Waking up with a crick in your neck can ruin your day. Do you dread that sharp pain and stiffness every time you turn your head? Stressing out over the crick in your neck will only make it worse. According to the Mayo Clinic, neck pain—even if persistent—can be helped with simple home treatments.
Using a heating pad or moist hot cloth, apply heat to your neck. Allow the heat to remain on your neck for 10 to 15 minutes, penetrating the muscles. Heat will relax the muscles. Most cricks are caused by tension, stress and strain on a particular neck muscle. Relaxing the muscles first will allow the next two remedies to work more effectively.
Now that the muscles in your neck are relaxed, massage can help to relieve the crick. Massage helps by stretching muscle tissue and increasing blood flow to the muscles. Neck massage can be done by hand, however, relief comes faster by using an electric- or battery-powered, hand-held massager. Massage sore neck muscles in circular motions, pressing down as you massage. The massage should feel good, and you should feel the crick loosening up. If massaging is painful, ease up on the pressure. As the crick loosens, you should be able to massage with more pressure. While you massage your neck, rotate your head to stretch and enhance the massage. It can take massaging your neck for 15 minutes, four to five times that day to feel relief.
Stretching after massage helps keep your relaxed neck muscles from tensing back up. Stretching your neck regularly helps you avoid those nasty cricks in the future, too. Start by standing up; relax your arms, shoulders and head. Let your arms hang down straight at your sides. Let your head fall forward slowly and feel the stretch in the back of your neck. Slowly lift your head up and let it slowly fall backward, feel the stretch in your throat. Slowly lift your head up and do the same toward each side, feeling the stretch on each side of your neck. Finally, very slowly, move your head in a circle. If you still feel the crick after stretching, repeat the heat and massage. If a crick in your neck lasts longer than four to five days, becomes worse when trying these remedies, or is accompanied by pain shooting down your arm or numbness in your arm, contact your doctor.