When you wake up with a stiff neck, it could simply be because you kinked it while you slept, but there's also a chance that the pain is due to a misalignment of your spine. Either way, it's a good idea to see your chiropractor, who will be able to assess the health of your spine and determine if adjustments are necessary. Ideally, you'll be able to get an appointment on short notice, perhaps if another patient has cancelled. In the hours between the time you notice the pain and the appointment — likely spent at work — here are some techniques that you can use to reduce the soreness or prevent it from worsening.
Skip Your Morning Coffee
When you and your stiff neck are rushing to get ready for work, it's a good idea to think twice about having your morning coffee, as well as any other cups that you might drink throughout the day. Products that contain caffeine can create pain in various joints in your body, which is the last thing you need if you're already contending with a stiff neck. Instead of coffee, drink some water. Hydration helps to improve your body's circulation, and heightened circulation can often help to reduce pain throughout the body.
Roll Your Shoulders
There are myriad stretches and exercises that can help you reduce your neck stiffness, but a simple one is to roll your shoulders. When you're sitting or standing upright, lift your shoulders together and roll them backward in a large, slow circle. Do this exercise as many times as you wish, as it can help too loosen any tight muscles that may be contributing to your stiff neck. The benefit to this simple exercise is that you can do it throughout the day in a variety of settings, whether you're standing at the bus stop, sitting at your desk or waiting in the elevator at work.
Use A Heat Pack
Microwave a heat pack at home and place it around your neck on the drive to work. When you get to work and you're seeking further relief from the stiffness, head to the kitchen area and microwave the heat pack again. If you don't have a heat pack, they're sold in most pharmacies in a variety of sizes. Generally, a thin, long pack is best for stiff necks, as it allows you to drape the pack around your neck. The warmth of the pack can help to relax the aggravated muscles and give you some relief until your chiropractic visit.