How to get rid of a stiff neck? The neck is a collection of the cervical spine from C1 to C7. It is a fragment of the body that acts as a junction for connecting the head with the body. The neck bears the weight of the head and protects all the sensory and motor nerves which carry information down to the body. Thus, if I say, it is a significant area which provides a pathway for the innervation and vasculature through which body keeps alive, I won’t be wrong, because during capital punishment Atlanto-occipital joint (between the occipital bone of the skull and atlas part of the neck) is cut off due to which a criminal dies.
Moreover, the neck is ultra-flexible; the collective work of tendons, muscles, ligaments, and bones allow the movement in all direction and support the head. Some important structures are enclosed in the neck; spinal cord, jugular vein, carotid arteries, part of esophagus, trachea, the larynx and vocal cords. And the muscles which are included; the sternocleidomastoid and hyoid muscles exist in front and the trapezius and rest of the nuchal muscles exist behind. Within the neck, glands are also present, they are; lymph glands, thyroid glands, and parathyroid glands.
The main problem which is faced by people in this region is meningitis; it means inflammation in a protective membrane, which surrounds the brain and the spinal cord for example stiffness of the neck.
Stiffness of the neck is a symptom of meningitis. It is characterized by soreness. It occurs when one muscle becomes stained or tensed. It can be a result of disorders and disease of any structure in the neck. As I already mentioned, it is accompanied by seven cervical vertebras which are the building blocks of the spine, and this vertebra lines the spinal cord and canal. Between these vertebras, discs like structures are present, and nearby the nerves of the neck pass.
Stiffness can also be due to the injury in one or more vertebras. It can become painful when a person tries to move their head.
A stiff neck is also due to the damage in bones, nerves, and muscles. It can be produced as a reaction and can be a result of muscle spasm in several conditions that causes neck pain, including traumatic injuries.
A stiff neck is followed by headache, fever, stiffness in the shoulder, neck pain, and swollen lymph nodes.
Stiff neck happens primarily due to overuse a muscle or overstretched, this can raise pain ranging from mild to severe that brings about the difficulty in moving head or using the neck muscles. There are various causes of a stiff neck, main are discussed below:
A stiff neck is commonly resulting from a minor injury due to sleeping awkwardly, experiencing a fall, sustaining a sports injury, and having tense muscle due to stress.
A severe injury of neck leads to whiplash. It is commonly experienced during car accidents due to the sudden jerk in the head. This injury either includes muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments, or all of the above. The main causes of this injury are headache, dizziness, back or shoulder pain, and memory loss or trouble concentrating.
Cervical Spondylosis or arthritis can be an origin of neck stiffness or pain, which can be improved when lying down and the pain can be become worsen if a person keeps an identical position for a long time such as driving, lying, sitting, etc. Other signs of cervical spondylosis are; numbness in the arms and hands, trouble walking, balancing problems, or might be both, and weakness in arms or legs.
SENSITIVITY OF STIFFNESS:
About 16% to 75% of the population of the world experience neck pain. Thus, many people are concerned to know about the seriousness of the pain.
A stiff neck is sensitive because it is a symptom of meningitis, and meningitis is a bacterial infection that harms the protective covering of the brain and spinal cord. The condition of a person worsens according to the treatment of time, if the treatment is done during the early exposure of symptoms, then it will have a positive outcome, but if treatment is delayed results will be poor.
Other serious and rare condition of a stiff neck that requires the attention of medical are; infection, tumors, and cervical dystonia; it causes the neck muscles to get spasm uncontrollable.
Treatment of a stiff neck is dependent on the causes of a stiff neck. Treatments are:
Resting for one or two days will allow injured tissues to initiate the healing process, which in result will help in relieving the stiffness and muscle spasm.
Apply hot or cold therapy. Applying ice will help in relieving the inflammation and swelling as a piece of ice has a numbing effect. It is effective within the first 48hours, and ice should be placed for 20 minutes at a time, with an interval of 20 to 30 minutes. An alternating way is a heat. Using heat pads or taking heat baths help in relaxing tense muscles, providing them relief.
If hot and cold therapy does not work, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may help, for example, for reducing swelling and relieving pain use ibuprofen and naproxen. Medications should be applied after the recommendation of doctors.
By stretching the neck muscles gently and slowly by moving head side by side, rotate shoulders forward and backward and stops when stretch causes pain.
Slouching can pull the neck muscles which results in stiffness and pain. A person should focus on keeping shoulder, neck, and back in a straight alignment throughout the day.
There is no way to completely avoid stress whereas learning to manage it will help in avoiding tension in neck muscle, for example, if you are dealing with chronic stress, concern with healthcare professionals.
Preventions must be made to avoid listing yourself into 16 to 75% of stiff neck patients.
- Make sure to stretch daily for an hour.
- Make sure to exercise daily, as it is the natural reliever of pain.
- Visit the healthcare provider to talk about pain, stress levels, sleep qualities, and overall healthy being.
- Must engage oneself in stress-relieving exercises, for example, deep breathing, relaxing music, favorite activity, etc.
- Try to take a break from the same posture.
To have an alive connection keep your body in the correct position.