The Cervical Spine: How You Can Find Lasting Relief from Neck Pain 

 March 3, 2024

By  Dr. Michael J Egan

How to Get Rid of a Stiff Neck


Working on computers and staring at our smartphones for hours each day has left 20% of us experiencing neck pain over the past three months. A stiff neck usually starts with postural issues that have weakened your neck muscles. Weakened muscular support places additional stress on your spinal joints. Over time, the extra stress can change how you move, increase the pressure on your spine discs, and cause pain.

Looking down at your computer or phone all day can cause the muscles that support your neck to become chronically tired. If you do this all day, the stress can add up and result in the joints of your neck not moving correctly. At this point, it's only a matter of time before you wake up with a stiff neck or turn your head during the day and are greeted by intense muscle discomfort or pain. Here are three smart tips to get rid of a stiff neck:

Perform range of motion exercises each day to stretch and strengthen muscles that support your neck

Sleep on a supportive pillow that keeps your head in a neutral position throughout the night

Receive spinal adjustments to restore the proper motion and function of your spinal joints


A small adjustment can make big changes in your quality of life. Our team is here to help. We are focused on helping you feel (and function) better by improving your spinal motion and providing you with the stretches and exercises you can do at home to continue your improvement. If neck pain has got in the way of you enjoying your life, give us a call and schedule an appointment today.


Why Does My Neck Hurt?

Your neck has a tough job. It has to hold up the weight of your head every day for a lifetime. Holding up to 11 pounds may not seem like a lot, but the seven bones and 25 or so neck muscles must work together in perfect harmony to move your head around and keep that weight in place. As you get older, postural changes, sudden injuries, and arthritis are a few reasons why you may begin to notice neck pain. Often, the pain can be traced to a problem with either the muscles, bones, discs, or nerves in your neck.


If you've ever had a stiff neck and couldn't turn your head for a day or two, you know how debilitating and life-changing neck pain can be. The sharp muscle spasms that restrict your ability to move can happen when your body tries to protect a spinal joint that isn't moving correctly. Almost every bone in your neck has a pair of sliding joints towards the back called facet joints. If an adhesion forms or the joint is stuck, your body will try to compensate for a little while, and you may not notice any pain or restriction. But, this compensation can cause additional challenges if it's not handled.


Sudden injuries, arthritis, and postural issues can all contribute to neck pain

The small sliding joints (facet joints) of your neck can become stuck and cause muscle spasms and pain

Gentle spinal adjustments combined with daily stretching can help restore the motion of your facet joints and reduce pain

A stiff neck is your body's way of saying "pay attention"! Even if it eases up by the end of the day, it's smart to have us evaluate your spine's motion. Taking care of small challenges before they become big issues is part of being proactive with your health. By taking a proactive approach to your health today, you can reduce your risk of future neck pain and stiffness episodes.


The Neck Pain Solution No One Is Talking About

You may not know that a neck pain solution is recommended by most major healthcare organizations that almost no physicians talk about. It works better than medications and is far less risky than injections or surgery. So why hasn't the world embraced it? That's a good question.


Spinal adjustments are the neck pain solution that physicians aren't talking about (until now!). Gentle adjustments to your neck effectively reduce neck pain, improve your range of motion, and even influence your brain and nervous system. Chiropractors focus on the structure and function of your spine. When your spine functions optimally, your body can often heal itself- no medications needed. Research has shown that nearly 80% of people with a disc herniation in their neck found relief with spinal adjustments! So don't let a disc herniation make you believe your condition is too advanced for chiropractic care.

Drugs and surgery usually aren't recommended for the care of neck pain due to their risks and side effects

The Cleveland Clinic and American College of Physicians support chiropractic adjustments for the care of neck issues

Spinal adjustments have been shown to provide more relief than steroid injections for neck pain caused by disc herniation

We believe that the first step to relief is discovering the cause of your pain. After finding the structural issue causing your pain, we can create a treatment plan to improve your function and reduce your pain. If you or someone you know has struggled with neck pain, give us a call today!


Neck Arthritis: Why Your Daily Habits Might Be to Blame

Arthritis is defined as the breakdown of the cartilage around your joints. It can happen anywhere in your body, and common symptoms associated with arthritis include joint pain, stiffness, swelling, or restricted motion. While arthritis is a natural part of the aging process, the decisions you make each day dramatically affect whether it becomes a problem for you as you get older. The choices you make today play a powerful role in your future health.

Many people get diagnosed with arthritis and believe they are destined for a life of pain, but that isn't true. Thinning discs and bone spurs happen as we age due to gravity, previous injuries, and other lifestyle factors. But you can manage and even mitigate many of the challenges of arthritis by making positive decisions for your spinal health each day. Here are three ways to stay proactive and reduce the effects of arthritis:

Each day, perform stretches and exercises that foster a balance of strength and flexibility

Use good ergonomics at your work desk by keeping your monitor at eye level

Follow a diet that limits inflammatory foods, which can contribute to pain and chronic inflammation

Next Steps:

A habit is defined as a routine that's repeated without you even thinking about it. It's estimated that most habits form after about 60 days. Can you follow the healthy habits above for the next 60 days? There isn't just one thing you can do to prevent arthritis, but making small changes to your habits each day can help you minimize your risk of painful arthritis. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, call us to schedule an appointment.

Science Sources:

Do you have a stiff neck? Try these simple remedies. Cleveland Clinic. 2015

Intervertebral Kinematics of the Cervical Spine Before, During and After High Velocity Low Amplitude Manipulation.The Spine Journal. 2018

Chiropractic Care for Arthritis. Arthritis Foundation. 2020

Do you have a stiff neck? Try these simple remedies. Cleveland Clinic. 2015

Osteoarthritis. University of Maryland Medical Center. 2007

Outcomes from Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Confirmed Symptomatic Cervical Disk Herniation Patients Treated with High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude Spinal Manipulative Therapy. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. October 2013

Dr. Michael J Egan


Dr. Michael J Egan is the Director of Motion Health Centre and Principal Sports Chiropractor, Registered Trigenics Practitioner and Provider of the Frozen Shoulder Procedure.

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