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Crick in Neck: Treatment, Causes, and Remedies

A crick in the neck refers to neck stiffness or pain that limits your range of motion in your neck. This usually occurs in a sudden manner. The neck muscles may be tense when you wake up, as a result of which you have difficulty turning your head in any direction. Even you feel neck pain when cycling and doing other activities.A long period of time at your desk or looking over your shoulder may be difficult for you. A few days or weeks usually pass before the symptoms subside. Cricks in the neck are not considered medically diagnosable.

As a result, it can refer to a variety of neck problems, each of which may have its own underlying cause. By identifying the causes, you will be able to determine the most appropriate treatment. You may be able to relieve stiffness in your neck by stretching, applying heat, or taking pain relievers. When the problem does not resolve, it may be necessary to consult a specialist, such as a physical therapist.

What Are The Proper Symptoms Of A Neck Crick?

Symptoms of this condition include:

8 Remedies to Fix Crick in Neck

In this technology-driven world, where we cannot work without computers and smartphones, our health is at risk. Reports from Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) suggest that approximately 20% of the public has experienced neck pain that won’t go away, in the past three months. So the public needs to know what remedies can be followed to fix the crick in the neck? Neck strain is usually caused due to muscle stiffness which is an indication of weak muscle. Muscles weaken due to wrong sitting posture or prolonged use. Some of the important ones have been discussed below:

1- Reconsider Your Sitting Posture

2- Correcting Desk Furniture

3- Use Headphones or Phone Speakers

4- Frequent Breaks

5- Proper Stretching and Management

6- Shift Shoulders

7- Support Your Body While Sleeping

8- Correct Your Sleeping Posture

Causes of Crick in Neck

Causes of crick in neck are as follows.

  • Cervical Herniated Disc

Herniation of an intervertebral disc occurs when its soft inner layer penetrates its thick outer layer. A herniation in the spinal canal may result in the pressing of a nerve root, as there is little space in the canal. Cervical disc herniation may result in neck pain, but it is more likely to result in radiculopathy, or pain radiating down the arm or arms. An upper back or shoulder radiculopathy, however, may feel similar to a neck injury.

  • Brain or Spinal Cord Injury 

Brain or spinal cord injuries can result from falling or hitting the head or back. As a result of these injuries, paralysis or permanent brain damage may result. You should consult a physician as soon as possible if you experience: Stiffness of the neck following a fall or blow to the head paralysis changes in perception or difficulty thinking seizures 9 treatments for a neck crick In most cases, you will be able to recover from a crick in the neck within one to two weeks.

  • Muscle Spasm 

An involuntary contraction of muscles results in a muscle spasm. Injuries to the muscles and overuse of the muscles are two of the most common causes of these conditions. As a result of stress, muscle spasms can occur in the neck and upper back as a result of muscle contractions. Unlike a bowling ball, the head weighs approximately the same as the neck. Your head and neck muscles are further strained when you have a poor head and neck posture. Numerous experts have attributed the cause of neck cricks to muscle spasms. 

  • Cervical Artery Dissection

A torn neck artery can cause cervical dissection, often due to hyperextension of the neck. A person suffering from cervical artery dissection may experience sharp pain at the base of the skull and stiffness in the neck. Many individuals may also experience sudden, intense headaches.

Best Treatment Options 

You may heal faster with the following treatment options. 

  • Inflammation can be minimized by taking a break and tense muscles can be relaxed. After two to three weeks, you can resume your regular activities.

  • Even when you are resting, you should not avoid physical activity. 

  • Gentle neck stretching and strengthening exercises alleviate neck pain and stiffness. Make sure you include these neck exercises in your daily routine.

  • Ice Or Heat For Neck Pain at home can relieve sore neck muscles. To minimize inflammation, apply an ice pack for 48 to 72 hours. To improve circulation and mobility, apply a heating pad to stiff and sore muscles. 

  • Adjust your sleeping position as needed. 

  • A good night's sleep can reduce neck pain. In the case of shoulder pain, it may be more comfortable to lie on your back. The recommendation is not to sleep on your stomach in general.

  • Sleep on a supportive mattress and pillow. A medium-firm mattress and a supportive pillow can help prevent neck problems in the future.

  • Also try to get rid of a fat neck to avoid extra pressure on the neck.

  • The alignment of your neck and spine is essential when you are sleeping.

  • A small towel rolled up around your neck can also provide support to the arch of your neck. 

  • Arrange your desk, computer, and other office equipment properly. Your neck will be less likely to be in awkward positions. Sitting for long periods of time without getting up and taking frequent breaks can lead to a nerd neck.

  • Physical therapists can also provide hands-on treatment and evaluation. For cricks in the neck, trigger point release, acupressure or acupuncture can be used, as well as other methods. You may be able to regain full neck range of motion with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), for instance.

  • Chiropractic for neck pain is also recommended. 

  • The first line of treatment for neck pain is to take an NSAID such as naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen (Advil), or aspirin. Your doctor may prescribe them with other drugs such as acetaminophen and oral corticosteroids for acute pain. 

  • Take a couple of days off from your normal activities to give your overworked muscles a rest. Keep in mind that healing takes place primarily through movement, not rest. The key to long-term pain prevention and recovery is exercise, stretching, and daily activity.

Recovery Time 

Cricks in the neck usually heal within one to two days. An injury or muscle pain that results in stiffness may take quite some time to recover from. Lifestyle factors can contribute to a crick in the neck in many cases. As such, it may recur. To prevent future muscle stiffness and injuries, it is important to make some lifestyle changes.

The majority of people can treat a crick in the neck at home, but they should seek medical attention if they experience severe pain or have other symptoms for a prolonged period of timeIn addition to the underlying problem, other factors may affect a person's recovery time, including their overall health. In osteoarthritis, continuous treatment may be required for years. 


If you have never experienced a crick in the neck before, it can be a very unnerving experience. Generally, it does not result from a serious medical condition, however. A neck crick can be resolved with some stretching and patience. Discuss treatment options with your physician if it does not resolve with home remedies.

Dr. Rao K. Ali M.D.

Dr. Rao Ali, a board-certified pain management physician, leads the clinic, which specializes in nonsurgical treatment. The physician has experience in the emergency room as well as training in pain management and rehabilitation. As a personal physician, he works with each patient to develop a treatment plan that will minimize or eliminate their pain. Providing expert diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions, Pain Management In Dallas, PA provides a comprehensive range of services. These services include neck pain, back pain, hip and knee pain, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome, headaches, migraines, and many others.