How to Relieve Stiff Neck Pain

The most effective

therapies for stiff neck pain include rest, hot and cold treatments,

and massage. The use of heat and cold soothes and heals muscles, and

these remedies are easy to perform at home. Massage, on the other

hand, must be performed by a professional and should be utilized if

home treatments aren't working. If stiff neck pain persists for more

than one week or is accompanied by fever, seek medical attention

immediately, as this could be a sign of a more serious medical


Resting to Relieve Neck Pain:

The average human

head weighs about 10 pounds and must be supported by the neck for

long periods of time. This results in neck pain, caused by extensive

use of the neck muscles. For this reason, rest is one of the most

effective treatments for stiff neck pain.

Lie down for at

least 30 minutes once every three hours to rest the neck muscles and

relieve tension. Use a firm, supportive pillow for the best results.

Too much rest, however, can result in increased stiffness, so be sure

to stretch the neck muscles at least once every half hour.

Heat Treatment for Stiff Neck Pain:

Heat is commonly

used to treat pain all over the body and is especially effective in

reducing neck muscle pain. The easiest way to apply heat to the neck

is to take a hot, soothing bath. Rest in the bath for at least 20

minutes to allow the muscles to soak up the heat. Add a few drops of

a soothing essential oil such as lavender or Roman chamomile to the

bath water if desired, to further reduce stiff neck pain.

Another easy way

to use heat for treating stiff neck pain is to wrap a towel around

the neck that has been soaked in hot water. Wring the towel out

thoroughly before using. Wrap the towel around the neck and use a

safety pin to secure it in place. Leave the towel around the neck

until the pain is relieved or it cools in temperature. Reuse as often

as necessary to reduce stiff neck pain.

Cold Treatment for Stiff Neck Pain:

When heat is not

effective, another pain-reducing option is cold. Cold numbs nerves

and reduces swelling, which will also alleviate pain. Fill a Ziploc

bag with ice cubes and seal the bag. Hold the ice pack to the

affected part of the neck and keep it in place for 5 to 10 minutes.

Do not hold the ice pack on any longer than this, as nerve damage can

occur from extended cold applications. Use once every two hours, or

until your stiff neck pain is gone.

Professional Care:

A masseuse is

trained to give a massage that will eliminate points of tension in

the neck and alleviate pain. However, these visits are usually

expensive, especially without insurance. If you can afford it, a

professional massage is a fantastic treatment for stiff neck pain.

Contact a

physician if pain persists for several days. The doctor may prescribe

medication to reduce pain, which is usually effective but only covers

up the problem, making it a last resort.