Natural Solutions for pain
Most of us are familiar with a stiff neck or crick in the neck: That strange stiffness that prevents you from comfortably moving your head and neck. A crick in your neck can cause your cervical spine to feel stiff, rigid and immobile, which can be extremely bothersome.
Is a crick in the neck the same as a stiff neck?
A crick in the neck is also known as a stiff neck. It can develop when your neck muscles, tendons or ligaments somehow get strained/sprained. Usually, most strains and sprains are considered minor injuries that cause inflammation or swelling of the neck’s soft tissues resulting in stiffness and, sometimes muscle spasms.
What are the symptoms of crick or stiff neck?
While cricks in the neck are uncomfortable, they’re not necessarily painful. However, if you already have a neck condition or injury (eg, whiplash), you may find that a crick in the neck and stiffness increases your pain. The 3 most common symptoms of neck cricks include:
Stiffness felt in the neck and its muscles.
Reduced mobility affecting the neck’s range of motion, such as not being able to completely turn your head to look over your shoulder.
A popping sensation in your neck when its moves a specific way.
What can cause a stiff neck or crick in the neck?
There are many different causes of a stiff neck or feeling a crick in your neck. Sometimes the cause is a combination of things—things you can control and those you can’t.
Potential causes of a crick in the neck that you can control include:
Poor posture while engrossed in computer work for hours at your desk.
Sleeping in an awkward position and/or using a pillow that does not properly support your neck during rest.
“Tech neck” or consistently looking down at your cell phone or tablet.
Stress and emotional tension can cause you to involuntarily tighten muscles in your neck and shoulders.
Heavy labor and/or awkward lifting that doesn’t incorporate use of good ergonomics.
Reaching or looking overhead for an extended period of time (eg, painting a ceiling).
Potential causes of a stiff neck and/or neck crick that are out of your control include:
Sports-related injury (eg, football spearing, stinger)
In about 15% of cases,1 stiffness and/or neck pain is caused by a separate cervical spine condition, such as:
How Does a Chiropractor Diagnose Neck Pain?
Your chiropractor will evaluate your spine as a whole because other regions of the neck (cervical), mid back (thoracic) and low back (lumbar) may be affected as well. Along with treating the spine as a whole, chiropractors treat the “whole person,” not just your specific symptoms. He or she may educate you on nutrition, stress management, and lifestyle goals in addition to treating your neck pain.