Stiff Neck Relief
If you have ever woken up with a stiffness in your neck, there are simple self-care techniques which can help relieve this common problem. But for chronic or severe pain, see your doctor first.
Neck aches can be caused by sleeping on a soft mattress, muscle strain, poor posture, using the wrong kind of chair, the effects of car or other accidents, stress and kidney or disc problems. A muscle may be in spasm, a ligament may be stretched, or a nerve may be irritated.
To lessen neck pain, sleep on your side with knees bent or on your
back with a pillow under your knees. Choose a firm mattress, and
a pillow which is not so thick that your neck bends. Stress often
causes neck pain. Learn relaxation techniques such as deep breathing
to relieve the pain.
If you work at a desk, make sure your chair is comfortable. Specially designed back cushions can help. Your desk, computer and work surface should be at a comfortable height. Take short stretch breaks every half hour.
Learn to lift properly, by bending your knees and not your back. Avoid wearing high heels or keeping your wallet in a hip pocket; both can throw the back out of alignment.
Self Care For Injuries
Ice reduces swelling following an injury. After 24 hours of repeated
ice treatments, apply either ice or damp heat (such as whirlpool
bath or waterproof heating pad wrapped in a damp washcloth). Mild,
gentle exercise increases circulation and can relieve pain.
To avoid injury, check with your doctor or physical therapist, who can also teach you special back or neck exercises.
Call Your Doctor If...
* there is extreme pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in a
leg or foot
* recurring pain
* injury on the job
* 102 degree F. or higher fever
* frequent or unusual urination
* pain that lasts longer than one week
* pain that goes down your leg
For mild neck pain, self-care can be a relief. Exercises, proper lifting techniques, a firm mattress, and applying ice can all make a big difference in your flexibility and comfort.
Note: This information is from the good people at MemorialHospital.org. and is copyright of memorial Hospital Inc, Towanda, PA. Please visit their website for more informtion and help.
Do you experience a lot of neck or back pain? If you have ever wanted to get rid of pain, go see your doctor. There are a lot of causes back pain. By over using muscles you can very easily pull them. Make sure you take care of your body; don't overexert yourself. For more information on muscle back pain, sign online today.
Stiff Neck Remedy - Chinese Style
These easy-to-do traditional Chinese techniques form a highly effective stiff neck remedy. The first is a simple massage technique that warms and loosens your neck muscles to relieve stiffness and pain. The second technique provides stiff neck relief by stimulating blood flow in your neck, shoulders and upper back - all you need is a spoon and a few drops of oil.
Stiff Neck Remedy - Neck Massage
Rub your hands together briskly to warm them up and charge them with energy. Place your palms on the back of your neck with your fingers interlocked. Rub your neck from side to side for several minutes. Feel the heat penetrating your neck muscles. Repeat several times a day.
Or, as above but just use the fingers of one hand to rub your neck with firm, even strokes from the base of your skull to the base of your neck. Make sure you rub both sides of the back of your neck and any painful or tender spots. This technique works well as a preventative stiff neck remedy too - as soon as you begin feeling stiffness or pain, use it to relax and loosen your neck muscles.
Stiff Neck Remedy - Skin Scraping
This is a traditional Chinese home remedy for stiff neck that anyone can quickly learn. As it's not easy to do on your own neck you'll need someone else to do it for you. All you need is a spoon and a few drops of oil - massage oil, sesame oil or even vicks vaporub will do. A Chinese soup spoon works well as does the edge of a metal vicks vaporub lid. Basically, you use the edge of the spoon or lid to rub (scrape) the neck for a few minutes until it turns red (or in some cases purple!) The scraping action moves the blood in the underlying muscles and soft tissues of the neck, relieving stiffness and pain almost immediately. It works equally well for acute and chronic stiff neck. Here're the steps to follow:
1. The person with the stiff neck should sit down and remove any clothing or jewelry covering the neck, and also tie up long hair.
2. Apply a few drops of oil to ONE side of the back of the neck - just enough to lightly lubricate the skin. Too much and the spoon will slip and slide uncontrollably.
3. Stand behind the person and start scraping his/her neck in long, even strokes with the edge of the spoon, from the base of the skull, down the neck and across the top of the shoulder. Press as hard as you can without causing excess pain - it's the muscles you're working with more than the skin so you need to apply a little pressure. Apply 30-50 strokes. Notice the skin turning red. There may be lots of tiny red spots which may actually be dark red, purple or even black. This is simply stagnant blood in the muscles - it's nothing to be concerned about. The darker the spots, the more stiffness, pain and stagnation the person usually has in their neck. All you're doing is releasing the stagnant blood and improving circulation in the neck muscles. This very often gives immediate relief.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the other side of the neck. People with neck problems often have pain and tension in their upper back too, so you may also have to scrape down either side of their spine between their shoulder blades.
5. If the person feels dizzy at any stage, stop, and have them lie down and take some slow deep breaths.
6. Depending on the color of the spots, they make take several days to a week or more to fade. Once faded completely, you may reapply the treatment if the person still has pain. One to three scraping treatments over several weeks is usually enough to alleviate most neck problems involving muscular tension, stiffness and pain.
A final note - don't be fooled by the apparent simplicity of this technique. As mentioned, it very often provides instant stiff neck relief and may be the only stiff neck remedy you ever need. In fact the author has found skin scraping to be a more effective stiff neck remedy than acupuncture.
Matthew Scott is a professionally trained Chinese medicine practitioner from Australia, living in China since 2000. Matthew offers additional stiff neck exercises and techniques on his website at: http://chinese-holistic-health-exercises.com/stiff-neck-exercise.html