How to Get Rid of a Crick in Your Neck: Step by Step
A crick in your neck can be very inconveniencing. It happens to almost everyone, and it is uncomfortable. Most you realize it in the morning. You might have slept wrongly, too much exercising, or even doing heavy work. These activities will strain your neck muscles and the shoulder blade. The outcome is difficult in moving your neck. This is uncomfortable.
Learn details of the causes and how to get rid of a crick in your neck. Additionally, we look at the difference between neck pain and a crick in your neck.
Crick in neck vs. pain in the neck
Stiffness in the muscles surrounding the lower neck and shoulder (best shiatsu neck massager) blades is referred to as a crick in your neck. It occurs under specific circumstances, i.e., those that put a strain on these muscles. A crick in your neck will temporarily limit the range of motion in your neck.
On the other hand, pain in the neck/neck pain, which can be regular or chronic pain. Such pain is caused by known and unknown factors and is recurrent with some level of predictability.
A crick is stiffer and very uncomfortable than a painful neck. However, you can quickly treat it at home.
If you have a stiff neck, you may have some form of pain in your neck. But it is good to differentiate the two conditions.
Is a stiff neck similar to a crick in the neck?
A stiff neck is at times called a crick in the neck. And, it develops when tendons, ligaments, or neck muscles sprain. Under normal circumstances, sprains or strains of neck muscles, ligaments, or tendons are minor injuries, but they might cause inflammation or swelling. This results in stiffness, and in other cases, muscle spasms.
What are the symptoms of crick?
While pain may be one of the common symptoms, not all people have a crick in the neck feel pain. But for people having an underlying neck condition, a crick will increase the pain in your neck.
Below are the most common symptoms you are likely to experience.
- Neck stiffness
- Stiffness of muscles surrounding the neck such as chest or shoulder
- Drastic reduction in neck mobility, which affects the range of motion
- A popping sensation when you move your neck
What are the possible cause of a crick in the neck?
It may be a single cause or a combination of factors. Common cause includes:
- Poor posture: this might occur to you if you use a computer. Similarly, if you consistently look down at your cellphone may cause a stiff neck.
- Sleeping/sitting in an awkward position: this causes tension in muscles
- Heavy work: if you list heavy loads awkwardly, you might cause spraining to your neck muscles.
- Emotional tension and stress: it causes involuntary tension in the neck and shoulder muscles
- Others: muscle weakness, minor neck injuries, and whiplash.
It is, however, worth noting that about 15% of neck stiffness, there is an underlying cause such as herniated disc, Spinal stenosis, Osteoarthritis, Spondylolisthesis, and a fracture in the upper spine.
How to Get Rid of a Crick in Your Neck
Over-the-counter pain killers
You can buy over the counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol). Still, you can take anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or naproxen.
Over the counter medication offer pain relief in case of mild to moderate pain, in addition to managing inflammation.
A heating pad or Ice
Little heat can be useful for a crick in the neck. Find a heating pad and pop at the spot, and then try to stretch your neck gently. Repeat the procedure, but do not overdo it. Be easy on your body while you stretch; lest you might cause more harm.
This should give you some relief. The heat will reduce inflammation while the stretching reduces the tension within that area.
Similarly, you can place a bag of ice over the affected area. Ice is a form of cold treatment that alleviates pains and reduce inflammation. I, however, advise against placing ice directly on your skin, and it shouldn’t last over 15 minutes.
Hydrotherapy/Warm Water Therapy
This is perhaps the easiest remedy for your neck pain. You can do it while taking a shower. Stand under a warm shower as you make some minimum range motions. The force that water falls with reduces the pain and soreness.
You can target the spot that has muscle soreness and pain. Let the warm shower water hit the spot for up to 5 minutes. Then allow cold water to run over the same place for 30 seconds.
Hot water eases stiffness of the muscles and increases the circulation of blood. Cold water, on the other hand, reduces inflation.
Exercise and stretching
Stretching and exercising target the common causes of crick in the neck. Some studies have shown that stretching the neck and the shoulder can eliminate muscle tension and pain. Another study showed that exercise treats whiplash.
There are different exercises to try. But I suggest you do the following easy exercises:
- Pilates or gentle yoga
- Gently move your head sideways, then moving your head towards the chest and then backward.
- Rolling and shrugging shoulders back and forth//up and down
You should, however, not force a stretch, as it may make the pain worse. Again, if you work long hours in the office, I suggest taking breaks and walking around can help.
A physical therapist or Chiropractic care
This is the last option, i.e., other methods are not working. These experts assess your situation then and develop an appropriate program to help relieve the pain and tension in the muscles.
How can you keep a crick away?
There are various ways of keeping cricks away. Common ones are regular stretches and exercising, taking breaks from sitting in one position, place your computer at eye height to prevent bending neck, and changing the way you sleep.
Having a crick in your neck should not alarm you. It is common, and you can treat it at home. But do you know how to get rid of a crick in your neck? We hope the tips above have been very helpful.