Be aware of your activities and posture
A stiff neck is often caused by incorrect posture. Office work and watching TV are two examples of activities that can often cause a stiff neck. It helps to be aware of what you are doing and what your posture is like. When you sit in front of a screen or watch TV, you may assume a convulsive, tensed position. Try to sit up straight and relax your shoulders. You will certainly notice in the beginning that you have to remind yourself of this. However, over time it can become automatic. Also try to get enough exercise when you have to sit for longer periods. Take a short break every 20-30 minutes where you stand or walk for a while. Bear in mind that having a good posture and keeping your back straight as much as possible is of key importance for the health of your neck. For example, staying for too long with your head bent down looking at the screen of your phone might negatively affect your neck.
Invest in an ergonomic workplace
Many neck complaints are caused by sedentary work. If you do sedentary work, invest in an ergonomic workplace. By purchasing a good desk and an ergonomic office chair and placing monitors at the right height, you will adopt a better posture so that you will experience less trouble with a stiff neck. In fact, your entire back health will improve!
Keep your neck warm
Contrary to popular belief, cold is rarely the cause of a stiff neck. However, it can contribute to an extra strong feeling of stiffness. Therefore, keep your neck warm. This can of course be done with the help of clothing, but a warm shower, warm pillow or a hot water bottle can also relieve the pain.
Applying heat with a hot water bottle or hot compresses can often bring short term immediate relief in case of a stiff neck. Soak a clean towel in very hot water and then press it on the affected area for 20 minutes two or three times a day. If the towel cools down, repeat the same process. With either the hot water bottle as the hot compresses you need to be careful though – too high temperatures can cause burns.
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