Soreness and pain in the neck can be very irritating and can disrupt normal routine for few days, home remedies for stiff neck are useful and easy ways to relieve the symptoms in a short time. Stiff neck can be due to mild to serious reasons and in some cases, though very rarely, it can be a symptom of life threatening condition. Due to stiff neck person is not able to turn the neck around or keep it straight and it poses lot of difficulty while looking sideways or backwards. The pain caused by stiff neck can be mild to severe and it can come in waves or continue for longer period as dull ache. Most of the time in few days stiff neck gets cured itself due to recuperative nature of cervical spine but as long as it stays it causes lot of problems and reduces working efficiency of a person drastically. Home remedies for stiff neck can provide relief in a short time and are safe to use.
The biggest cause of stiff neck is muscle sprain or strain. Levator scapula muscle is the muscle which attaches neck with shoulders, this muscle can get strained or sprained by normal day to day activities. Sleeping in a wrong position which causes regular strain on the muscle, slouching in a position while working or watching TV which strains the muscle, sudden or jerky movement of hand, any movement which causes repeated movement of head in one direction, holding neck in wrong position for longer duration like holding phone between shoulder and head and over stress are few conditions which can strain the levator scapula muscle to cause stiff neck. Meningitis and other bacterial infections also cause stiff neck, the symptoms of the problem differ from normal stiff neck symptoms in case of infections. Problems related to cervical spine are other causes of stiff neck like cervical herniated disc and cervical osteoarthritis.
Home remedies for stiff neck are effective in providing relief and alleviating symptoms of the problem caused by any of these reasons. Stiffness, pain, sudden or dull ache which gets aggravated when trying to turn the neck and discomfort in neck above the shoulders, are symptoms of stiff neck. The pain can cause headache, pain in shoulders and pain in upper chest too, if accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting and sleepiness then stiff neck is caused due to meningitis or other bacterial infections. If the stiffness and pain do not subside within a week immediate medical attention is required. Home remedies for stiff neck can cure the problem in a short time and provide relief from troubling symptoms immediately.
Hot compress is one of the most effective home remedies for stiff neck. Dip a towel in hot water and wring to let the excess water flow out. Cover the neck with the towel and keep neck in comfortable and correct position for 15 minutes. Dip again and take 3-4 compresses in one session. Take two three sessions during the day and one before going to bed to alleviate the problem within a day. This is one of the home remedies for stiff neck which provides immediate relief.
Take a tablespoon of mustard oil and heat it on a low flame. Check if oil is not unbearably hot, wet hands with the oil and rub the oil on the painful area with gentle pressure sliding hand from one side to another and pulling it back to the starting side with same pressure. This relieves sprain and strain off the levator scapula muscle and also works very well for relieving swelling and stiffness. It is one of the oldest home remedies for stiff neck.
Another very old and one of the effective home remedies for stiff neck is provided by warm water bath. Take a warm water bath before going to bed, allow the water to fall on the neck. Later sleep on a hard bed without keeping any pillow under the head. This may appear uncomfortable due to habit of using pillow for sleeping but can cure the pain and stiffness by morning.
One can perform an exercise which works as one of the useful home remedies for stiff neck. Rotate neck in clockwise and anti-clockwise direction alternatively. Do this few times in a day and rotate the neck at least 10 times in one direction and equal number of times in another direction in each session. Though rotating neck during pain and stiffness is difficult but this relieves pain and cures stiffness in a short time.
Rubbing ice cube on the painful area is another one of very useful home remedies for stiff neck. Rubbing of ice numbs the area which relieves pain and also promotes blood rush after sometime which cures swelling and also relieves the strained muscle to cure the problem. If one cannot rub ice directly on the skin for sufficient duration than wrap few cubes in cloth or towel and apply on the affected area with gentle pressure for 15-20 minutes. Repeat this remedy few times in a day and it will cure the problem within a day. This is one of the easiest home remedies for stiff neck.
Sometimes people find pain and stiffness in the neck after waking up in the morning, this happens due to pillow or due to wrong position of the neck while sleeping. To cure stiff neck occurring during sleep one can try an exercise which is one of the effective home remedies for stiff neck. Perform pull-ups, hang yourself on a high bar holding bar with hands, now tilt your head backwards slowly till you face the sky completely, hold it for few seconds and slowly bring your head forward till you face the earth. Repeat this few times and keep your eyes closed during the exercise. This will not only cure the problem but if done regularly will strengthen the neck muscle to prevent frequent episodes of stiff neck.
There are few yoga posses which are of immense benefit to strengthen muscles of the body and increase their flexibility to prevent stiffness and strains. These poses are beneficial for curing and preventing episodes of stiff neck too. Use a proper pillow and avoid straining neck by keeping it in wrong positions.