Stiff Neck

Stiff necks seem to evolve for no particular reason.  Just a few days ago I felt a funny twinge in my neck and have favored it ever since till now it is a full on stiff neck.  Thus this page entry.  I’m sitting up tall trying to relax and hoping I learn something that WORKS quickly.  I’ve heard it said that a stiff neck could represent an emotional condition of stubbornness or resistance to seeing truth in an emotional situation….hmmmm… quite possible…

Cyra, an herbalist and also a nurse told me that she considers the following variables when  in relation to a person with a stiff neck:  Age, lifestyle & diet, family history, genetic background (pertaining to medical history and certain genetic disorders), symptoms and patterns, (chronic, acute?) etc.  She also warns of bacterial meningitis which is signaled many times by a stiff neck.

Regardless the cause, stiff necks certainly put a crimp into anyone’s style.

Here’s to healing and flexibility!

Nutritional

1. Dehydration is often a precursor to stiff muscles.  Hydrate!

2.  Barley (non-pearlized) and spinach soup is great for increasing magnesium…also, some magnesium rich foods include artichokes, beans, pumpkin seeds, almonds and buckwheat.

Lifestyle

1. Check your bedding. Sometimes a stiff neck is just the result of insufficient pillow and mattress support.

2. Get fresh air.

Herbally

1. Meadowsweet, Willow, SJW, Chamomile (take internally and rub on muscles as well)

2. Mullein root tincture is specific for back pain (lower), but it is worth a try!

3. If the stiff neck is related to stress some calming herbs such as chamomile, lemon balm, passion flower, vervain or catnip may be helpful.

Vitamins and Minerals

1. Stiff necks are often a magnesium deficiency.  Spray Aromatherapy Magnesium on the neck and along the spinal chord.  Magnesium will relax and soothe muscles.

Household Remedies

1. A RICE sock or bag. Make a rice bag yourself out of a clean tube sock. Put it in the microwave for however long you need.  AWESOME!

2. Take a hot bath with epsom salt.

Body or Energy work

1. Saint John’s Wort massage oil

2. Take a hot and cold shower to get the energy moving

3. Massage neck and shoulders

4. Gentle stretches, deep breathing.  Get the energy moving

5. Recommended by a chiropractor.  The only problem is you need someone to help you. It’s called neck traction what you do is take a towel roll it up so that its an inch and a half thick and at least 3 feet long. Lay it on the ground and lay on your back so thats it’s under your neck. Then have someone take both ends of the towel slowly lifting your head up and pulling back holding your head up for 10 seconds and releasing slowly. And repeat another 9 times or so. I know it sounds painful but its almost instant pain relief when your head is being held up.

6. Found this idea on the web:  Quoted directly, “I get stiffness/tension in my trapezius muscle (neck/shoulder area) a lot and the following stretch helps every time.
I’ll use myself as an example to avoid left-right confusion. At the moment I have tension along the left side of that area. I’m sitting in a straight-backed chair. Breathing slowly & deeply, I slowly tilt my head to the right so that my right ear is closer to my right shoulder. Then I rotate my face downward (I might look a little like I’m trying to smell my armpit- oh, well). Then, if that’s not enough, I grab the bottom of the chair with my left hand and gently pull upward. I continue breathing slowly & deeply for at least 5 seconds, sometimes longer, then repeat on the other side.  Ahh, that’s better.”

7. Exaggerated Shoulder Shrug.  Another simple idea. “To relieve a tight or stiff neck squeeze your shoulders up towards your ears and hold for 10 seconds then completely relax and release your shoulders. It’s like an exaggerated shoulder shrug. Do this 10 times and you will feel much better.”

Links for further help