How Long Does A Crick in the Neck Last?

October 17, 2017

Veronica Phan

How Long Does A Crick in the Neck Last?

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Even though it is not a dangerous health problem, a crick in the neck raises serious concern, especially on how long does a crick in the neck last. Find out the answer with us right now!

Neck and back are vital parts of our body, but sadly, they usually attract little attention. In addition, they are vulnerable to injuries, not only when you do strenuous workout, but also in ordinary daily life.

Your neck might feel painful just right after you wake up from a short nap. And when you find it hard to move your head as usual, the likelihood is that you are dealing with a crick in the neck. So, what is it and how can we handle it quickly?

What Is A Crick and Why Does It Happen?

First of all, it is necessary to bear in mind that a crick does not refer to any medical diagnosis. It is, more exactly, just an expression to indicate any type of pain in your neck [1].

A crick can be characterized as a pain that causes difficulties turning your head freely as usual.

It might sound mysterious that you suddenly feel it after getting up in the morning, right? In fact, a crick in the neck might result from awkward sleeping positions.

It is also common among those who have to sit and work with computers for too long. In this position, their head has to turn back or forward too far [2].

How Long Does A Crick in the Neck Last?

A Crick

A crick can happen for various reasons. Therefore, there is no single answer for how long does a crick in the neck last. It is heavily dependent on what causes the crick and also how severe it is.

Normally, you will suffer from it in several days (about 3 days) and then, it is gone on its own. However, there are worse cases in which people struggle with stiff neck for weeks.

No matter how long does a crick in the neck last, your response has direct impacts on your recovery. In case you do nothing, it might last for longer. This is the same when you do something wrong for your neck.

Therefore, the ultimate question is how you can fight against a crick.

How Can You Prevent It?

When you suffer from a crick more than occasionally, you have to be cautious and make changes in your routine.

Setting up a right position for working is something you can begin with. Remember to maintain a neutral position for your spine when you are working. Your computer monitor should be at your eye’s level.

Posture matters as well. You might choose a standing desk, but a better idea is something which enables you to alternative standing and sitting regularly. This aims to prevent your neck from stiffness.

When it comes to bedroom, pillows should be changed regularly. Too many pillows will bend your head one way. On the other hand, too soft pillow does not give you proper enough.

What’s the solution? Check our list on WHAT IS THE BEST PILLOW FOR NECK PAIN so that you can know how to select pillows.

Last but not least, doing exercises plays a crucial role in the prevention against a crick in your neck.

Professional athletes are likely to strain the muscles more. But they are well prepared for these exercises and as a result, the risk of injuries is lower. You should imitate them as well.

In other words, you need to give more time to strengthen some essential body parts, such as your neck, core and back.

How to Treat A Crick in the Neck at Home

The main concern should not be “how long does a crick in the neck last”. Instead, you need to pay more attention to its treatment, as a crick will prevent you from doing anything.

The severity of a crick is various among individuals. It might be just mild stiffness, but it can also be severe pain that you cannot bear.

For mild cases, you can carry out some treatments at home on your own. Nevertheless, if everything is beyond your control, it is high time to seek for professional help.

Go through some possible treatments on a crick in the neck and decide which one is most suitable for you.

Over-the-counter Pain Relief

If you decide to use medicine to get rid of a crick, the possibility is aspirin, naproxen or ibuprofen [3].

These strong anti-inflammatory options will be super effective to help you deal with swelling and unbearable pain caused by a crick in the neck.

However, this method is not suitable for people with some medical conditions in particular. For example, ulcer patients must avoid using aspirin at any cost.

In addition, some prescription medications might have negative influence when contacting with these over-the-counter products. So, be certain to ask your personal doctor for recommendation before using any kind of drug.

Though, the effects of over-the-counter medications are only temporary. You will be free of pain immediately, but you must avoid overworking right after that. Otherwise, the strain will become even worse and it is much more difficult to handle it later.

Warm and Cold Packs

You do not need to choose between them. Both are beneficial for treating a crick in your neck. However, the recommendation is to alternate them for the best outcome.

How to apply:

  • Getting ice cubes in a thin towel and apply it in the first 20 minutes. You can replace ice with frozen vegetables. The cold temperature will instantly lower the risk of inflammation
  • You can choose among a warm bath, a heating pad or a bottle of hot water to put over your neck’s back. It should last for 10-15 minutes. Heat has soothing impacts on your painful muscles, but you need to avoid using it for too long. It might lead to worse inflammation
  • Wait for a while so that your neck can have a 30-minute-and-over break. Then, alternate both until you feel better


When you get a pain, the best way to relieve it or at least avoid worsening it is to have a rest. Lying down on the back enables your neck to rest and recover from the strain effectively.

It is dangerous to lie on the stomach. This position makes your neck twisted and the pain will be worse.

Any types of sports or intense activities need to be prohibited during this time. It means NO football, ballet, jogging or weightlifting.

Nevertheless, the irony is that too much rest will lead to bad effects as well. Lying down all the day finally makes your muscles weak and it is hard to come back to usual activities without hurting your neck.

Therefore, allocate enough time for both rest and activities in one day when you have a crick in the neck. It is not all how long does a crick in the neck last. How long you rest from it does matter.

Support Neck

By wearing turtle-neck sweater or a scarf, you can provide proper support for your neck during the whole day. It aims to keep your neck stable for a long time, avoiding painful crick.

Besides, you can use a neck pillow regularly behind the head when you sit for working.



Strenuous exercises are forbidden, but you can, of course, do some simple stretching to make your neck more comfortable. Remember to move the neck very slowly and maintain on each side for about 30 seconds.

You can do it to the front and side. However, stretching the neck too far back can cause unwanted pain.


This is a common way to get rid of painful feeling in the neck, as you can check more about HOW LONG DOES A NECK PAIN LAST FROM SLEEPING WRONG!

Let your fingers do the job by rubbing your neck’s back in about 3 minutes. Do it gently and slowly to help all muscles relax. The use of essential oils is appreciated to get better results.

Concerns About Posture

Last but not least, it is very important to keep your neck as straight as possible all the time, whether you are sitting or lying down. It does not, however, mean that you need to hold it stiffly all the time. This is a long-term approach to avoid neck crick in the future.

Anyway, do not sit with the head leaning forward all the time. This position will finally result in neck pain. Find opportunities to move your head and unwind your body regularly to prevent any type of body pain.

In this way, you even do not have to worry about how long does a crick in the neck last ever.

When to Seek for Professional Treatment

Despite the acknowledged benefits of these home remedies for a crick in the neck, sometimes you cannot handle the problem on your own. When the pain is severe and unbearable, you had better look for professional help.

Here are some possible recommendations that your doctor might give you.

Chiropractic Treatment

Getting help from a profession who masters chiropractic techniques is a good way to address a crick in your neck. During the session, you might notice the participation of massage and physical therapy as well.

Prescription Pain Medication

If over-the-counter medication does not help much in addressing pain caused by a crick, you can ask your doctor who give you better tricyclic antidepressant or muscle relaxant.

Antidepressants have positive impacts on the release of neurotransmitters in your spinal cord. As a result, they help lower the amount of pain signals to your brain.

On the other hand, muscle relaxants allow you to reduce discomfort and strain when your neck muscles have to overwork.

Physical Therapy

When you are not confident about your massaging techniques at home, you can rely on a professional therapist instead. Physicians can give you neck exercises that work immediately to reduce the pain.

Besides, they can help strengthen your muscles, which lowers the risk of a crick in the future.

Medical Neck Collar

With these collars, your neck will get stiff support. As a result of less pressure on the neck muscles, the pain will be quickly gone [4].

Normally, it takes about less than 2 weeks to wear this neck collar. However, throughout time, you might notice that it actually makes your neck muscles weaker.



This is a traditional method to get rid of pain and nowadays, it still proves to be useful. The use of sterile needles which will be inserted into pressure points will help you alleviate pain quickly.

Acupuncture requires you to find a professional, instead of doing it by yourself at home.


In general, a crick might just happen despite how careful you are in life. Our answer for how long does a crick in the neck last might not fit you because many factors affect it.

However, the above-mentioned tips to get rid of a crick in the neck can be effective for anybody. You can combine some of them for the quickest and best results.

Let us know your opinion by commenting on our article! LIKE and SHARE it to spread this valuable information for others.

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