Causes and Dealing Methods of Kinked Neck

Though kinks in muscle are not as severe as muscle strains or tears, they may be painful and limit your activity and movement. Kinks may occur in any group of muscles, but are most common in back, neck and shoulders. Fortunately, there are certain steps you can follow to relieve aching muscles in neck. You should consult a physician to make sure that your symptoms are due to muscle stiffness and not due to any serious illness.

What Causes Kink in Neck?

A kinked neck occurs generally due to stressing your neck excessively the previous day and you usually experience it when you wake up. Due to this, it is difficult to find the cause of a kinked neck and prevent its recurrence. All the usual causes of neck pain can cause kinked neck, including stress, spasms, arthritis, sleeping on a poor mattress or on a bad pillow or in a poor position, etc. Another cause could be a pinched nerve in the neck.

When to Visit a Physician

  • If the neck pain is recurrent, and doesn’t get better in a few days' time and you are not able to touch your chest with your chin, then you should visit a physician.
  • If after having a kinked neck, you experience loss of sensation in legs and arms, it could be an indication of a neurological problem and you should seek immediate medical treatment.
  • If you have shooting, sharp pains in your neck, it may indicate that there is irritation of your nerves. This is especially true if the pain is radiating to your arm, shoulder and hand. See your doctor in this case.

How to Deal with Kink in Neck

1. Use a Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tape is a fabric-like tape that you apply to your neck and you can get immediate relief. It’s easy to use and all natural. KT tape promotes quicker healing and increases range of motion of the neck.

2. Apply Ice

Applying ice to the affected area reduces swelling and neck pain. Apply an ice pack and keep a soft tissue or cloth between your skin and the ice pack. Do not ice for longer than 15-20 minutes at one time. Before applying ice, try and give yourself a neck massage. While massaging, roll your head towards the position where it is most painful to determine the pressure points and put ice pack there.

3. Use Hot Treatments

Another excellent treatment for neck pain is heat therapy. Fill your old socks with dry rice and tie at the end. Microwave for 60-90 seconds on high. Before placing it on your neck, touch it to see if it’s the right temperature. Apply it to the affected area. It can provide great relief in pain due to kink in neck.

You can also use a heating pad. Don’t use it for more than 15 minutes. It increases the blood flow to the neck and provides relief. Long hot showers also relieve neck pain. You can place your neck under a hot shower to get relief. You can also add bath salts such as Epsom salts into a bath tub filled with warm water and soak your neck in it. This will help relieve muscle tension and increase blood circulation to the affected area.

4. Consume Magnesium

Magnesium naturally maintains flexibility of muscles and relieves stress and tension. It is naturally available in green, leafy vegetables, chocolate and pumpkin seeds. Foods that have anti-inflammatory properties such as almonds, strawberries, blueberries and sardines can also help in relieving neck pain.

5. Get Massage and Acupuncture Therapy

Acupuncture therapy involves insertion of tiny needles into specific pressure points. It helps in promoting relaxation of muscles. Massage therapy can also help relieve neck pain by using hand manipulation or by applying topical creams to relax aching muscles.

6. Drink Plenty of Water

The vertebral discs that support the bones of neck require sufficient hydration for proper functioning. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to get the benefit.

7. Take Medicine

Various medicines that may relieve pain from a kink in neck include muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers and antidepressants. Your physician may recommend over-the-counter medicines before prescribing pain killers. For immediate relief, you may be recommended to get corticosteroid injections into the affected area.

If nothing works, then you can consider spine surgery as the last resort. Neck pain due to a compressed nerve or a herniated disc often gets cured or becomes manageable post surgery.

8. Do Neck Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises of the neck can be done multiple times a day to help with neck pain. However, take care to do the exercises in a controlled and slow manner. Do not force the exercise to the point of pain.

  • Cervical Flexion/Extension Stretch: In cervical flexion, you have to slowly look down towards the floor and in cervical extension you have to slowly look up towards the ceiling. These stretches should be performed alternating with each other and you should hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds.
  • Cervical Lateral Flexion Stretch: Start this stretch by moving your head slowly to one side and let your ear approach your shoulder. Do not move your shoulder up to reach your ear. Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds on one side. Perform on the opposite side.
  • Cervical Rotation Stretch: Make sure that you start this stretch with relaxed shoulders and a straight back. Begin by slowly rotating your head either on the left or right side as if you are trying to view over your shoulder. Hold for 30-60 seconds on one side and return back to starting position. Repeat the stretch on the other side.
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