Safely Treating and Preventing Neck Cricks
You wake up in the morning, and your neck refuses to turn properly. It’s very stiff, and it hurts when you try to bend it. As a result, you walk around all day like a wooden board, and the stiffness keeps getting in the way of your normal routine. You have a crick in your neck, and it’s driving you bonkers.
Fortunately, a crick in the neck will go away after a few days, but that doesn’t really help much when it first occurs. What do you do to deal with this?
What Causes Neck Cricks?
When your head is in a neutral position, i.e. directly above your shoulders, it places minimal strain on your neck. Under these circumstances, your neck is only carrying 10 to 12 pounds of force, which is the precise weight of your head.
Now, suppose you’re texting someone; your head is tilted forward so your eyes can focus on what you’re doing. While your head technically weighs the same, your neck has to withstand more force in order to keep your head up. In fact, the amount of force can be anywhere between 30 to 60 pounds, depending on the angle, which will wear out the muscles on the back of your neck very quickly. As a result, they tense up, and you have a crick in your neck.
This over extension of your neck can occur while texting, eating, sleeping, working at a computer, reading a book, and any other activity that causes you to move your head out of its neutral position.
How to Relieve a Neck Crick
While a neck crick will generally go away on its own, there are a few ways to help that process along. Gentle stretching, while a bit painful, can help loosen up the stiffened muscles. It doesn’t have to be extreme, the point is to get the muscle moving again, which will help work out the tightness. Massaging your neck while taking a hot shower can also have this effect. If you experience numbness or tingling, then you may have pinched a nerve, which may require mild medical help.
How to Prevent Neck Cricks
If you find that you frequently have a crick in your neck, then you likely have some changes to make. Changing the pillows so that they properly support your neck can help keep the muscle from tensing up. Just be careful not to prop your head up too much, since that can lead to the same problem.
The Joint is available to help you relieve and prevent neck pains and cricks. Our regular wellness adjustments will help keep your health optimal, as well as keeping you pain free. Stop by today for a visit that won’t be a pain in the neck.