What to do when you have a stiff neck

Stiff Neck

You probably don’t give much thought to how important your neck is until, you wake up one day and it’s stiff. A stiff neck can be painful and limits your ability to complete many activities. When you’re in this condition, you know how important it is to find treatment fast.

A stiff neck is usually nothing too serious. There are several options for taking care of your stiff neck yourself to help reduce pain and stiffness. However, neck pain that persists for a long time or is severe should be treated by a healthcare professional.

What to do with a stiff neck at home

If your neck hasn’t been in pain for a long time or isn’t what you would consider serious, you should try some of the following methods for home treatment:

  • Pain medication — There’s no shame in admitting that your stiff neck hurts and you need some help with it. Many over-the-counter pain medications can help soothe your pain. Anti-inflammatory medications can help too by treating the potential source of the pain.

  • Icing and heating — Apply some ice to your neck a few times a day for about 15 minutes each time. Icing will help with the pain and reduce any inflammation that’s causing it. After a few days of ice, you can switch to heat to help soothe the pain while your neck recovers.

  • Gentle stretches and exercises — Stretching your neck is a great way to address your current pain and prevent future pain. Improving the strength and flexibility of your neck muscles provides more support for your head, which can reduce strain on your spine. Try rolling your shoulders backward a few times and then forward. You can also roll your head around your shoulders slowly in one direction for a few rotations and then switch.

When your neck pain is too severe or won’t go away after a couple of weeks, these home treatments won’t cut it. You’ll need to see a physical therapist for a more thorough treatment.

Visit Whatcom Physical Therapy for stiff neck treatment

Our physical therapists at Whatcom Physical Therapy have many methods at their disposal for treating neck pain. We will identify the source of your pain to develop a customized treatment plan to reduce it and prevent similar pain in the future.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.