Getting a stiff neck is not usually an indication of serious medical malady, but it can certainly hamper your daily activities and make it hard for you to get a decent sleep. Although a stiff neck is most commonly caused by improper posture during work, it can also stem from wrong sleeping position, or straining when you do your exercises.

The thing about a stiff neck is that you can actually knead the pain away all by yourself. Read on to know more about the quick techniques you can do to fix that nasty muscle strain.

1. Locate the problem area.

If it happens to be on the right side of your neck or upper back, then you may use your right hand to knead it. If it’s on the left, then the left hand should be used.

2. Using firm pressure, push your fingers into the knot.

Notice that you should only be experiencing a kind of “good pain” when you start doing this—something you can tolerate and not a sharp pain. If you can’t quite reach the area comfortably using your fingers, grab a tennis ball or any other prop and find a wall to lean into for leverage.

3. Slightly turn your head on the opposite direction of the neck cramp, and then bend it diagonally.

Do this as if you were attempting to reach your armpit with your chin. When you activate the cramped muscle coupled by pressure, it can help the kinked muscle to relax as well.

4. Do 20 successive repetitions of steps 1, 2 and 3.

Give your neck and upper back a nice long stretch after this mini exercise. See if your neck cramps will be relieved. Complete the series of exercises to keep your muscles light and relaxed.

5. For other cases, you may also try using a cold pack.

You may fill up a plastic bag with ice cubes and then seal it tightly. Wrap a towel around it and place it against the part of your neck that feels stiff. Hold the ice pack at the affected area for about 20 minutes.

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