Do you have any difficulty in moving your neck or feeling pain while turning your head? Then you might be suffering from a stiff neck.
Stiff neck is a most common complaint by many of us, which was caused due to improper sitting or sleeping posture, tension headache, arm or shoulder pain, staying in same posture for a prolonged period, too much exercise, carrying heavy loads which put more pressure on the shoulders, stress and anxiety, etc. which creates tension or injury to the neck nerves.
It is a painful problem which can lead to doctor’s appointment if you didn’t get relief from pain within a week or suffering from high fever.
Don’t panic, it is not a serious health problem but it disturbs our daily activities, including sleep. Rather than choosing over the counter medications or treatments, just give a trial to natural home remedies which are safe and give you long lasting results.
Home Remedies for Stiff Neck:
Here are the best natural ways which help you to relieve your stiff neck using simple home based ingredients. Let’s get started.
Neck exercises will relieve the stress and tension caused by the strained, tight neck muscles which in turn help you to get rid of stiffness on your neck.
- Sit straight with your relaxed body.
- Nod your head forward (towards chest) and backward (towards upside). Repeat it for few times.
- Then tilt your head towards right and left shoulders. Repeat it for few times.
- Now without turning your body, slowly turn your neck towards your left side and right side. Repeat it for few times.
- Finally, stop this exercise with a few gentle shoulder rolls.
- Continue doing the same process few times daily till you get complete relief from the stiff neck.
- Swimming is the best exercise for the people who are suffering from stiff neck, as it improves the overall strength of the neck and back.
- Don’t perform any neck exercises if it hurts you too much.
Cold or Heat Compress:
A cold compress will numb the pain and limit your buildup of lactic acid (a byproduct of muscle metabolism that causes soreness) and thus soothes your stiff neck. Heat therapy will increase the blood flow which in turn reduces stiffness.
- Wrap few ice cubes in a thin towel as a compress (or use a bag of frozen vegetables or peas).
- Hold it against the affected neck area for about 10 – 15 minutes.
- Repeat it for every 3 – 4 hours daily for 2 – 3 days.
- If you didn’t get any relief from the stiff neck after 2 days application of cold compress, then try heat therapy.
- Place a hot compress in the form of cloth soaked in hot water or heating pad or heat wrap or hot water bottle on your neck for at least 10 minutes.
- Also, place your head below the shower and run warm to slightly hot water on your neck for about 5 minutes. Don’t move your neck while doing this process.
- Continue applying this hot compress for 2 – 3 times daily to get relief from a stiff neck.
Massage will definitely relax your sore and stiff neck muscles by increasing the proper blood circulation. Regular following will treat your stiff neck and enhance for better sleep.
- Have a hot shower or bath to relax your muscles.
- Warm some natural oil (like olive or coconut or mustard oil) slightly.
- Then apply this warm oil on your stiff neck area and massage gently for few minutes using firm gentle strokes.
- Wipe off the excess oil and leave it like that.
- Continue doing this massage for twice daily till you get relief from your stiff neck.
Epsom Salt Soak:
Epsom salt has a chemical compound called magnesium sulfate which relaxes your muscles and relieves you from a stiff neck. It regulates the activity of various enzymes in the body and thus improves circulation to reduce the muscle stress and tension.
- Pour 2 cups of Epsom salt to your bathtub which is filled with warm water.
- Stir well and soak in this water with your neck area submerged for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Finally, rinse your body with lukewarm water and dry your body.
- Do the same process for thrice a week till you get relief from the problem.
Note: Avoid using this soaking process if you’re suffering from kidney problems or diabetes.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar has essential enzymes, nutrients, amino acids, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property that helps to treat your stiff neck. It is effective in providing relief from muscle strain and pain caused due to nutritional deficiency.
- Soak a clean cotton ball in raw, organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar for few seconds.
- Place it on the affected neck area and leave it on for few minutes.
- Take out the cotton ball and repeat the same process twice daily for few days till you feel better.
- Or drink 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in 1 glass of lukewarm water to get rid of the problem.
- Also, mix 2 cups of apple cider vinegar in your bathtub filled with lukewarm water. Soak in it for 15 – 20 minutes.
Menthol in peppermint oil helps a lot in soothing your stiff muscles of your neck. It also has an analgesic property that reduces your pain and other discomforts.
- Slightly warm 2 teaspoons of olive oil for few seconds and add few drops of peppermint essential oil in it.
- Stir well and apply it on your neck.
- Massage your stiff neck gently for few minutes and then wipe off the excess oil.
- Follow this remedy for twice daily till your stiff neck is cleared completely.
- Or mix 3 – 5 drops of peppermint oil in a bowl of cold water. Soak a clean washcloth in water and place it on the affected neck for 10 – 15 minutes. Repeat it regularly.
- Remember that peppermint oil is not suitable for people with sensitive skin or children.
Capsaicin in cayenne pepper exhibits analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the pain and stiffness.
- Add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder in 2 tablespoons of warm olive oil.
- Stir well to make a fine paste and apply it on the neck affected area.
- Massage gently and cover it with a bandage.
- Let it sit for a few hours and rinse off with water.
- Regular follow – up of this process for few days will help you to cure stiff neck problem.
Note: Or include cayenne pepper in your cooking to get faster relief (or) apply the capsaicin-containing over the counter cream or lotions on the neck to relieve stiffness.
Turmeric has curcumin that exhibits anti-inflammatory property and enhances proper blood circulation that relieves you from pain and other discomforts caused due to your stiff neck.
- Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in 1 cup of milk.
- Stir well and heat it on a low flame for few minutes.
- Let it cool for few minutes and drink it by adding a little honey.
- Repeat it for twice daily for few days until you cleared your stiff neck problem.
Note: Make sure that people suffering from bile duct obstruction and gallstones should not use turmeric.
Tips and Precautions:
- Acupressure (especially Luo Zhen) is also used to get rid of a stiff neck. It is a pressure point that located in the depression between two bones near the knuckles of the middle and pointer fingers. Remember to apply pressure on the opposite hand (left side neck stiff – pressure on right hand).
- Go for the skin scraping technique to enhance the blood circulation into aching area and relieve your stiff neck.
- Never ever sleep on your stomach, always sleep on your side or back to prevent stiffness on your neck. Also, try to sleep without a pillow for few nights, if you’re suffering from severe stiffness of your neck.
- Get plenty of sleep for about 7 – 8 hours which in turn boost your immunity and helps your body to heal itself quickly.
- Stop placing any kind of strain on the neck muscles, as it may increase the pain and thus delays the healing process.
- For faster relief, try some relaxation techniques to combat stress which in turn relieves muscle tension and stiff neck.
- It’s best to take some breaks while at work and perform small neck exercises to reduce stress and strain on the neck.
- Always practice a good posture throughout the day while standing or sitting or sleeping to prevent stiff neck now and then.
- Performing heavy physical exercises or crimping your phone between your neck and shoulders or being overweight or have stress, etc. will result in a stiff neck.
- Drink plenty of water, use horseradish or celery leaves, consume fresh fruits and vegetables, etc. in your diet to get rid of a stiff neck.
Try these remedies to get relief from the stiff neck. Or did you find any remedy missed in this article? Then share it with us.