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How to ease neck stiffness in 3 simple steps


Some expert advice from our specialists

Are you currently suffering from neck stiffness and would like some guidance on how to manage the symptoms? Look no further as our team of specialists at Perfect Balance Clinic are here to give you some top tips on how to keep your symptoms at bay.

What causes neck stiffness?

Neck stiffness can be brought on by many causes. Where some causes can be very complex, it is easier to understand and categorise these causes in 2 forms: Biomechanical or Structural.

Biomechanical causes are factors relating to sources of change or contributional sources. These causes are normally subject to progressional changes and improvements with the right guidance and commitments put in place.  Examples of biomechanical causes include:

  • Poor posture
  • Postural habits
  • Environmental factors
  • Acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries
  • Muscle tension
  • Stress

Structural causes can be factors relating to anatomical and/or systemic change. These factors are often subject to very little or no potential change but can be managed long term. Examples of structural causes include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Neural/Motor system disorders
  • Autoimmune diseases

So what are the common tips to help reduce symptoms of neck stiffness?

Below are 3 easy steps to consider to help any neck issues you may be experiencing.

  1. Eliminate or Reduce the triggers

Where some of us may not be aware of the potential triggers of neck stiffness, it is important to understand and make ourselves more aware of what lifestyle factors can be contributing towards our symptoms.

Ask yourself these questions:

How often do I spend on my mobile phone?

Have I got the correct workstation or safety protocols set up at work?

Have I got the correct pillow to sleep on?

Are there things I am worried about that I can resolve quickly to reduce my stress levels?.

Take the time to examine your daily routines and see what positive changes you can make to help reduce any potential triggers.

  1. Keep it moving!

If there is one thing stiff necks hate the most, it is staying still for too long. Where it is quite common for stiff necks to be brought on by prolonged awkward positioning, it is important to realise that anatomically the neck is designed to provide movement and mobility to the head. The muscles which are situated in and around the neck are primarily responsible for stabilisation and movement, however can be subject to seizing up if they are over stressed through prolonged lengthening and bad posture.

If it is safe to do so, gently keep your neck moving by rotating your head left to right, side bending your neck side to side and flexing/extending your neck forwards and backwards. (If you are unsure whether this is safe to do this, then you can contact our team of specialists to give you further advice).

  1. Keep it Warm

If there is one thing that stiff necks love the most, it is warmth! Our bodies are like clockwork and function in many different ways. Our brains and neuromuscular systems control practically most events that happen inside our bodies, and this includes a tightening/spasming response of muscles when they are stressed beyond their limits.

Heat treatment can sometimes help to reduce this. Heat supply often helps in assisting the body’s circulatory system. Applying a heat source to an area of stiffness or muscle tension helps to dilate the blood vessels within the muscle and promotes an increase in blood circulation. Therefore creating a relaxation affect and releasing hypertonic/spasmed muscle tissue.

Arthritic necks unfortunately have a poor blood supply due to degenerative factors and loss of its true mechanical behaviours. Heat treatment is often advised to relieve the symptoms of Arthritis. Some examples of heat treatment include a hot water bottle, a warm bath or use of a microwavable wheat bag.

For more information about neck pain

This article was written by our team of specialist therapists at Perfect Balance Clinic. If you would like more specific advice about how our team can help you with this condition or symptoms you may be having, please complete the contact form below and one of the team will get back to you shortly.

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