How to Relieve Stiff Neck Pain

a woman with a stiff neck


Neck pain and stiffness is a common health ailment that affects millions of people each year. As we’re spending more time looking at our phones, hunched over our laptops and iPads, or at our desks working, the number of people who experience a stiff neck continues to rise.

To combat this, today we’re talking about what to do for a stiff neck and how to relieve a stiff neck with a few simple adjustments.

Be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any home treatments for neck pain and stiffness to ensure it’s safe to do so.

What Causes Neck Pain and Stiffness?

If you’re going to learn how to relieve stiff neck pain it helps to know what causes a stiff neck. The amount of time we spend working on computers, looking at our phones, or connecting with other devices is the number one contributor to neck pain.  Subconscious bad sitting habits such as slouching or leaning out necks forward can cause neck stiffness to occur.

Other common causes of neck pain and stiffness include:

  • Poor posture
  • Overdoing your exercise routine
  • Muscle tension or strain in your shoulders
  • Stress causing you to tense up
  • Spinal alignment issues

Once you’ve identified the potential cause of your discomfort, you can start considering what to do for a stiff neck to have you pain free once more!

Learning How to Relieve Stiff Neck Pain

You don’t have to resign yourself to living with neck soreness! Learning how to relieve stiff neck pain may be as easy as making a few lifestyle adjustments. After talking to your healthcare professional to ensure it’s safe to do so, some potentially effective methods for how to relieve a stiff neck you may want to try include:

  • Exercise to strengthen neck muscles
  • Ice and heat therapy
  • Getting a massage
  • Using a zero gravity chair for chiropractic benefits
  • Making sure your home office setup is ergonomic

Stiff Neck Exercises to Strengthen Muscles

Your neck is just like any other part of your body and needs to be cared for properly. Having strong, flexible neck muscles is an easy adjustment when learning how to relieve stiff neck pain.

Which exercises should you be doing for neck pain and stiffness? You’re not necessarily going to be lifting weights for these (though you should make sure your form during other full body workout exercises isn’t causing you to pull muscles in your neck!). Learning how to relieve a stiff neck with exercises is more about the opportunity to increase mobility and flexibility.

Start with gentle neck rotations where you slowly turn your head as far as you comfortably can and hold for 30 seconds. Reset to your starting position looking straight forward then do the same for the opposite side. From there some exercises you can move on to neck tilts, head lifts, and even use one hand against your head for a little resistance.

Taking care of your shoulders is another part of what to do for a stiff neck, so once you’re finished with neck exercises move on to shoulder rolls to stretch your muscles there, too.

For a Stiff Neck: Heat or Cold Therapy?

The answer is both! Applying ice for 20 minutes a few times a day (ensure you wrap your ice pack and do not apply it directly to the skin) may help reduce neck inflammation. Alternating cold therapy with heat therapy can help increase blood flow and keep the muscles in your neck loose, soothing pain and adding to flexibility.

If you’re using a zero gravity recliner for neck pain, you may have the opportunity to combine a few methods for how to relieve a stiff neck as heat therapy is one of the most popular bonus features of zero gravity luxury recliners available.

Stiff Neck Massage for Relief

Aside from heat therapy, another method you may consider when learning how to relieve stiff neck pain is getting a massage. Massage has been shown to not only help with pain relief from physical health ailments but to also help reduce stress, which is a common cause of neck pain!

Once again, you can combine your effort on what to do for a stiff neck by pairing a zero gravity recliner chair with massage option with your home treatments. Zero gravity chairs may offer vibration massage or air pressure massage (depending on which zero gravity chair you choose) that can help relax the muscles in your back and shoulders while enhancing stress relief. All these methods may help work together to help alleviate neck pain and stiffness to get you back to being pain free.

Using a Zero Gravity Recliner for Neck Pain and Stiffness

With all this talk about how to relieve stiff neck pain by incorporating methods with zero gravity recliners (also commonly referred to as simply zero gravity chairs), we can’t leave you wondering “what is a zero gravity chair?

A zero gravity chair or recliner may help with neck pain and stiffness in a plethora of ways. The chiropractic benefits of zero gravity chairs include helping align the spine and supporting its natural curvature. There are also many activities to combine with the zero gravity recliner to improve posture and properly support your neck.

As we said, learning how to relieve stiff neck pain isn’t all about physical ailments, however. Working to improve your mental health may positively impact neck pain and stiffness, as well. For example, you may find zero gravity meditation or using one as part of a relaxing night time routine as effective additions for what to do for a stiff neck as these could help stress management.

The many health benefits of zero gravity chairs can contribute to how the body heals itself, keep muscles relaxed, and help stiff neck relief. Remember to change positions every so often regardless of what kind of chair you’re in to avoid potential neck pain from sitting too long!

Home Office Ergonomics for Neck Pain Relief and Prevention

Last up in our journey to learn how to relieve stiff neck pain may not be something you have considered before. Have you thought about how your work or home office setup might be causing a stiff neck?

There's more to work and home office ergonomics than just choosing the best ergonomic chair. You also need to ensure your desk is at the proper height (consider trying an adjustable desk to stand every so often, as well), your computer monitor is at the right angle, and even the lighting is at the proper level. As one of the most common causes of neck pain and stiffness, adjusting your work or home office to meet your needs may help prevent neck pain or relieve it as you stop subconsciously leaning your neck forward or hunching over while working.

In many cases, there’s no reason you have to continue experiencing neck pain and stiffness! Learning how to relieve stiff neck pain or prevent neck soreness in the first place is as easy as making a few adjustments to your routine. After consulting a healthcare professional to ensure any changes are safe for you to do, try simple neck exercises, following office ergonomics, and choose a zero gravity chair with heat therapy and massage options. These simple tips may make all the difference and get you back to a neck pain free life.

Check out more ways zero gravity chairs benefit people of all ages with these resources: