Wake up with a stiff neck lately?
When was the last time you woke up with a stiff neck? It’s a horrible feeling – your neck is stiff, painful and your head feels heavy. From personal experience I know that sometimes I know what I did to aggravate my neck but many times I have no idea what I did to cause my neck pain and stiffness.
Treatment for a stiff neck
Neck stiffness comes from one of two things – either a joint in the neck is irritated and the muscles around that joint have tightened up to provide support, or a muscle was strained and has become inflamed and spasmed.
In most cases that I see in my San Diego chiropractic office, patients with neck stiffness usually have both joint irritation and a muscle strain. Regardless of the cause of your neck stiffness, treatment focuses on restoring full range of motion of the joints and relaxing the affected muscles.
Treatment for neck stiffness at home begins with keeping your neck in a comfortable position. Many patients seem to think that the best remedy for a stiff neck is to force it through the pain and tightness – this approach will only make your discomfort worse!
Neck stiffness is best dealt with at home by rotating hot packs and cold packs in 10 minute intervals and trying your best to maintain a comfortable position. Moving your neck slowly through comfortable ranges of motion and doing some light, comfortable stretches is fine so long as they don’t further aggravate your neck once you are done.
Chiropractic treatment for a stiff neck is ideal for restoring pain-free range of motion to the neck. At my office we use E-stim, heat, therapeutic ultrasound and acupressure to relax the muscles before chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic adjustments are usually painless but we are especially careful with patients who are suffering with a stiff neck.