Stiff neck? Release that feeling.

By Cody Frank

Have you woke up or realized in the middle of the day that your neck isn’t moving smoothly? Ouch. We’ve all experienced or will experience a stiff, tight feeling in the neck. Perhaps you will have difficulty moving the head to the left or right; nodding or shaking your head no. Additionally, some of you will deal with a headache and that pain could spread to your back and arms. These symptoms are generally caused by tight neck muscles. Other symptoms include poor posture, weak neck muscles, strained/spasmed muscles, repetitive neck movements, unusual neck positions (check yourself when sleeping), stress, athletic activities, and lifting weights or items. Below is a video from Mayo Clinic that shows several helpful neck stretches to do when you feel tightness in the neck.

Neck Stretches

Treatment of a stiff neck is to rest from any activity that aggravates it. Combine that with neck stretches, heat, and a sports massage  to release that tightness. There are circumstances that your neck stiffness underlying cause is a condition such as meningitis, herniated or bulging disc, or some other condition. If your conditions do not improve or the pain is sharp and persistent, go see a doctor and a physical therapist who can help you alleviate and diagnosis your specific case. For instance, I thought I had a stiff neck spasm that ended up being diagnosed as a cervical herniated disc and a bulging disc. It’s best to be safe and make an appointment with a doctor, especially when dealing with a critical body part like your neck.

Rest, heat, stretch, observe where you think the problem is starting, and strengthen your neck to prevent neck stiffness. If you have to think about moving your head you know you have a problem. Let’s all breathe with relief to know that neck stiffness doesn’t have to always be there. Whew. See you next time Flygyals.

Thank you to Mayo Clinic, Sports Injury Clinic, Harvard Health, and Physical Therapists for the above information.

Cover photo via Media4

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