly caused it or even how to treat this stiff neck pain. Here are stiff neck causes and stiff neck treatments that you will find helpful and get relief.

Stiff Neck Causes and Stiff Neck Treatments available?

stiff neck treatment

Stiff Neck Cases and Treatment

First we need to exermine what a stiff neck is?

A stiff neck is typically characterized by soreness and difficulty moving the neck – especially when trying to turn the head to the side. A stiff neck may also be accompanied by a headache, shoulder pain and/or arm pain, and cause the individual to turn the entire body as opposed to the neck when trying to look sideways or backwards.

Symptoms typically last for a couple of days or a week and may prompt neck pain that ranges from mildly painful but annoying to extremely painful and limiting. While there are a few instances in which neck stiffness is a sign of a serious medical condition, most episodes of acute neck stiffness or pain heal quickly due to the durable and recuperative nature of the cervical spine.

The most common causes of a stiff neck include, but are not limited to, the following:

Muscle Strain or Sprain
By far the most common cause of a stiff neck is a muscle sprain or muscle strain, particularly to the levator scapula muscle. Located at the back and side of the neck, the levator scapula muscle connects the cervical spine (the neck) with the shoulder. This muscle is controlled by the third and fourth cervical nerves (C3, C4).
The levator scapula muscle may be strained or sprained throughout the course of many common, everyday activities, such as:

  • Sleeping in a position that strains the neck muscles
  • Sports injuries that strain the neck
  • Any activity that involves repeatedly turning the head from side to side, such as swimming the front crawl stroke
  • Poor posture, such as slouching while viewing the computer monitor
  • Excessive stress, which can lead to tension in the neck
  • Holding the neck in an abnormal position for a long period, such as cradling a phone between the neck and shoulder.

Other causes are having a Meningitis Infection or a Cervical Spine Disorder

article extracted from Spinehealth

There are countless reasons as to why you may experience a stiff neck; equivalent to this, are the methods of stiff neck treatment. Some of these methods of stiff neck treatment are more effective than others.

English: Scheme of muscles of neck (left side,...

English: Scheme of muscles of neck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stiff Neck Treatment Options

Therefore, you should take the necessary steps to get the neck muscles pain treated when it occurs; this is because the complications that are associated with it may continue to increase in intensity. However, if you do not take any measures of stiff neck treatment, the neck pain intensifies more and more and it becomes intolerable and also the numbers of treatment options become limited.

Massage or Acupuncture Stiff Neck Treatment Option

This option can be considered when the neck muscle pain is in its initial stages. Seek to visit a good professional acupuncturist or a good massage parlor to assist in treating the problem. As an added advantage this method gives you thorough refreshment along side relieving you of the pain in the neck.

Most people, who consider this method when it comes to stiff neck treatment, are left happy and ready to undertake their daily activities with zest and much vigor. Funny enough, people who initially go for this option to relief neck pain make it a routine even after the stiff neck is relieved due to the relaxing feel.

Medical Stiff Neck Treatment Option

If the pain goes a notch higher in intensity, then the acupuncturist and the masseur are not of much help to you. Therefore, you need to seek professional medical treatment. Over the counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen are considered effective for the neck pain relief.

However, this option may still not work for you given that the pain is too severe. Even so most people who have under gone medical treatment end up much better. This stiff neck treatment should be administered on the right time thus to enable you overcome the stiff neck problem easily.

Exercise regime: your stiff neck may be probably caused by a sedentary lifestyle. Nowadays most people do not have the time for any physical activities. However, the fact often forgotten is that this negligence on this part will prove to be painful and expensive in the long run.

Therefore, rather than waiting to spend a fortune on the stiff neck treatment after the pain has hit, it is best to avoid any possibilities of neck muscle pain by performing exercises diligently for about 30 minutes daily.

Take preventive measures into account.  Does your head drop either forward or is it pulled back when sitting or standing? In most cases when other muscles are not working well the result is a stiff neck. Therefore, if you maintain the wrong posture, your muscles will not work well as nature intended. Keep of stress as well, so as keeping off stiff neck.

However if despite the preventive measures you experience the stiff neck, make sure that you see your doctor and seek for stiff neck treatment at the word go.