An injury that interferes with your daily routine can be a pain in the neck. And when that pain is “literally a pain in the neck” things can get even worse. After all; we use our neck for so many activities. A neck spasm is an involuntary contraction of muscles that become tight, hard and painful. Common causes of spasms in neck and shoulder are: overuse, improper posture, injury, or stress. Many computer professionals complain about neck spasm headache these days. Today we will study some effective home remedies to get rid of neck muscle spasms.
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Stretches are the most effective of all neck spasm exercises. Rotate your head slowly in clockwise and counterclockwise direction 3-4 times each. You can also do yoga poses like the Cobra pose or shoulder stand. Discontinue immediately if pain worsens. Here are some more neck spasm exercises:
- Flexion-Clasp your hands behind your neck. Let the weight of your arms pull your head forward until the chin touches the chest. Stay in this position for 10 seconds. Repeat three times.
- Squeeze– While sitting or standing squeeze your back muscles with the shoulder blades and hold for 5 seconds. Do 3 sets.
For very severe cases of muscle spasms in the neck and back, seek help of a physical therapist.
2. Neck spasm treatment massage
Perform a self massage to relieve tightened muscles in the neck. Massage the area gently using firm pressure. If this does not help, get a partner or a therapist to perform a deep tissue massage.
3. Ice pack
For mild to moderate neck pain due to muscle spasms, use an ice pack on the painful region. Press the ice pack for 20-30 minutes. Do this 3-4 times a day.
4. Heat therapy
In order to reduce your neck muscle spasm recovery time, use moist heat. Soak a towel in hot water and wring out the excess water. Apply the towel on the neck for 20 minutes at a time. Hot stone therapy can also help. Repeat as needed.
5. Relieve stress
Often, the cause of muscle spasm in neck and shoulder blade is stress and anxiety. Use stress relief techniques like yoga, deep breathing and meditation. Try a cup of hot chamomile tea before bedtime to sleep better. These are effective remedies to relieve stress related pain.
Rhodiola is a stress relieving herb that is available in the form of tea, extract or pills. It is widely used all around the world for boosting energy, relieving stress and fatigue and also enhancing the health of nervous system.
7. Epsom salt soak
Soaking in bath tub mixed with Epsom salts can also relieve muscle spasms in the neck and back. Epsom salts contain magnesium which is an important nutrient for pain relief. You can also eat magnesium rich foods or take supplements. Spraying Magnesium oil on the neck can also give relief.
8. Blackstrap molasses
Eat a teaspoon or two of blackstrap molasses daily. These contain magnesium, potassium and iron which are all important for strong muscles and preventing stress and strain on them.
9. Castor oil poultice/compress
Gently warm up some castor oil and soak a clean flannel cloth in it. Apply the cloth to the neck. Also use the oil for massaging neck and back region to get rid of muscle spasms in neck and shoulder.
10. Use a neck collar
For acute neck spasm, the use of neck collar can restrict motion to relieve pain to some extent. However, using neck collars can sometimes make your neck weaker over the long run. So use it only for short period of time that is needed for neck spasm recovery. Discontinue use once the neck has settled and pain is better.
11. Slowly ease into activity
Once the neck spasms are better and you have no more pain, gently ease into activity. You should be able to move your neck and back comfortably. Look into what caused the spasm in the first place. Improve your posture as you go about your daily activities.
12. Be mindful of your posture
It is important to maintain the right posture in order to prevent neck spasms in the future. Is your neck position varying from its erect position? The more it does so, the greater the strain on your muscles to support the head. So include cervical posture exercises in your daily routine to strengthen the back, neck and chest. When sitting at the computer all day, take frequent breaks and stretch your muscles from time to time. Treat mild pain symptoms early on so that they do not spiral out of control.
Try these 12 remedies for neck muscle spasms to get quick relief.