Stiffness in the neck is an all-too-common problem that nearly everyone experience at some point in their life. You may feel fine one day, only to wake up the following morning with a sore, stiff feeling originating from your neck. The problem can be so bad that it prevents you from turning your head normally. But what are some of the causes of stiffness in the neck? And how can you treat this bothersome condition? To learn the answers to these questions and more, keep reading.
Some people may brush off their stiff neck as a minor nuisance; however, this isn’t always the case. It’s not uncommon for the pain to spread into the shoulders, arms and back. Allowing it to spiral out of control will only increase the pain and soreness associated with this condition. This is why it’s important for individuals to take a proactive approach towards treating and preventing neck stiffness.
There are several different elements known to contribute to neck stiffness, one of which is degenerative disc disorder (DDD). In between each vertebrae in the body is a soft fluid-filled sac that’s used to absorb some of the shock. When you bend or move your body, this sac acts as a barrier of protection for the vertebrae. However, individuals suffering from DDD may no longer have these protective sacs, causing the vertebrae to rub against one another. Contrary to what some people may believe, DDD isn’t technically a disease, but instead it’s a condition that becomes progressively worse if left untreated.
Stress is another factor linked to neck stiffness. The truth is that most people don’t realize just how much of an effect stress has on the body; it encourages the production of adrenaline and other stress hormones; reduces the effectiveness of the immune system; raises blood pressure; and increases muscle tension – including the muscles in the neck. If you’re suffering from high stress levels, try to get into the habit of relaxing your body on a regular basis. Whether you’re standing up or sitting down, release the tension in all of your muscles while taking slow, deep breaths.
Of course, physical injury may also cause neck stiffness. There are an estimated 6 million automobile accidents in the U.S. each year, many of which result in whiplash. When the head is thrust forward and the body remains still, severe strain in placed on the neck. This condition, known as whiplash, causes pain and stiffness in the neck and upper back.
Regardless of what’s causing your neck stiffness, you should schedule an appointment with your chiropractor. If tension is the root cause of your pain, they may recommend a light tissue massage combined with a manual adjustment to help relieve it. After just a few sessions, you’ll likely notice the stiffness subsiding and your neck function returning to normal. Each and every case is different, however, and a professional chiropractor must first perform a thorough examination of your condition.
Call or email the staff at AtlnataChioAndWellness.com to schedule an appointment today.