Crick in the neck is a common stiffness. It can be uncomfortable for you. It occurs when you sleep on one side for a long time, sit at the computer too long, OR watch TV. treatment will depend on the underlying condition but may include medication, heat and ice, exercise, and more. A crick in the neck may last a short time or it may be chronic.
Symptoms of a crick in the neck
Crick in neck symptoms include:
- Stiffness felt in the neck and its muscles
- Reduced mobility affects the neck’s range of motion, such as not being able to turn completely your head to look over your shoulder
- A popping sensation in your neck when it moves a specific way
Most often, the cause of this condition is simple. A crick in your neck can be caused by your neck being in an awkward position for some time. If you sleep in an awkward position, for example, or sit in a slumped position for an hour or two, you may move your vertebra out of alignment. Or you may put an abnormal stretch on the muscles and tendons of your neck, which puts pressure on the nerves in the back of your neck. This causes your neck to feel stiff and makes it difficult to stretch and bend.
Sometimes improper form during running or weight training can cause you to wake up with a crick in your neck the next day. Less often, a crick in your neck is the result of arthritis, a pinched nerve, or an infection in your body.
Treatment for a crick in the neck depends on the underlying cause. If it is due to muscle stiffness or minor injuries, home treatment will often be enough to relieve symptoms.
Heat and ice
Heat and ice can reduce inflammation and increase blood flow to the neck, helping the injury heal faster. A person should try alternating heat and ice packs in 20-minute intervals. If one treatment helps more than the other, then continue using the one that works.
Exercise and stretching
Exercise and stretching are highly effective because they fight the most common causes of neck stiffness: muscle weakness, poor posture, low flexibility, and muscle spasms.
To relive crick in the neck, a person can try:
- Gentle yoga or pilates
- Shrugging and rolling the shoulders back and forth and up and down
- Gently moving the head to each side, then up and down toward the chest
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can help reduce neck stiffness that causes pain. Medications that fight inflammation can also help with stiffness due to inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.
People who frequently have a crick in the neck may benefit from changing the way they sleep or sit. Investing in a firm pillow, an ergonomic chair, or neck cushion for long flights or derive can help prevent stiffness in the future.
People with chronic neck stiffness or pain sometimes find help from acupuncture or massage therapy. If home treatment fails, talk to a doctor before trying alternative medicine.
When to see a doctor
A crick in your neck can be a symptom of a more serious health problem. In these situations, you’ll need to see your doctor. Radiating pain that doesn’t subside, weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, or an accompanying headache are all symptoms you shouldn’t ignore. If you simply have a crick in your neck that lasts more than 24 hours, call your doctor and let them decide if you should make an appointment. You should contact your physicians.