Sometimes you sleep in an uncomfortable position and wake up the next morning with a crick in the neck. This kind of stiffness and discomfort in your neck from a poor night’s sleep is often temporary, but what do you do if you have a neck crick that doesn’t seem to go away? If you have a stiff, sore neck for days at a time or constantly feel like your neck needs to pop, then you may want to visit a professional for neck pain treatment. Doctors and chiropractors treat millions of people each year who come to the office for neck pain. Here’s what you need to know about common causes and how to fix a crick in the neck.
What Does a Crick in the Neck Feel Like?
A temporary crick in the neck may just feel like your neck is stiff and sore. You may also experience some pain or additional stiffness with a certain movement or motion, even just on one side. Some people also say that a neck crick feels like your neck needs to pop or crack, but it won’t happen naturally. You may also hear a popping or cracking sound when you turn your head and neck a certain way but don’t experience relief. The stiffness and soreness can extend farther than the neck and even impact your shoulders and upper back. A more serious case of a crick in the neck can make the simple movement of turning your head from side to side uncomfortable or very painful.
What Causes a Crick in the Neck?
There are many common causes of a crick in the neck from our daily lives and routines. Here are examples of what can cause a neck crick:
Poor posture can be the culprit for stiffness and pain on your upper back and neck. If you sit at a computer for long hours at a time, you may end up hunching your back and leaning your head forward and down. This can put a lot of pressure on the spine in your neck and cause your muscles and tendons to stretch and become weak. Poor posture when you sleep can also cause a crick in the neck that may be temporary or become chronic if you continue to sleep that way. A lack of proper support from your pillow can cause you to sleep with your head at an uncomfortable angle and negatively impact your neck and quality of sleep. Better posture equals better health overall.
The muscles in the neck can become tense after sitting or sleeping in an uncomfortable position for a long period of time. The muscles and tendons in the neck are designed to help support and stabilize the head and neck, so when these muscles become tense, they can cause pain and discomfort with even the slightest movements. Muscle tension can also affect daily movements and routines because the pain and stiffness may keep you from moving the way you are used to.
Your neck muscles can become weakened over time from poor posture and muscle tension. Tech neck is a more common phenomenon in the last decade where people have a hunched forward neck and upper back due to constantly looking down at phones, tablets, and computers. Over time, your muscles can stretch out of their normal range and become loose and weak, so that when you do try to practice proper posture and hold your head up high, it can become uncomfortable and cause pain.
Treatment Options for a Neck Crick
For a temporary crick in the neck, you may try at-home remedies like applying ice and heat to soothe aching muscles and reduce any inflammation in the area. You may also want to seek out neck pain treatment from a chiropractor or spine doctor who can work with you to strengthen the muscles and tendons that provide support to your spine. They can also help to resolve any misalignments in your spine that are causing your discomfort and even help you work toward a healthier posture. Exercises and stretches can also help combat stiffness and soreness caused by a neck crick.
Visit a chiropractor near you with AICA Orthopedics to learn more about how our team of doctors can help you experience lasting relief from a crick in the neck.