Neck stiffness is associated with pain and difficulties while moving the head. A stiff neck can also be accompanied by neck pain, headache, shoulder pain, and arm pain. Such pains and discomfort are bound to disturb your daily activities and make it difficult to sleep. Although a good number of people have experienced neck stiffness, most of them do not know how to ease the stiffness themselves. Here are a few tricks for working through neck stiffness.

Cold and Heat Therapy

The first step in dealing with a stiff neck is to use cold therapy. In order to limit the build-up of lactic acid, it is recommended you apply cold packs. Using ice on the affected area will also numb pain and reduce inflammation. In case the condition does not improve, you can try heat therapy. This will reduce neck stiffness by relaxing tense muscles and promoting blood flow. Use both for the best results after an accident or whiplash.

Regular Massage

Massaging the affected area gently and regularly will provide warmth and promote blood flow to the affected area, though it should not be attempted very soon after an injury. For the massage to be even more effective, you should use essential oils such as pine, lavender, and rosemary.

Therapeutic Exercises

The benefits of regular exercise cannot be denied, and these benefits even extend to healing. Therapeutic exercises will serve a very important role when it comes to a stiff neck. There are different types of neck exercises, each of which will offer relief at different times. Isometric exercises will not involve movement of the neck, but will help in releasing tension from your neck muscles. A physical therapist can recommend stretches and movements to do that can help get you mobile and more stretched.

Relaxation and Breathing Techniques

Since emotional stress can lead to muscle tension, you should take part in activities that will help you to reduce your stress levels. Breathing techniques will also help to calm your nerves and muscles. With less stress and holding less tension, you’ll be able to focus on your own mental health.


In case these simple tricks do not offer relief, you should consider trying medication. Relieving muscle pain may require you to use over-the-counter drugs, muscle relaxants, or topical analgesia. If you decide to use over-the-counter drugs, you must make sure that you take the recommended dosage.

Professional Help

If the home remedies to not deliver the expected results, you should seek professional help. Some of the professional remedies available include chiropractors, physiotherapy, acupuncture, and professional massage.

While neck stiffness cannot be considered a serious medical condition, it can get worse if ignored. These tricks will ease discomfort and prevent the condition from worsening.

Author's Bio: 

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.