10 Home Remedies For Neck Pain | Causes & Prevention Tips

A list of relieving stretches and antidotes to ease the discomfort of a stiff neck.

Reviewed by Dr. Abby Kramer, DC
By Shaheen Naser

Sitting for hours on end, staring at your laptop or mobile at odd angles can cause neck pain. Uncomfortable and painful, neck pain can interfere with your daily activities and disrupt a good night’s sleep. Thankfully, there are a few natural remedies that can help you get rid of neck pain. In this article, we explore some of the causes and exercises you can do to relieve your neck pain effectively. Read on to know more!

Causes Of Neck Pain

You may develop neck pain due to bad sleeping postures, tension and/or stress, long hours of leaning, lying on an excessively soft mattress, or bad body posture. Muscle tension and injury on the neck are the most common causes of neck pain (1).

It is important to diagnose and counteract the problem at the onset to prevent it from becoming worse. The best way to heal neck pain is through chiropractic care. These natural home remedies may also help to ease the pain.

How To Relieve Neck Pain

1. Exercises

Woman doing neck exercise

Shutterstock

Strengthening exercises rely on adding load on your muscles progressively, making them stronger and more flexible. Exercise can help in relieving neck pain and make the neck flexible and strong, apart from reducing stiffness (2).

You Will Need

Preset exercise routine

What You Can Do

Performing a simple set of exercises could ease neck pain:

  • Nod your head forward and backward for some time, and then gradually start nodding from one side to the other.
  • Once your muscles feel less tense, slowly turn your head completely towards the left, and then completely towards your right. This might hurt a bit, so take it slow.
  • Do at least 20 repetitions.
  • Do this exercise every few hours, and you’ll find the stiffness in your neck ease away.
How Often Should You Do This

Do this at least 5 days a week.

2. Yoga 

Stress can induce muscle tension. Following traditional relaxation techniques, such as yoga, can help your body relax and relieve the tension around the neck and shoulders (3).

You Will Need

A yoga mat

What You Can Do

Here are a few yoga poses known to relieve neck pain:

  • Bharadvajasana – This is also called the Twist Pose. It can relieve the tension in the neck and shoulder muscles and alleviate pain.
  • Marjariasana – This is also known as the Cat Pose. It can help in stretching out your spine and back muscles to relieve neck pain.
  • Uttana Shishosana – This pose will extend your spine and also increase blood flow to the neck and head.
  • Balasana This is also called the Child’s Pose. It is a simple asana to stretch the neck and back gently. Use this asana as a resting pose between the other poses.
  • Savasana This relaxation pose can calm the mind and body and relieve stress.
How Often Should You Do This

5-7 days a week.

3. Essential Oils

Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe sore muscles (4). Lavender oil is often used in aromatherapy to relax the mind. It can also soothe the muscles of the body. Relieving stress and anxiety can also help in easing physical tension (5). Basil oil is antispasmodic and analgesic. It is also useful in reducing stress and can be used to reduce neck pain (6).

You Will Need
  • A few drops of peppermint oil
  • A few drops of lavender oil
  • A few drops of basil oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Make a blend of the essential oils.
  2. Mix a few drops of this blend with warm olive oil.
  3. Massage this oil on the neck for a few minutes.
  4. You can also use these oils individually or any combination of the oils. Do not forget to dilute it in a carrier oil.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply this twice a day.

4. Acupuncture

Doctor performing acupuncture

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Acupuncture is a method in which tiny needles are inserted in specific and strategic points of the skin. It has been widely used to treat any kind of pain, and studies recommend acupuncture as an alternative to traditional medicine for short-term relief from neck pain (7).

What You Can Do

Book a session with an acupuncture practitioner nearby.

You Will Need

Consult a certified therapist to treat your neck pain through acupuncture.

How Often Should You Do It

One or two sessions a week for a few months.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an excellent home remedy for neck pain and stiffness. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents present in apple cider vinegar can relieve the stress in the neck muscles and reduce the pain (8).

You Will Need
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • A paper napkin or tissue
What You Have To Do
  1. Soak the napkin in the vinegar and place this on your neck.
  2. Leave it on for an hour or so.
How Often Should You Do This

Repeat this twice a day until you get relief from neck pain.

6. Massage Therapy

Woman undergoing massage therapy

Shutterstock

A massage can heal any pain in the body and help you sleep better. Gently massage or rub the aching area to stimulate blood flow and ease the build-up of tension in muscles (9).

You Will Need

Olive, mustard, or coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a hot shower and pat your skin dry.
  2. Slightly warm up a tablespoon of oil and massage your neck with it.
  3. Massage gently in circular motions for a couple of minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every morning. You can also massage your neck once again during the day.

Note: Don’t rub any injured areas if it causes excess pain.

7. Ice Pack

Ice helps to reduce inflammation in your muscles after vigorous activity. Applying an ice pack enhances subcutaneous vasodilation, which enables the flow of cooled blood back to the sore muscles in the neck (10).

You Will Need
  • Ice cubes
  • A small, thick towel
  • Alternatively, you could use an ice pack
What You Have To Do
  1. Place the ice cubes inside the towel and place it on the neck.
  2. Alternatively, you can cool the ice pack and place it on the neck.
  3. Leave it on for a couple of minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat the ice application three to four times a day.

8. Vitamin Supplements 

Woman taking vitamin supplements

Shutterstock

If you experience frequent neck pain, you must supplement your diet with vitamins. When your body is deficient in vitamin D, it tends to develop chronic pain in different areas, especially around the joints (11).

Vitamin B complex is a natural analgesic. It reduces pain and inflammation of both neuropathic and musculoskeletal origin (12).

Vitamin C is an antinociceptive agent, which means that it increases the threshold of pain. It contains antioxidants that increase this threshold by mitigating the pain(13).

You Will Need

Vitamin supplements

What You Can You Do
  1. Make sure you have a balanced diet that provides all the essential nutrients.
  2. Consult a dietician or your personal physician for prescribed vitamin supplements.
How Often You Should Do This

As prescribed by the doctor.

9. Epsom Salt 

Woman enjoying epsom salt bath

Shutterstock

Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate, is known to possess analgesic properties (14). This could help eliminate the pain associated with neck disorders.

You Will Need
  • 1-2 cups Epsom salt
  • Warm water
  • A bathtub
What You Have To Do
  1. Fill three-fourths of the bathtub with warm water and add Epsom salt to it.
  2. Mix the salt in the water and soak in this for 10 to 15 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Soak in the Epsom salt water twice a day.

Stylecraze Says
You can also use Epsom salt to make a hot compress and use it to relieve neck pain.

10. Neck Collar

A neck collar supports the neck in bearing the weight of the head when it is healing from the pain. In case of injury, the collar will also keep the bones in your neck in line while they are healing (15).

You Will Need

A neck collar or brace

What You Have To Do
  1. Wrap the collar around your neck and keep it on until the pain subsides.
  2. At regular intervals, remove the collar and stretch your neck and shoulder muscles.
How Often You Should Do This

Use the collar as and when required to relieve neck pain.

If you are prone to neck pain, it is important that you take an adequate number of breaks throughout the day. Moving around and paying attention to your posture play a vital role in preventing as well as relieving neck pain. Avoid junk food and consume healthy foods as obesity strains the muscles in the body, including the neck muscles (16).

Here are a few tips that could help you prevent the onset of neck pain.

Prevention Tips

    1. When you are using your laptop or PC, make sure that the screen is at the eye level.
    2. While using your mobile phone, make sure that you are not straining your neck while texting.
    3. Practice stretching and relaxation techniques, such as neck exercises, at regular intervals to keep your neck muscles relaxed.
    4. Do not drive for long periods at a time, as this can be strenuous on your neck and back.
    5. If you feel that your sleeping position is causing neck pain, you should consider changing it and using the right pillow.

Infographic: Ways To Prevent Neck Pain

The home remedies mentioned above can help ease neck pain. But can you prevent it altogether? Wouldn’t our lives be a whole lot easier if only we could keep the neck pain from occurring in the first place?

In the following infographic, we discuss a few important ways you can prevent neck pain. Check them out.

ways to prevent neck pain [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Stylecraze Says
Avoid slinging heavy bags over your shoulder. The weight can strain the neck and shoulder muscles.

Neck pain may develop from a neck injury, muscle tension, stress, poor sleeping posture, and prolonged leaning or screentime. While chiropractic care is often the most effective solution for neck pain, certain home remedies may also provide relief. Muscle-strengthening exercises, certain yoga poses, some essential oils, ice packs, massage, and apple cider vinegar are among the most commonly used remedies to relieve sore neck muscles. In addition, to prevent neck pain, avoid straining the muscles on your neck by fixing laptops at eye level, avoiding prolonged screentime or driving, and improving your sleep posture. For persistent or chronic neck pain, seek medical guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is heat or ice better for neck pain?

Both are good for neck pain. It is advised to use an ice pack for the first 48 hours to reduce swelling and use heat to loosen your muscles. However, do not keep it for more than 20 minutes.

Do hot showers help neck pain?

Yes, it may help relax stiff muscles.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Check out our editorial policy for further details.
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author
Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology from Bharathiar University. She is a Geneticist with proficiency... more

Dr. Abby Kramer

(DC)
Dr. Kramer is a Chiropractor + Holistic Physician practicing in the Chicagoland area. She has been featured in various publications,... more

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