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Three sources of neck stiffness and how long they can last

How Long Does Neck Stiffness Last

The neck is a complex and important body part that’s used for many daily activities. Unfortunately, many of us don’t pay much attention to our necks until they become stiff and painful. Even minor neck stiffness can make normal head and neck movements uncomfortable. How long neck stiffness lasts often depends on its source. Here are three potential sources of stiffness in your neck: 

1.   Playing high-impact sports

People can get many types of injuries from playing sports, but high-impact sports are particularly likely to cause neck pain and stiffness. They put you in a perfect position for a sudden impact that causes the head to move violently. These types of impacts are common in contact sports like football and rugby. They can lead to neck muscle strains and other neck issues. How long a stiff neck lasts after a sports-related impact injury is slightly different for each person. However, most minor injuries should start to feel better in less than a week. 

2.   Repetitive head-turning movements

Another common source of neck stiffness is repeatedly turning your head during an activity. How often you do these movements can dictate how long your neck stiffness will last. Certain swimming strokes can lead to repetitive sideways neck movements as you turn your head to breathe. Also, assembly line work and other jobs may require frequent turning of the head. If you only do the repetitive movements every so often, it’s likely that your neck stiffness is a temporary issue. However, people who frequently perform such movements are more likely to develop chronic neck stiffness and pain. 

3.   Holding the head in awkward positions

Holding a phone against your shoulder for long periods of time is an awkward position that can easily lead to neck stiffness. Commercial painters are also likely to develop neck stiffness after painting ceilings. Awkward neck positions can also be caused by the placement of your computer screen at work. Often, these types of head and neck positions can be corrected relatively easily. In such cases, how long your neck stiffness lasts tends to depend on how quickly you start using a more neck-friendly position. 

Find out how SSOR can help you decrease how long a stiff neck lasts

Are you searching for a way to shorten how long your stiff neck lasts? SSOR has a team of physical therapists that can help you. We offer complimentary screenings that can help reveal the source of neck issues. Our team has experience building personalized treatment plans for most common neck problems, which may include treatments like: 

Take the next step to get our help with your neck pain and stiffness. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.