I have had problems with neck stiffness and painful neck muscles for several years. I thought maybe I had osteoarthritis of the neck. When I cut out caffeine (for another reason), I was amazed that my neck pain disappeared within days! I have been free of neck pain now for two months. I now drink decaffeinated tea and that doesn't cause any problems for me (but it might for some people). (I went completely off caffeine for several weeks, then introduced decaffeinated tea.) In his book "Heal Your Headache", Dr. David Buchholz explains how many things besides headaches (such as neck pain) are part of the "migraine spectrum", and that caffeine is the number one trigger. Eliminating caffeine worked for me.
This works for me whenever I wake up with a stiff neck. The sooner you do it after waking up, the better.
First, remove your pillow so you're lying completely flat on your back, on the bed. Relax completely, taking smooth, deep breaths. Stay like this for about 30-45 seconds. Then, while still lying flat on your back, turn your head to the left. Breath and relax in that position for 30-45 seconds. Now turn your head to the right, and hold that for 30-45 seconds.
Next, flip over onto your stomach. Lie completely flat with your face in the mattress and relax, breathe, etc. for 30-45 seconds. Then, while staying in that same position, turn your head to the left and hold, breath, etc. Finally, turn your head to the right and hold, etc.
You can repeat these steps until the pain has gone away completely, and you can also adjust the time for each if you're in a hurry. Also, this can be very relaxing, so make sure to set an extra alarm if you think you might fall back to sleep!
Hope this helps! :)
my remedy is to drink...but not get drunk...Lol I know it sounds bad but it really works the pain went away within hours
I use a product called NATEUCA eucalyptus spray and it works for stiff neck and any muscle or joint pain I encounter. Found it online hope that helps some of you.
A rice bag works nicely. (also take MOTRIN it's an anti-inflammatory). You can actually MAKE a rice bag yourself out of white rice and flannel. Put it in the microwave for however long you need (my size needs @ 3 minutes), the moist heat is good relief for a stiff neck. Also good for cold hands and feet in the winter.
I learned this one from my chiropractor to whom i'm related to. The only problem is you need someone to help you. It's called neck traction what you do is take a towel roll it up so that its an inch and a half thick and at least 3 feet long. Lay it on the ground and lay on your back so thats it's under your neck. Then have someone take both ends of the towel slowly lifting your head up and pulling back holding your head up for 10 seconds and releasing slowly. And repeat another 9 times or so. I know it sounds painful but its almost instant pain relief when your head is being held up.
I get stiffness/tension in my trapezius muscle (neck/shoulder area) a lot and the following stretch helps every time.
I'll use myself as an example to avoid left-right confusion. At the moment I have tension along the left side of that area. I'm sitting in a straight-backed chair. Breathing slowly & deeply, I slowly tilt my head to the right so that my right ear is closer to my right shoulder. Then I rotate my face downward (I might look a little like I'm trying to smell my armpit- oh, well). Then, if that's not enough, I grab the bottom of the chair with my left hand and gently pull upward. I continue breathing slowly & deeply for at least 5 seconds, sometimes longer, then repeat on the other side.
Ahh, that's better.
To relieve a tight or stiff neck squeeze your shoulders up towards your ears and hold for 10 seconds then completely relax and release your shoulders. It's like an exaggerated shoulder shrug. Do this 10 times and you will feel much better.
Stiff neck is most often caused by the Upper Trapezius, Levator Scapulae and Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscles - one or all. U.T massage point is that part of the shoulder you grab between your neck & arm. L.S. is the back of the neck between the skull & top of your shoulder blade. SCM is that diagonal muscle in the front of your neck - just grab a handful & pinch between thumb & fingers. VERY good book on this is the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies.
Take cayenne and lobelia for quick respite.