Often you may come across people who may say ‘I woke up this morning with a kinked neck’. What does a kinked neck actually mean? A kink in neck is an unpleasant pain in the neck caused due to cramp in neck muscles. It is very difficult to turn your head on either side when you suffer from kinked neck; instead an individual has to turn his entire body to look sideways or backside.
Most of the time stiffness in neck is not a serious condition and the symptoms usually last for few days or a week. However, the pain and limited neck movement is matter of inconvenience as well as irritating, since it hampers your day to day activities. During the acute phase of stiffness in neck, there may be slight swelling in the neck area.
What Causes A Stiff Neck After Sleeping?
Whatever may be the underlying reason for kink or crick in neck, neck muscles and nerves are always involved. The common causes include:
- Bad sleeping position: this is usually the commonest cause for stiffness in neck. Hard pillow or irregular sleeping posture for a prolonged period may cause spasms of neck muscles and lead to pain and restricted movement the next morning.
- Injuries that strain the neck muscles. It is common with certain sport activities, even lifting heavy weight, or pushing heavy object may put lot of stress and strain on the neck muscles which you may not feel immediately, but after few hours or a day you may experience neck stiffness and pain on neck movement.
- Poor posture; it is common problem in this computer age. Constant slouching for viewing computer may cause stress on the neck muscles and produce cramps.
- Holding the phone for long time between neck and shoulder.
All the above causes can be prevented.
The next common cause is cervical vertebra problem.
- Pinched cervical nerve originating from cervical spine causes pain and spasms in the neck muscles where they connect.
- Cervical herniated disc or cervical osteophytes can also be a reason for kinked neck.
Home Remedies For Kinked Neck And Neck Pain
The pain and stiffness due to kinked neck usually subsides in 2 to 3 days or may be in a week’s time on its own. But there are some home remedies that can ease the pain and make things better.
- If you woke up with a stiff neck in the morning, the most common cause is your awkward sleeping position. Start with the pillow and see if it is hurting your neck. Take thin pillow that is not so hard or not so soft.
- The next best home remedy to alleviate pain is hot water fomentation. You can apply a hot water bottle or a bag on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes every hour or as your body permits. Heat helps in blood circulation to the affected muscles, and it also relaxes the neck muscle spasms.
- A heating pad is another alternative for treating neck spasm and pain. It speeds up the healing of strained muscles and relaxes them.
- On second or third day, when the pain is less and you are able to slightly move your neck sideways, start neck muscle exercises. Gently turn your head sideways for 5 times and rotate your shoulder joint in clockwise and anticlockwise motion for 5 times. Repeat it two times in a day.
- A gentle neck massage is also useful to relax the strained neck muscles and improve circulation in the neck area. You can use mustard oil or coconut oil for massage. The important thing to remember while doing massage therapy is to avoid doing it vigorously, it may make the pain worse.
- Add ginger in your food or take half teaspoon of ginger juice with one teaspoon of honey two times in a day. Ginger is a natural pain killer and an anti inflammatory agent.
If the pain is unbearable or in excess, you can take prescribed anti inflammatory and muscle relaxant medicines after consulting your doctor.