It has probably happened to you more often than you care to admit.  You wake up in the morning to a sharp, shooting pain in your neck and a curious stiffness that makes it feel as though you can’t move your neck in its usual range of motion without it “catching” and hurting like fire.

Congratulations.  You have the dubious honor of having a crick in your neck.

There are lots of different reasons these develop.  Too much activity, too little activity, you slept wrong on it, or you strained it the day before without even being aware of it.  Whatever the cause, you want it gone ASAP!

The good news is there are several things you can do to help make that happen:

  • Massage, Massage, Massage – Don’t try to force it, but a steady, gentle massage can go a long way toward loosening your neck up and restoring your full range of motion. If it starts hurting more intensely as you rub, stop immediately and call your chiropractor.
  • Apply Heat – Either break out the trusty heating pad or apply some Icy Hot or similar topical medication to the impacted area. That combined with some gentle stretching will often remedy the problem in short order.
  • Advil, Tylenol, etc. – Over the counter medications are surprisingly effective at knocking out minor aches and pains.  Some people have sensitive stomachs and have to steer clear of one brand or another, so just take whichever over the counter pain reliever works best for you, and give it some time.

The best solution is one that sees you incorporate all three of these approaches.  Again, if the pain gets steadily worse, or doesn’t seem to be responding to these home remedies, don’t waste any time before contacting your doctor or chiropractor.  There could be something more serious going on.

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