Do you often fall asleep sitting in a chair and wake up with your chin touching your chest? Or do you often talk, holding your phone between your shoulder and neck? Or do you keep standing while shampooing your hair in sink? All such habits can cause neck strain which makes it difficult to move neck sideways, and thus, causes crankiness or soreness. Stiff neck is generally caused by muscles strain and sprain, cervical spondylosis, meningitis infection, use of uncomfortable pillow, sneezing forcefully etc.
If you feel uncomfortable while sleeping, or experience frequent pain in neck, upper shoulders and back, muscle spasm in upper back and cervical muscles then you are probably suffering with problems associated to stiff neck. Read on this article to know about effective home remedies to get rid of stiff neck.
Home Remedies for Stiff Neck
1. Ice Pack
Crush some ice and put it in a ziploc bag. Wrap your neck with a towel and place ice bag over it for 10-15 minutes after every 2 hours. This is very effective remedy which prevents soreness of neck.
- Alternatively, you can switch between cold and heat treatments. Try ice treatment for first 48-72 hours and then move on to heat treatment.
Rub your hands to warm up. Gently massage your neck using your fingertips and rotate in circular motion so that each and every part of your neck is compressed.
3. Heating Pad
Place a heating pad (fill it with warm water) below your sore neck. This will increase the blood circulation and lessen pain significantly.
- Alternatively, you can also apply a moist heating pad around your neck. Its temperature can be controlled and can be applied for longer period of time.
- Instead, make your own heating pad by soaking a towel in the hot water. Twist it from both sides in order to squeeze out extra water. Place it on the affected area.
4. Epsom Salt
Add epsom salt in the bathing water and use it to bathe. The magnesium and salt content in epsom salt helps regulate various enzymes in human body, increase the blood circulation and reduce muscle tension and stress.
- Alternatively, take magnesium tablets daily (310 mg – 420 mg) to increase immunity and alleviate stiff neck problems.
- Or else, consume foods rich in magnesium like banana.
5. Hot Water Shower
Having a warm shower for 5 minutes fixes the stiff neck and relaxes. Keep your neck under the shower and avoid moving it.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Soak a paper napkin in some apple cider vinegar and place it on your neck. Keep it for a couple of hours. Perform this remedy two times a day. This is very effective treatment for stiff neck.
- Alternatively, pour two cups of ACV in a bathtub filled with warm water. Soak your body in it for 10-15 minutes. Do this daily until you see improvement.
7. Cayenne Pepper
Warm two tbsp of olive oil and add one tsp of cayenne pepper powder in it. Spread it on the painful area and wrap a bandage around it. Keep it for a couple of hours.
- Instead, use a lotion or cream that contains capsaicin or cayenne pepper.
- Or else, add this spice in your food to fasten the healing process.
Turmeric is packed with anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the discomfort and soreness associated with stiff neck. You can use turmeric in any of the following ways:
- Add this herbal spice in your daily cooking. It gives your body internal healing.
- Or else, take a cup of milk and add a tsp of turmeric. Heat it for a few minutes. Add honey, after it cools down. Drink it twice a day.
- Moreover, you can consume turmeric capsule after consulting a doctor.
Gentle range of motion and isometric exercises must be practiced in case of stiff neck issues.
- Move your neck backward and simultaneously use your both hands to press oppose the former motion.
- Move your neck forward and use your both palms to press and oppose the former motion.
- Move your neck on right hand side and use your right palm to oppose the former motion. Repeat the same on left hand side too.
- Move your neck in circular motion and in the pattern of 8.
- Abdominal breathing must be practiced gradually.
- Meditation and yoga must be included in daily routine to cure pain in stiff neck.
Note: The first three exercises must not be done if it pains.
10. Skin Scrapping
Massage the affected area with some oil. Then, take a spoon and ask someone to scrap your neck using the spoon. This treatment decreases stiffness in neck and regulates blood circulation in the affected area.
(i) Ask someone else to do it for you.
(ii) It is meant for enhancing your blood circulation. You should not get bruised by this.
11. Magnesium Tablets
In order to boost your immunity, take one tablet of magnesium. Its helps alleviate the problem of stiff neck
Herbal Remedies to Get Rid of Stiff Neck
12. Peppermint Oil
The menthol present in peppermint oil soothes the pain and reduces discomfort associated with stiff neck. Take two tsp of olive oil and warm it in microwave for a couple of seconds. Pour few drops of peppermint oil in it and massage gently. Repeat this remedy two times a day.
13. Essential Oil
Make use of essential oils like pine, rosemary, or juniper to massage your neck, upper back and shoulders.
- Alternatively, use them in your bath along with warm water.
14. Celery Leaves
Drink juice of celery leaves regularly to treat the pain occurred due to stiff neck.
15. Vervain Tea, Valerian Root and St. Johns Wort
Boil the herbs and wrap them in a cotton cloth or pillow case. Apply it as a warm compress on the affected area.
Apply freshly incised horse radish and leave it for a while. This may leave the affected area numb with some burning sensation. However, it is tolerable. This remedy effectively cures stiff neck.
17. Topical Analgesic
Prepare your own analgesic by melting some coconut oil, beeswax, peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil. Allow it to cool and apply onto the affected area.
18. Chamomile Tea
Used chamomile tea bags can be applied over the affected area to give a warm compress. It relieves muscle contraction and pain.
19. Menthol and Camphor
Apply cream, gel or oil that contains menthol and camphor, in order to get relief from pain and inflammation. Both these herbs regulate blood circulation and their cooling effects give relaxation.
20. Lavender Oil
This herb has been used since ages for several medicinal purposes. Rubbing this oil on the painful area alleviates pain and relaxes your muscles.
21. Devils Claw
The anti-inflammatory effects of this herb combats pain in the neck. It is also available in capsule form. You can take them after consulting a doctor.
22. Boswellia Herb
To get rid of stiff neck, apply boswellia cream or oil on the affected area after every 5 hours. Or else, you can also consume its capsules. Consume 150 MG of boswellic acid thrice a day.
Note: Consult a doctor for its accurate dosage.
23. Ashwagandha Root Powder
Being bitter in taste, it would be better to consume its capsules. It soothes your muscles and provides relief from pain.
- Use over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Note: These drugs must not be administered to children below 18 years of age.
- Take a 5 minutes break after every hour if you are a sedentary worker and stroll around.
- Utilize comfortable pillow while sleeping. If you use feather pillows, replace them after a year.
- Change your mattress if it’s very old. You may try flipping it occasionally.
- Ensure that you sleep for 7-8 hours.
- Improve your sitting and sleeping posture. Your feet must rest flat on floor and arms on chair’s arm rest or desk. If you work on system, adjust monitor at the level of eye.
- Lift minimum weight which you can handle. Relax between workout sessions as muscles need time to relax.
- Stay slim and trim. Excessive weight strains all the body muscles and aggravates the condition.
- If you carry back pack bags then ensure that weight is distributed on both shoulders.
- Avoid vigorous physical activities like football, hockey, golf, rugby, running, jogging, ballet dance, sit ups, leg lifts etc.
- Avoid over stretching of muscles.
- Avoid driving if problem persist.
- Don’t be stressed.
- Don’t sleep on your stomach, as your neck will be twisted in one direction.
- Avoid excessive phone calls. Craning your neck downwards may trigger stiffness.
- Don’t use pillow till pain persists.