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Functional Medicine Explained
Categories: Neck Pain

Neck Stiffness, Crick in the Neck and Chiropractic

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We are familiar with neck stiffness or a crick. This can prevent us from comfortably moving the head all around. A crick can cause the spine, and shoulders to feel rigid and stressed from not being able to turn around and could cause an upper or low-back strain from having to turn the whole body to look back or even just to the side. Chiropractic treatment is available and will help, along with some self-care therapies that can be done at home.

Crick in the Neck vs. Neck Stiffness

A crick in the neck is the same as a stiff neck. It develops when the neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments become strained/sprained. Most strains and sprains are minor but do cause inflammation/swelling of the neck’s soft tissues, which results in stiffness and, at times muscle spasms.

The symptoms

Cricks in the neck are uncomfortable, but not necessarily painful. If there is a pre-existing neck condition or injuries like whiplash the crick and stiffness could increase the uncomfortableness and generate pain.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Reduced mobility affecting the neck’s range of motion
  • A popping sensation when trying to turn or tilt the head

Causes of a stiff neck or crick

There are different causes of neck stiffness. It can be a combination of things you can control and some you can’t.

Possible causes that you can control:

  • Poor posture working either sitting or standing for several hours without breaks or stretching.
  • Sleeping in a position that puts the neck in an awkward position or using a pillow that does not support the neck when sleeping.
  • Constantly looking down at a cell phone or tablet.
  • Stress and emotional tension can cause involuntarily tightening of the neck muscles and shoulders.
  • Heavy labor along with incorrect lifting techniques.
  • Reaching or having to look up/overhead for several hours like when painting a ceiling.

Possible causes that are out of your control:

  • Whiplash injury
  • Sports-injuries like a football stinger
  • Aging muscles and bones

Around 13% of cases the stiffness, and pain are caused by separate cervical spinal conditions, like:

  • Cervical herniated disc
  • Cervical spinal stenosis
  • Spinal fracture
  • Spondylosis (spinal osteoarthritis)

At-home therapy

Usually, a crick in the neck will go away within a few days without the need to visit a doctor or chiropractor. There are home remedies that can help alleviate neck stiffness.

Cold and heat therapy

Cold therapy reduces the swelling of soft tissues, like muscles and ligaments, while heat soothes the tightness by boosting blood circulation to the affected area. There are different products available that can deliver cold or heat to the neck and upper back.

  • Apply ice for 15 minutes each hour.
  • Apply heat therapy like a heating pad for 15 minutes every 2 or 3 hours.

Over-the-counter anti-inflammation medicines

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and naproxen can help relieve inflammation and pain.

Gentle neck stretches and exercises

Cervical stretches and exercises can:

  • Ease muscular tension
  • Muscle spasms
  • Strengthen muscles
  • Improve neck flexibility
  • Improve range of motion

Prevention

Because neck stiffness can be linked to lifestyle choices, individuals may find that they occur repeatedly. Simple neck stretches, chiropractic treatment, using a supportive pillow, and taking frequent breaks at your job can help prevent neck stiffness and keep you moving. These professionals have undergone extensive training in their field and are capable of treating neck pain effectively. So if you or a loved one are experiencing neck pain, give us a call. We’re ready to help!


Neck Pain Chiropractic


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Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C.,C.C.S.T

Welcome-Bienvenido's to our blog. We focus on treating severe spinal disabilities and injuries. We also treat Sciatica, Neck and Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sport Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal mobility, health, fitness, and structural conditioning. We use Individualized Diet Plans, Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Adapted Cross-Fit Protocols and the "PUSH System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. If you would like to learn more about a Doctor of Chiropractic who uses advanced progressive techniques to facilitate complete physical health, please connect with me. We a focus on simplicity to help restore mobility and recovery. I'd love to see you. Connect!

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