neck pain when turning head

5 Effective Treatments for Neck Pain when Turning Head

How do I fix Neck Pain when Turning Head?

Do you want to know how to fix neck pain when turning head? Well in this article we will go over what causes that issue and how to relieve neck pain when turning head! Trust me, I get it, neck pain can be a real pain in the neck. Pun intended. I have 2 herniated discs from sports injuries and I have had all types of neck pain issues, even neck pain when turning head. But after much studying, tons of physical therapy and doctor visits, I have learned how to handle my neck pain when turning head issues.

In this article I will go over what causes neck pain when turning head, you will learn how it could have happened and you will learn how to relieve neck pain when turning head.

Most people are familiar with neck pain in todays day in age, due to sitting at a desk all day, hunched over, on their phones or many other daily activities. It can even suddenly appear one morning, most likely due to sleeping in a bad position and straining the neck. In many cases, neck pain will go away within a week, but in some rare cases, neck pain when turning head can be something more. You will have a better idea of your situation by the end of this article, lets begin!

Disclaimer: If your neck pain is serious and you’re feeling a lot of sharp pain, please consult your doctor immediately!

Common Causes of Neck Pain when Turning Head

neck pain when looking down office neck pain when turning head

Usually the most common cause of neck pain when turning head is a muscle sprain or even a soft tissue sprain. These sprains most commonly occur due to common daily activities.

Some reasons this pain is occurring:

  • Sleeping with the neck in an awkward position
  • Poor Posture such as when at a desk looking at a computer or looking at a phone
  • Sudden impact on the neck such as a sports injury or accident
  • Anxiety or stress in life
  • Holding your neck in an awkward position for a long time, such as having a phone between your shoulder and ear
  • Constantly turning your head side to side, such as when you’re swimming
  • Constantly cracking your neck, this is very harmful, especially when done often

These are only a few of many reasons why you are feeling neck pain when turning head and you should assess your lifestyle to find out any other reasons this pain is occurring. As you continue reading this article, try to keep thinking about what in your daily life could be causing this neck pain or if something in the past caused this pain to occur. Like mentioned above, this pain usually goes away after about a week, if the pain has gotten worse or has not eased up, please consult with your doctor immediately.

Uncommon Causes of Neck Pain when Turning Head

Here I’ll share some uncommon causes of neck pain when turning head, but don’t get too worried if any of these stand out to you. I suggest if they stand out to you, immediately make an appointment with your doctor to find out more information about your situation and hopefully rule these out or find out with your doctor how to treat your situation.

  • Herniated Disc. This is something many people have heard about and are afraid of, but don’t worry too much, in many cases this can be treated, dealt with using physical therapy or ruled out. If the protective outer portion of a disc breaks down, the inner portion in your spine will leak out, this will then cause compression and inflammation in the tissues nearby.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease. Over time as the discs lose height and hydration, the pressure on the nearby joints will increase, along with pressure on the nerves and soft tissues such as ligaments and muscles. This can cause neck pain and stiffness. It can also cause the neck pain when turning head.
  • Osteoarthritis. This is arthritic breakdown of the cervical facet joints between vertebral bones which often occur along with other degenerative conditions. Thanks spine-health.com for this information and I suggest checking them out for more detailed information on this and other amazing information!

5 Effective Treatments for Neck Pain when Turning Head!

Disclaimer: Like mentioned above, if you are having serious pain or feel like this could be something serious, please consult with your doctor for the best advice on how to handle your situation and fix your neck pain when turning head.

Now, I will go over 5 effective treatments that I personally always use whenever I deal with any neck pain when turning head. These always help me and also help restore mobility in my neck so I can comfortably turn my head without any pain in my neck.

Gentle Stretching

As long as your pain isn’t severe, I suggest doing some gentle stretching to help ease the pain and loosen up the muscles. I suggest doing the stretches comfortably and only going as far as you can without experiencing pain. If done correctly, this can reduce or get rid of neck pain when turning head within a week as long as you also combine these with some other treatments I will list in this article.

I will link to my article below on neck stretches for neck pain but I will also give you one stretch to do in this article, its the one stretch I use most often and it is highly effective without putting too much stress on the neck!

Top 5 Best Neck Stretches for Neck Pain Relief

Now lets talk about the one main stretch I recommend you do!

Chin Tucks

chin tuck neck stretch neck pain when looking down neck pain when turning head

This stretch is not only simple and effective, but can also be done almost anywhere. It can also be done in a short amount of time. I’ve personally used this stretch many times and continue to use it whenever my neck feels uncomfortable. This usually helps me get rid of any neck pain when turning head that I might be feeling.

Refer to the image above for a visual example.

Keep your head neutral, stand or sit straight with good posture. While keeping your head and neck still, take your right hands fingers and place them on your chin. Now push your chin into your neck, try to push it back. Its okay if the chin goes down a bit but keep a straight neck. Do not tilt the neck at all. If done right, you should feel a stretch in the back of your neck. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds, then release. Do this for 6 to 8 repetitions.

Cold and/or Heat

neck pain when turning head ice heat therapy

I usually recommend IcyHot since it does help, but if that is not available, normal ice therapy will work. Just place it on your neck and hold it for 15-20 minutes, I usually do this at least twice a day until the pain reduces and eventually the neck pain when turning head goes away. Its a simple and old method that is tried and true, it just works. It will help ease the inflammation and any swelling that may be occurring in the neck and also restore mobility if your neck feels stiff and also will reduce neck pain when turning head.

Good Sleep Positions

neck pain when looking down sleep position

This one is very important, I personally find if I sleep in a bad position with my neck in an awkward position, I wake up with horrible neck pain that lasts all day. Investing in a good pillow and sleeping in a healthy position will do wonders for your body, not just your neck, and it will greatly reduce neck pain when turning head or just get rid of it all together.

I know it is easier said than done, I don’t expect you to be able to pay attention to how you’re sleeping while you’re asleep, but I mean, try to fall asleep in a healthy position. Also if you wake up in the middle of the night, try to remember to return to a healthy position to fall back asleep into. This is a common issue with many people, myself included, I will usually fall asleep in some awkward position with my neck a certain way and I’ll wake up in the morning with neck pain when turning head.

Once I began to pay more attention to how I fell asleep and the position of my neck, the pain was greatly reduced in my neck. I suggest combining this with good daily posture to help fix your issues. Posture is very important in neck and body health and your body will thank you if  you follow good posture rules.

Over the counter medications

neck pain when turning head advil tylenol

I usually dislike advising these, but they definitely work to calm the neck pain when turning head. This is mainly useful for when you have a busy life and need something to soothe the pain immediately. I suggest medications such as Advil or Tylenol. Also I suggest something like Tiger Balm to rub on the area you’re feeling pain, it will greatly help to reduce the pain and continue your daily life. But I suggest not using this all the time to ignore the neck pain when turning head. Try to heal the pain by doing everything I mentioned in this article, if the pain has not gone away after a week, consult with a doctor.

Rest!

neck pain when turning head sleep

Okay, before you throw tomatoes at me! This is a combination of rest and reduce stress in your life. Stress and not enough rest can lead to neck pain when turning head. Its an annoying answer but its true, whenever I found myself having bad neck pain when turning head, I just relax and sleep. It usually calms the pain. This whole article is not only meant for you to learn treatments, but to learn about this situation of neck pain when turning head. It is meant for you to look at your life and see what could be causing this.

Look at your current lifestyle, how much sleep have you been getting? Not enough? Try to sleep more, make time to get more rest. How much stress are you under? A lot? Find a way to de-stress, yoga, meditation, listen to music, sit in peace and quiet somewhere by yourself.  You can even get into doing something you enjoy for at least 30 minutes a day. These things will all greatly help your neck pain when turning head and reduce any other pain you could be having.

Conclusion

Like I’ve said before, this entire article is meant for you to not only learn why you are experiencing neck pain when turning head, but also look at your lifestyle and find bad habits that could be causing this neck pain when turning head. I suggest taking some time to reflect on what is going on in your life or past that could have caused this neck pain.

Aside from that, if after doing all the suggested treatments, you still experience pain or its gotten worse, please consult with a doctor immediately to find out more about your situation and why you are experiencing neck pain when turning head. Everyone has a slightly different situation and you need to work with a doctor to find a plan that is best for you to help get rid of your neck pain when turning head.

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