Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

A crick in the neck is a facet joint problem which results in sprains in the ligaments surrounding these joints, causing neck pain. While there are many ways to overcome this problem, some cases may need medical assistance.

The neck holds up the head and allows the head to move from side to side and up and down. Any discomfort and pain in the neck is quite annoying and disturbing. Additionally; the neck area is highly sensitive to pain and such pain often extends to the upper back and even the arms and shoulder. Neck pain can make it difficult to drive, do your chores, work on a computer screen or even bend your head to write notes or lift objects off the ground. Neck pain limits mobility to a considerable extent and a crick in the neck is one common form of neck pain.

What is a Crick in the Neck?

What is a Crick in the Neck?

The neck has two small facet joints; one in each neck vertebrae. When the ligaments surrounding these joints are sprained they result in muscle spasms and pain. Awkward positioning of the neck can have a similar effect along with inflammation. This condition is colloquially known as a “crick in the neck”.

A crick in the neck can be caused by various factors like strenuous activity that invariably flexes and stretches the neck the wrong way, a sports injury, a workout injury and even bad sleep posture. Crick in the neck is neither chronic nor life threatening but it can be debilitating and painful for some. Hence, it is important to get immediate relief, when some effective ways to get rid of a crick in the neck can be found handy.

Ways to Get Rid Of A Crick in the Neck

Treating a crick in the neck is simple and may not require a visit to an orthopedist or prescription drugs. A combination of massage, topical applications, hot and cold compress can help get rid of a crick in the neck. In severe cases, people may need non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to counter inflammation or the unbearable pain and get rid of a crick in the neck.

Topical Creams and Gels

If you require quick relief from a crick in the neck; you can simply buy over-the-counter topical creams and gels that can be massaged into the affected area to provide quick relief. This is one of the most effective ways to get rid of a crick in the neck. Pain-relieving creams and gels may not be able to counter severe pain but can be of great use in mild pain or minor sprains.

Professional Massage

Most massage therapists are well experienced in providing relief for common aches and pains including a crick in the neck. As one of the effective ways to get rid of a crick in the neck, a professional and qualified massage therapist can help.

Massage the Area Yourself

Another way to get rid of a crick in the neck, particularly milder ones, is to gently massage the painful area yourself. You can use topical pain relieving gels, creams or oils to massage the area yourself. Use your fingers to detect and press down on pressure points, massage the sprained ligaments and surrounding muscles.

Hot and Cold Compression

A crick in the neck can also lead to inflammation. One of the effective ways to get rid of the crick in the neck is to apply ice to relieve pain, swelling and inflammation. For some, alternate hot and cold compression can be more beneficial. You can simply alternate between; holding a hot water bag and cold water bag to the affected area to get relief in a short while. It helps to relieve ligament and muscular strains, inflammation and also reduces stiffness in the area.

Stretch Your Neck

While a crick in the neck may make it difficult to stretch and maneuver your neck; if you do it the right way, it can actually help relieve the strained tissues. Gentle stretching is one of the beneficial ways to get rid of a crick in the neck. This will work out the sprained ligaments and stiff muscles at the point of injury. Bend your neck from side to side, bend it upwards and downwards for the best stretching workout to relieve pain. Seeking guidance from a physical therapist can positively help.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

While these are the different ways to get rid of a crick in the neck, some acute pain may not respond. In such cases, medicines like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce inflammation and pain. In most cases, these medicines help and are best taken with medical advice to plan the duration and repetition. However, if the condition persists for more than two days; it’s a clear sign to head to your doctor’s office. This condition generally doesn’t persist for more than two days. It’s best to fix an appointment with your doctor to rule out any other serious issues.

In conclusion; there is no need to panic when faced with a crick in the neck. There are ways to get rid of it and normally it should heal itself in two to three days. If the condition does not improve, medical advice and timely treatment must be sought to treat a crick in the neck.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 28, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest