Should You Put Heat On A Stiff Neck?

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What Helps a Stiff Neck

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Stiff neck suffers, will hear conflicting advice on whether you should put cold or put heat on a stiff neck.

And, it really depends on whether the sore neck is an acute problem or a chronic one. A general rule of thumb is to ice for acute pain and heat for chronic pain.

Heat will increase blood flow when applied to the skin so can be invaluable for treating chronic neck pain and poorly healed neck injuries.

Waking up with a stiff neck caused during sleep process

A stiff neck often caused by sleeping in a draft or awkward position will also benefit from the application of heat. As heat penetrates the painful area, blood circulation increases due to the dilation of blood vessels. This increase in blood flow reduces inflammation, brings extra oxygen and carries away waste and toxins. As this process takes place, pain will reduce.

Regency Hot/Cold Cervical Pillow with Case

Features of the Regency Hot/Cold Cervical Pillow: Measures 14″ x 5″. Provides relief from neck pain and headaches. Pillow density can be adjusted for individual comfort. Can be completely deflated for traveling ease. Washable pillow case. Hot/Cold pack can be frozen or heated in boiling water.

Heat should not be used on an acute neck injury or where discoloration or swelling is present as it may increase internal bleeding.

Water is a more effective heat conductor than air and the neck can tolerate moist heat at a temperature higher than that of dry heat. Many people use hot water bottles for neck pain relief. The bottle should be half filled and the excess air removed helping it conform more easily to the body. The temperature should be checked to make sure it isn’t too hot and wrapping a towel or cover around it will make it safer and more comfortable.

A hot shower with the shower head directed on the painful area can also provide relief for stiff neck. While soaking in a hot tub is traditionally a method for soothing aches and pains, lying in a tub does not promote good neck posture.

Products On The Market Aimed At Relieving Stiff Neck

There are a variety of products on the market designed to give neck pain relief. Specialized neck wraps containing gel can be heated by using a microwave or by soaking in boiling water for a set period. These wraps are designed to prevent burning and mould to the contours of the neck for maximum pain relief.

Herbal neck wraps, containing spices and herbs such as ginger, black pepper and juniper berries can be heated in a microwave and will dispense moist heat and the relaxing properties of the herbs.

Elasto-Gel Hot/Cold Cervical Support Roll, Large (4 in x 10 in)

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Neck roll pillows, providing a contour that supports the natural cervical spine curvature can be found with optional non-toxic heat pack inserts. Made from memory foam these pillows mould around the neck and retain heat.

Electrical heating pads are also available and mould well to body contours due to  flexibility. They can cause irritation or burning if set too high and if you fall asleep. And, some electric heating pads may use dry heat, it is best to purchase models with moist heating pads for soothing penetrating heat.

Shoulder and Neck Heating Pad by Theratherm

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There are a number of topical products designed to create heat on painful areas. Some may cause a numbing sensation and prevent the patient from feeling exactly how hot they are. Products such as Deep Heat containing menthol can be used with caution if applied to cool skin as they have been known to create a burning sensation when the skin is warm.

Some herbal-based products are gentler on the skin and if applied after using heat therapy will penetrate deeper through the skin.

Heat is a useful medium in relieving neck pain as long as it is used carefully and safely. So, go ahead- use heat on that stiff neck.

Therapeutic Pillows Good Spine Alignment

Therapeutic pillows

The Bodyline Maxi-Rest Cervical Pillow: Now you can get a good night’s sleep thanks to the relaxing, effective neck support of the Bodyline Cervical Pillow. The popular dual roll design allows your head to relax comfortably in a center depression with the gentle, effective support of the smaller or larger outer roll. By helping the neck maintain its natural curvature, the Cervical Pillow provides soothing therapeutic support. And the convoluted top surface allows maximum air circulation as well. Covered in a washable poly/cotton zippered pillow case.

Sleep Joy ViscoFresh Memory Foam

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A Good Nights Sleep

Therapeutic pillows for sleeping that keep good spine alignment is a smart step to preventing neck pain and stiffness when you wake up. When selecting a pillow, not only comfort should be considered, but also consider whether it can provide proper support for the neck and spine to prevent damage and aggravation of any existing problems.

Good posture is essential through both day and night and using a suitable pillow will reduce pressure on the head and neck and keep the body in the correct spine alignment throughout the night. It is useful to have a pillow which can be adjusted to suit individual shape and curvature.

Therapeutic Pillows Reduce Head Pressure

A pillow should mold to your shape to relieve pressure points and maintain a suitable height of 4 to 6 inches to properly support the head and neck. Any higher and it can create a muscular strain on the back of the neck and shoulders when sleeping on the back and side.

Suitable therapeutic pillows should be firm and offer support. Fillings such as cotton, wool and memory foam offer good support, while feather pillows, however romantic, can be too soft. Grain or buckwheat pillows are very effective and comfortable when used for people with spinal conditions.

Support Pillow, White, Allergy-Free

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Body length pillows are useful for those who sleep on their sides as they support the head and neck as well as the legs and knees at the same time. These pillows give greater comfort than using separate pillows. They also offer abdominal support for pregnancy or obesity, preventing the abdomen from lying on the mattress and twisting the spine out of alignment.

Clinton Positioning Pillow, Wedge, 18 x 24 x 6, Cream

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Pillows supporting the knees are often wedge shaped and designed to relieve neck and back pressure. When lying on the back the pillow should sit under the knees to reduce pressure on the lower back. When lying on the side, the pillow should sit between the knees, preventing the uppermost leg from rotating downwards and twisting the spine.

Therapeutic Pillows Support The Neck

Orthopedic or neck pillows are shaped to fill the spaces under the head and neck and provide a deeper depression where the head lies than conventional pillows. This gives extra support to the neck, and helps with proper spine alignment, and provides both comfort and relief to those with existing neck injuries.

Jobri Travel Memory Pillows,

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“U” shaped travel pillows fit snugly round the neck and offer support when sleeping upright, preventing the head from tipping to one side and relieving the muscles that keep the head up.

Lower back or lumbar support pillows are useful when sitting for long periods, filling the gap between the lower spine and the back of the chair and preventing the spine from slouching. Also useful when driving or as a passenger in a car, they support the lumbar region and aid the spinal shock absorbing ability by keeping it in correct alignment.

Careful choosing of the right types of therapeutic pillows for individual needs will ensure that the body is given the opportunity to rest the best way it can and in a correct spine alignment position, essential for good health and comfortable sleep.

Severe Neck Stiffness and Pain

Severe Neck Stiffness Severe neck stiffness affects many people due to too much tension and stress on the job, long hours sitting in front of a computer, injury, poor posture and a too-soft a mattress. This condition affects a lot of people in the age group of 20 to 40 years old.

Stiffness may not be a severe problem but it can certainly be annoying. If not treated, it may lead to any other complications like shoulder pain, back pain, anxiety and depression.

There are a lot of stiff neck remedies to choose from but the effectiveness depends on the severity and cause of the neck pain.

Simple Steps to Reduce Severe Neck Stiffness

Improve your posture. A poor posture places too much stress on the neck, shoulder and back muscles.

Work at an eye level. If you experience neck discomfort after the end of a workday, it is possible that your work habits can cause this condition. It is recommended that you need to keep your work at eye level.

Adjust the height of the desk, chair and computer to a more comfortable position. When reading books, it is best to use an upright stand. Use ladders when reaching materials.

Your mattress and pillow. Checking your mattress and pillow is the easiest way to relieve pain. An old and soft pillow can lead to stiff neck since the muscles are not supported well.

Remember that you are spending almost half of your life in bed, so it is important to make sure that your neck is comfortable and well rested.

Simply a massage. Massage is also the best way to treat severe neck stiffness and pain. Although the relief may just be temporary, it can still give you comfort even for a short period of time. The massage can be done by you or by a qualified massage therapist.

Say goodbye to stress. In today’s fast moving world, nothing is easy. Stress often causes the muscles to tighten, resulting in muscle problems and pain. When you are in too much stress, the neck muscles work two times harder to keep your neck upright.

When you are stressed, it can cause damage to your mind and body. So, it is important for you to learn self-help techniques to cope up with stress. These relaxation techniques will surely play a huge part in keeping your body and mind relax.

Although you know that stressful situations are inevitable, and near impossible to avoid however, learning how to prevent negative coping responses will keep your neck pain and stress-free.

Medications and Muscle Relaxants for Severe Neck Stiffness

 This kind of stiff neck pain remedy should only be viewed as short term and just to give temporary relief. Pain medications will just mask the problem but not resolve it.  Muscle relaxants will just give temporary muscle relaxation but it will not fix the underlying cause.

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Morning Neck Stiffness

sleep posture for neck acheNeck ache upon wakening and finding that you cannot move your neck, is that familiar? Sleeping in a wrong position or using a thick pillow can leave you with a pain in the neck. The pain from your stiff neck can range from mild to tormenting, and it may stay with you all day.

The relief for a sore neck is to prevent it in the first place. Here are some things that you can do to avoid waking up with a stiff and sore neck.

Pillows to the Rescue to Prevent Neck Ache!

Sleep with a pillow . When you sleep without a pillow, your neck will not get the support that it needs during the night. Your neck will carry all the weight of the head, which results in straining of the neck muscles. Sleeping with at least one pillow is a great first step in preventing morning neck stiffness.

Limit the quantity of pillows. Sleeping with two or more pillows will increase the chance for you to experience neck ache in the morning. Why? When you stack your pillows to sleep on that will create an imbalance between your spine and neck throwing them out of good alignment. You’ll be sure to wake up with a pain in your neck.

Find a supportive pillow. All pillows are not made equally. Some pillows may give the best head and neck support while others are totally worthless.

The best neck pillows to prevent neck ache are those with medium firmness and new stuffing. It is even better if you can get a contoured cercical neck pillow that is purposely made to follow the curve of your neck and head.

Sleeping  To Prevent Morning Neck Ache

Your sleeping position has a lot to do with whether you’ll wake up with morning neck stiffness. The best sleeping positions that place the least amount of stress on your neck are sleeping on your side and on your back.

Sleeping on the side is the common position for a lot of people. When in this position, be sure that your pillow can support and keep your neck and shoulders relaxed. A pillow that is too high or too low can be uncomfortable.

To make this position even more comfortable and relaxing, place a small pillow in between your flexed knees. This will not only be comfortable but will provide more support to your back.

Sleeping on your back is another great position because it can support not only your head and neck but also the lower back area. If you use a cervical neck pillow, you provide a great support and stress relief on the cervical area.

Avoid sleeping on your stomach. This not only places stress on the neck, but also on your stomach muscles. When you’re in this kind of position, your head and neck is turned to one side of your body for long hours, causing stiffness not only in your neck, but also in your back.

Just a Stretch!

Ease tension in your neck by doing simple stretching exercises before sleeping. During the day, you are faced with a lot of stressors that keep your muscles tense, so if you do not take time to relax, you certain to feel neck ache in the night.

Stretching the neck can also help with pain. Place your hand on the side of your head and gently push your neck against the hand. Also, rotate your head in every direction- front, back, side to side, but not beyond your shoulder. Do this repeatedly for a count of five seconds.

During sleep, our body relaxes, heals and rejuvenates so find a position that is comfortable for you to get the best sleep at night while reducing your chance of waking up with neck ache in the morning.

Stiff Neck Treatment

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Stiff Neck Treatment solutions take time, effort and research to find the proper care for anyone who suffers a long term stiff neck . Although this condition for some people is usually nothing serious, it can be uncomfortable and even painful and may lay you up from time to time. Fortunately, there are ways that may help alleviate that stiff neck safely and easily.

Cold Therapy and Heat Therapy Stiff Neck Treatment

Pressure Point Cold Therapy Packs 6 x 10

You can put ice on the area as a stiff neck treatment to help decrease the pain and any inflammation. Ice works by numbing the area creating an analgesic, or pain-relieving effect. Hold an ice pack on your neck and keep it in place for 10 minutes. you can put ice onto your skin over the pain area by wrapping it in a towel if it is to uncomfortable. Freezing water in a paper cup, and applying this to the pain area is another way of doing it. Do not keep it there for too long three to five minutes at a time because nerve damage can occur. Use this ice therapy every two hours until the pain is gone.

Shoulder and Neck Heating Pad by Theratherm

You can use heat, such as a heating pad, to improve circulation and ease neck muscle stiffness by opening up blood vessels allowing blood flow. Remember to keep your heating pad set to “low” and be careful not to keep it on for too long to avoid burns.

Many people find it very effective to alternate between the cold therapy and the heat therapy. Use the cold for 10 minutes and then, about two hours later, use the heat. Continue that rotation until you feel relief.

Relax

Muscle tension can be triggered by stress. If you think stress is your problem, find ways you can reduce your stress using relaxation techniques.

Try going to a quiet place and sit or lie down with your eyes closed. Do this once every three hours for at least 30 minutes at a time to rest your muscles, de-stress and relieve tension.

When working, take frequent breaks. If your job requires you to be sitting for long hours or standing in an uncomfortable position, get up and walk for a few minutes every hour. Take the time to do some full-body stretches.

You can also take meditation or yoga classes. Try to develop your own methods of relaxation, like reading a book or listening to music. Do things you believe will work for you.

Get a Massage Its a Wonderful Stiff Neck Treatment

Massage is said to be effective in easing tensed muscles and is a great form of stiff neck treatment. And many people love them! Use an essential, tension-relieving oil such as eucalyptus spearmint massage oil and rub it on your neck using the fingers and applying moderate pressure. With the help of another person, massage your neck in long, downward strokes using firm pressure.

Good Posture

Posture plays a major role with neck pain. The head and spine should always be in balance and properly aligned. When you have a poor posture, the neck curves forward resulting to a strained position.

Prevent stiff neck by improving your posture. Keep your chin in an appropriate level, stand with your back straight and feet flat on the floor. Picture a string running up through your body and being held taut to keep you upright.

Exercises as a Stiff Neck Treatment Solution

Range of motion exercises may be helpful in easing your stiff neck. Sit straight with muscles relaxed. Turn your head to the right, but don’t turn it past your shoulder, and hold it for 5 seconds, then return to the center. Do this exercise to the left side, also, again, not turning past your shoulder. Then drop your chin towards the chest slowly, hold it for a while and return back up. Range of motion exercises should be done three times a day, every day.

Pain Reliever

Over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin can help in alleviating pain and inflammation.  But, it is still advisable to ask for your doctor’s advice regarding medications to make sure that it is safe for you as a pain and stiff neck treatment.

Sleep on a firm mattress

A stiff neck can be cause by bad sleeping positions, or the wrong kind of pillow or mattress. Use a firm mattress when sleeping and be sure that your head is kept aligned with the spine. Avoid sleeping on your stomach and don’t use pillows that are too thick.

A lot of our everyday habits can lead to suffering a stiff neck. Hopefully, you have found something in this article to help you keep your neck flexible and pain-free.