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The ABCs Of Fighting A Stiff Neck Headache

Aug 17, 2007
So, you have a painful constricted feeling in your neck? Even trying to turn your head brings a sharp severe pain. And as if it is not enough, you also have a headache which keeps you wide awake without the benefit of tossing and turning on your bed.

A stiff neck headache is not something that people normally consider to be dangerous. More often than not, a this type of headache is not even a serious problem. Doctors often term it as a cervical spasm.

Usually, it is caused by uncomfortable sleeping position which puts unnecessary stress to your neck. So whenever you have a stiff neck headache, it is a good bet that you are only experiencing the effects of sore muscles.

However, these headaches should not be taken lightly either. If you are suffering from one, especially if the occurrence is frequent, it might be best for you to see a doctor. You have nothing to lose but all to gain when you consult experts about this ailment.

Sometimes, stiff neck headaches happen after suffering a concussion to your head or neck. There are also some serious diseases associated with them; for example, meningitis and high blood pressure. Cases like these must be checked out first before you can be sure that the searing pains you have in your neck are nothing but a crick in the neck. Once your doctor is sure that your headache is nothing serious, you can have plenty of treatment alternatives on top of peace of mind.

A stiff neck headache is possibly a symptom of a more serious and bigger ailment if it comes with other abnormal characteristics aside from pain in the neck. In meningitis for instance, the pain in the neck becomes worse as you try to move your chin downward. If ever you are feeling nauseated and utterly confused for no apparent reason, you might be experiencing inflammation in the brain which is, needless to say, very dangerous. A crunching sound while trying to move your painful neck coupled with a tingling sensation in your upper extremities can point to cervical osteoarthritis.

So just how do you deal with stiff neck headache? Is it possible for you to ease the pain brought by it? Here are a few tips to avoid or to comfort you during the trying times of a headache; but remember that this should be done only when you are absolutely sure, upon consultation with your doctor, that you are only experiencing a muscular spasm on your neck area.

Firstly, fix your bed. As majority of stiff neck headaches are caused during sleep the likes of which you could almost wring your neck without even feeling it, you can start by clearing away unnecessary objects in your bed. Example, you should not sleep with your laptop computer or books in bed because these can become obstructions which could hurt your neck while you sleep.

A bad sleeping position can cause unwanted stress to your neck and head, so choose comfortable pillows and a cushioned but not too soft bed. A bed that gives good support and spreads pressure points on your back while you lay down is not only comfortable but healthy as well.

Secondly, if you are having stiff neck headaches as you go about your job routine in front of a desktop computer for eight hours, consider using a cervical collar. You can also make one by doubling over a piece of towel or cloth and enclosing it around the neck and fastened by a pin. This collar provides additional neck support and definitely relieves unnecessary stress to your neck.

You can also put a small pillow sandwiched between the back of your neck and your office chair's back rest for support; or better yet, use a comfortable traveling pillow which can be easily wrapped around your neck in a snap.

Finally, give your neck regular exercise. A recurring stiff neck headache can be prevented by strengthening your neck muscles through regular neck exercise. A simple routine consists of moving the shoulders backwards to the point that the shoulder blades are pushed nearer to each other and then relax your shoulders and turn your neck slowly from side to side.

You can also have your neck constantly massaged. Train yourself to sit and stand up straight. Most of the time, stiff neck headache is a result of bad posture.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://headache.topicgiant.com where you can learn more about the cause and treatment of all types of headaches as well as more about the stiff neck headache.
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