With so many of us looking down into computers and phones for most of the day, its no surprise that we’ve developed a lot of neck pain. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, in their 2018 National Health Interview survey, found that about 16% of adults experienced neck pain within the past 3 months. Although the term “crick in the neck” is not a proper medical diagnoses, it is something that chiropractors are able to help with. This article will tell you all about what causes a stiff neck and how to get rid of a crick in your neck.
What is the Crick in your neck?
A crick in the neck is the layman’s term for neck discomfort or pain. It’s typically used to describe a number of cervical and thoracic spine problems and is often interchangeable with “neck pain” or “neck stiffness”.
A stiff neck develops over time due to poor posture. This causes some muscles to weaken and some others to tighten up. This muscular imbalance cause the joints to be restricted and so the motion is no longer smooth. At times, when you try to move your head from side to side, you might feel that the joint “catches” or the are muscles pulling. This is what people refer to as a “crick” or a “kink” in the neck. A crick in the neck causes instant pain that is usually described as sharp, stabbing pain. When this happens, as a protective mechanism, the surrounding muscles go into spasm and make you not want to move your neck.
How to get rid of a crick in your neck?
If you are suffering from a stiff neck or a crick in your neck, try these home remedies:
- Apply heat in the painful area
Heat allows the muscles to relax, thus allowing more fluid motion and less restrictions in the joints. The best way to apply heat is with a warm shower or heat compress. Avoid sleeping on a heating pad, as this could cause more inflammation in the area.
- Keep moving the neck
Motion is lotion to the body. Staying active, even with minor pain, will help prevent worsening of the condition and faster resolution. For best results, apply heat for 10-15 minutes and then go through all pain-free ranges of motion.
- Massage the neck
Another way you can get the muscles to calm down and reduce the muscle spasms is to have a gentle massage in the neck. While someone is working on your neck, communicating your pain or discomfort is important.
- Get the right pillow and mattress
We spend about a third of our lives sleeping. If our sleeping position and routine are not optimized, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Making sure you have a firm mattress that supports your weight and the proper pillow to support your neck and spine during sleep is important to prevent neck stiffness.
If you are trying to improve your neck stiffness at home, stretching is a great way to go. While stretching with a crick in your neck, you want to perform slow and light movements.
- Correct your work ergonomics
For proper workspace positioning, make sure your chair is at the right high for you. Your feet should be resting on the floor and not hanging off the chair. The arm rests should support the elbow but allow your shoulders to relax. Your desk/keyboard should be almost at the same height as your elbows so that your wrists are not climbing up the keyboard. Lastly, the middle of the screen should be at your eye level. Correcting these positions will help you prevent neck stiffness from returning.
How Long Does Neck Stiffness Last?
Depending on the cause of your neck pain and how well you implement the above remedies, the pain should improve within the first few days. At times, a few weeks are needed for the pain to completely go away.
What To Do If The Crick In Your Neck Is Still There
If you tried the above home remedies and you still don’t see the resolution you are seeking, there is still a solution to your problem.
A licensed chiropractor can help you get rid of a crick in your neck. At PEAKiropractic, we are highly trained and properly equipped to resolve neck pain fast and effectively. Correcting the muscle tension and realigning your spine, helps bring balance back into the body. This will eliminate any neck discomfort, headaches and numbness or tingling that can develop from a stiff neck. If you are wondering how to crack your neck yourself read our blog page about it to find out more.