Have you ever been minding your own business when all of a sudden, the muscles in your neck decide to tense and spasm? These involuntary contractions can be so severe that they cause pain. Unfortunately, this pain isn’t standard and can last anywhere from minutes to days once the initial spasm occurs. The best approach to relieving neck spasms is an inclusive remedy. Combining tools like temperature, stretching, massage, and medication is the best way to stop them.

What Causes a Neck Spasm?

Neck spasms can be caused by a number of things including:

  • Heavy lifting
  • Utilizing one shoulder more than the other
  • Strain it during exercise or activity
  • Uncomfortable or abnormal sleeping positions
  • Poor posture
  • Dehydration
  • Emotional stress
  • Certain infections, arthritis, joint disorders, etc.

What Does a Neck Spasm Feel Like?

This is one of those, “when you know, you know” things. Neck spasms are most well-known for the sudden, sharp, and almost electric-like pains in the muscles of your neck. In cases of extreme tension, the muscle may feel tight and hard to the touch. In most cases, movement on the neck is limited due to pain.

Neck Spasm Stretches

Basic Neck Stretch

1. While either sitting or standing, look forward
2. Slowly turn your head to the right
3. Using your right hand, tilt head onto the right side of the chest by dropping the chin and using the weight of your hand
4. Take five deep breaths
5. Slowly return to starting position and repeat to the left
6. Do this process as many times as you need

Side Neck Stretch

1. Start standing with your arms hanging loose at your sides
2. Reaching behind your back, grab your left wrist with your right hand
3. Softly pull the left arm and tilt your head to the right
4. When you feel a stretch in your neck, hold for 5 deep breaths
5. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat to the other side
6. Do this process as many times as you need

What Else You Can Do Once the Pain Starts

  • Use pain relievers like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen
  • Apply ice to the tense muscle
  • Utilize heat tools such as warm showers, compresses, or heating pads
  • Get a therapeutic massage
  • Try using a neck pillow
  • Reduce the amount and intensity of activity until pain subsides

Preventing the Neck Pain

  • Stretch your neck consistently throughout the day (every 1-2 hours)
  • If you are on the phone most of the day, use a headset instead of holding the phone to your ear
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor and practice proper posture
  • Wear flatter shoes when possible

Neck Pain and Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a great option for those looking for natural neck pain relief. Depending on your needs, they may utilize tools such as:

  • Spinal manipulation
  • Manual therapy
  • Inferential electrical stimulation
  • Ultrasound

Neck Pain with Zock Family Chiropractic

If you’re someone who suffers from chronic neck pain, adding chiropractic care may be the natural preventative treatment you need. If you would like more insight into optimizing your body during, Dr. Zock would love to discuss your thoughts and concerns. She can evaluate your body mechanics and help you decide what natural methods are best for your specific neck pain relief! Make an appointment in Cranberry to schedule an introductory session and provide you with a happy and healthy fall season!

* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.

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