Almost everyone has experienced feeling a slight pain or some discomfort on their necks. Sometimes you feel it when you wake up the next day. Some people have sore necks after working for hours, using the computer, reading a book, writing, or whatever activity that may strain the neck. A sore neck may not really be that sore. The pain may be quite tolerable compared to other body aches. But it is nonetheless annoying and bothersome. So here are some tips on how to fix a sore neck.
What is a Sore neck?
Sore neck is also called neck pain or stiff neck. It is a discomfort on any part of the neck. And people call this stiff neck because at most times you may have difficulty in moving your neck to a particular direction. At most times, you are stuck with your neck in only one position. A neck pain may also involve the nerves. If there is a significant muscle spasm pinching on the nerve or a slipped disk exerting pressure on the nerve, you may feel some numbness, weakness, or tingling in your arm or other body parts.
There are various causes of sore neck. Usually, sore neck is caused by muscle strain. And the cause of this muscle strain is mainly due to your everyday activities and posture. Traumatic accidents may also cause you a sore neck. Accidents or falls may cause vertebral fractures, blood vessel injury, whiplash, and paralysis. And these all end up with a pain on your neck. Some medical conditions like fibromyalgia, spondylosis, osteoporosis, spinal infections, spinal stenosis, ruptured disk, and cancer involving the spine may all lead to sore neck or have sore neck as a symptom.
Remedies for sore neck
Remedies for sore neck may vary depending on the severity of the case and the cause of the pain. Below are some treatments for minor or common cases of sore neck.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB).
- Apply hot or cold compress to the area. Apply a cold compress on the area for the first 48 to 72 hours then apply a hot compress. Hot showers or heating pads may be used as a substitute for hot compress.
- Avoid doing any physical activity (i.e. heavy lifting, bending over) for the first few days to let your body rest and reduce the inflammation.
- Perform slow exercises such as moving your head up and down, side to side, and from ear to ear. This will gently stretch your neck muscles and to ease it back into working condition.
- Have someone to gently massage the sore area.
- Use a soft neck collar for some time to relieve the discomfort.
- Sleep on a firm mattress without any pillows or with a special pillow for your neck.
- Do not crack your neck. It may provide temporary relief but it will make your condition worse.
For more severe cases of sore neck, it is best to visit your physician or your chiropractor. Surgery may be required in some cases.