With more time spent in front of a screen, a sore and tight neck is becoming more common. Thankfully, there are options for treatment, both at home and in-office. The two worst culprits for a sore, stiff neck are a sedentary lifestyle and poor sleeping habits. “We are meant to move often, so staying in any one position too long will eventually cause discomfort and physical adaptations that lead to dysfunction,” says Sean Joyce, a physical therapist with Hudson Medical and Wellness.
Although a stiff neck tends to resolve itself within a couple of days, it’s vital to treat prolonged stiffness from worsening. “Stiffness in the neck is quite common and is only abnormal if you feel it for a few days. Unresolved chronic neck stiffness may be the precursor for neck pain, pinched nerves, and lost range of motion,” says Sridhar Yalamanchili, a physical therapist with Atlantic Spine Center in New Jersey.
Consulting with a healthcare provider to help evaluate your current level of function, identify the cause of your stiff neck, and put together a plan to get your back on track and out of pain is the best way to get rid of a sore, stiff neck. “In most cases, neck issues can be resolved without the need for invasive intervention, but timing is important, and the sooner you take action to stop your neck pain, the better your chances are. Consulting a physical therapist, chiropractor, or massage therapist is a great place to start,” says Joyce.
Keep reading for a list of ways to treat a sore, tight neck, according to our experts.
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