A crick in your neck refers to the stiffness in the muscles that surround your lower neck and shoulder blades. This is different from chronic or regular neck pain, which may be caused by a number of things and recur with some predictability. Neck pain has an annual prevalence rate exceeding 30% among adults in the US; nearly 50% of individuals will continue to experience some degree of chronic neck pain or frequent occurrences.
A crick in your neck is usually more stiff and uncomfortable than sharply painful, and can most often be treated at home. Sometimes a crick in your neck can temporarily limit your range of motion.
Most often, the cause of this condition is simple. A crick in your neck can be caused by your neck being in an awkward position for a period of time. If you sleep in an awkward position, for example, or sit in a slumped position for an hour or two, you may move your vertebra out of alignment. Or you may put an abnormal stretch on the muscles and tendons of your neck, which puts pressure on the nerves in the back of your neck. This causes your neck to feel stiff and makes it difficult to stretch and bend.
How to Get Rid Of Crick In Neck Fast
There are several methods you can use to ease the pain and discomfort associated with a crick in your neck, they include:
Pain Medication: Over the counter medication can give you a little relief, especially for milder pains. If your neck pain is mild to moderate, and lasts for a short amount of time, then the following medication can help you feel better:
- Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) is effective as a pain reliever, but will not improve inflammation, the source of neck pain due to conditions.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, like ibuprofen (such as Advil) and naproxen (such as Aleve) relieve pain and reduce swelling by inhibiting the body’s inflammatory response. However, side effects include gastric bleeding, stomach pain, longer time for blood clotting if you are bleeding, hypertension, and fluid retention.
For severe or ongoing pain, however, you might want to look at a more permanent, longer lasting option. An opioid may be prescribed by your doctor for more severe neck pain that can’t be controlled using acetaminophen or NSAIDs alone. Opioids work by interfering with the brain’s normal processing of pain signals. Some of the medications in this category are combination drugs that include acetaminophen or aspirin, which also has anti-inflammatory properties. Dosing must be carefully monitored because the body can develop a strong physical dependence on them over time. Side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea.
Mild Heat: Sometimes, all a crick in the neck needs is a little heat and some stretching. Popping a heating pad on the spot for a bit, and then stretching the neck gently can sometimes provide some relief. The heat will reduce inflammation, and the stretching might take away tension that is in the area. When stretching, be very easy on the body and don’t push too hard so that you don’t cause more pain or injury. If you don’t have time for a heating pad, try a topical gel like IcyHot.
Massage: A little massage can go a long way. Using your own hands, or the hands of family or friends, give the area a little rub. Be careful not to do anything that hurts the area more, in case it’s more injured than you realize, but for a tight muscle or tendon, a massage might be able to work it out. This along with some of the options mentioned above can be beneficial for getting rid of or handling the pain.
Seek Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care is one of the best options for any pain or injury to any part of the spine. When you have a crick in the neck, a chiropractor may be able to help you work it out by properly aligning the spine. This helps to release tension and promotes healing. The best part is that regular chiropractic care can not only heal you, but in many cases can help prevent injury and pain to the body in the first place.