Had planned to go for a nice long walk around the countryside today. Woke up this morning and the whole left side of my neck is stiff and carries down to my shoulder blades on the left side.
Are there any good stretches you can do to work this out?
I had that happen to me a couple months ago. Honestly, the only way I got out of it was by going to a chiropractor (it was so stiff he wouldn't adjust my neck, which was probably a good thing - I would have tightened up even more). You can try ice and/or heat, to get it to relax, but if it was as bad as mine was, stretching wasn't an option.
I got this when I was about 14 due to (as the doctor said) growing too fast. I know that's obviously not the same as you but the advice I was given was to keep something warm on it and apply pressure to it by wrapping a bed cover or towel which stopped it hurting so bad and some paracetamol if it still causes pain.
Rest rest rest.
I hate it when that happens! For me, a hot shower often loosens it up. But if that doesn't work, an ice pack for 20 minutes works most of the time. A few times it's lasted more than 2 days and felt like it was getting worse, so I got some muscle relaxants from my doctor.
By the way - this happens to me when I've been neglecting the neck and upper back exercises given to me by a chiropractor years ago. You can bet that when I wake up with a stiff neck, I get religion and perform those exercises twice a day.
edited to add: lying flat on the floor, knees bent, with a rolled up towel under the neck also helps. To combine this with the ice treatment, use a can of frozen orange juice wrapped in a towel.
I too have had this happen, and boy does it hurt! You have my sympathy. The last time I did this, it was from falling asleep while I was propped up reading, and I slumped into a weired position while I was asleep. My husband, bless his heart, wanted to let me sleep, so he just took my glasses off my face and left me where I was :). The neck and shoulders are the places in my body where I am most likely to hold tension anyway, and this has happened to me more than once. If I really manage to get myself in a knot so to speak, the discomfort and reduced ROM can last a couple of weeks.
Gentle (keyword!) stretches for the neck and shoulders will help, as will hot (as hot as you can stand it without burning your skin) showers or a jacuzzi . A heating pad applied directly (with a towel between the heat source and your skin) to the stiff area can also help (the ThermaCare wraps can be a godsend if they fit the area you want to heat). But I have found that the overall best thing for the neck stiffness, inability to move one's head in a complete range of motion and that terrrible pain between the shoulder blades is to get thee to a qualified massage therapist if at all possible. It will be painful, and you won't like it the first time, but afterward, you will have more freedom of motion in your neck and shoulders. Try to get a full one hour treatment once a week for three or four weeks if at all possible, until full ROM is restored. I know it's costly, but it is worth every single dime. Make sure it's someone qualified as a massage therapist -- not just someone with a weekend massage certification.
Good luck -- I hope you get some relief!
try a hot bath first-use some epsom salt. If that doesn't work then get a massage
I am currently seeing a chiropractor for the same thing. It's been a year and a half, but I finally found someone who is really good. We determined together that using the computer while wearing bifocals has created this problem, along with stress. Not only do you raise your head to use the bottom quadrant, but you lean forward and collapse your shoulder area and compress all those vertebrae. Turning while driving is still difficult, but we are making progress. He's told me to do Row exercises; also press shoulder blades together while arms are at shoulder height while holding onto both sides of an open doorway frame, then lean in. Get a Deep tissue massage. Hope this helps.