Crick in your neck? Oof, you’ve got our sympathies. Neck pain can be one of the most debilitating discomforts; what’s more, it’s hard to avoid moving your neck and further aggravating the ache! But worry not, because we’ve come locked and loaded with some of the best neck pain remedies in town!
From CBD topicals to traditional anti-inflammatories to self-massage techniques and more, we’ve collected some of the world’s best home remedies for combating stiff neck pain and getting you back on your feet.
When to See Your Doctor About Neck Pain
While it can be profoundly uncomfortable, neck pain is generally not something to worry about. Most forms are temporary, easily addressed with even at-home remedies, and are generally not something that need direct medical treatment.
However, neck pain can also be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. Several such conditions include:
Conditions such as these are serious, and at-home remedies are not an adequate way to cope. If any of the following are true of your neck pain, consider consulting your physician:
- Symptoms persist for over a week
- Your neck pain started after a car crash or other traumatic event
- The pain spreads past your neck and down into your extremities
- You are experiencing weakness in your arms, legs, or hands
- You are also experiencing lasting headache
- Your neck pain is accompanied by:
- Swollen glands
- Lump in the neck
What Causes Neck Pain and Stiff Neck?
The first step to eliminating your neck pain is determining its cause. Different neck pain remedies may be more or less appropriate, depending on what’s to blame for your aching neck.
Once you’ve identified the likely cause(s) of your stiff neck, jump ahead to the next section for the most effective neck pain remedies!
Repetitive Muscle Strain
No matter your lifestyle, odds are you’ve got a few routine activities that strain the muscles in your neck. From swinging a tennis racket or golf club to typing on a keyboard, virtually anything that uses your arms also places moderate strain on your shoulders and neck muscles.
These repetitive activities can put a real strain on the affected muscles. Over time, the muscles can have trouble relaxing, leading to small, local muscle spasms most often referred to as “muscle knots”.
Most effective neck pain remedies for repetitive muscle strain:
- Trigger-Point Self Massage
- Apply heat, cold, or topical treatments
Living in the modern world, stress is unavoidable. From tension at work, dealing with family issues, or the pressure of competition, virtually everyone has experienced the debilitating effects of stress.
But stress doesn’t just take a psychological and emotional toll. Stress can also cause significant physical issues — including muscle tension and knots, leading to stiff neck pain even long after the stress itself has passed.
Most effective neck pain remedies for stress:
- Reducing stress
- Anti-Inflammatories (for temporary relief of worst symptoms)
Most people who suffer from neck pain will find that poor posture plays at least some small role in their discomfort. Even for those who stand ram-rod straight, it’s likely that they’ve let their posture slip in at least one context.
The most common forms of poor posture are as follows, and each may require different neck pain remedies.
Poor posture while standing or sitting
Poor posture while standing or sitting (such as while driving or at a desk) are some of the most common forms of chronic neck pain. Especially for office workers or professional drivers, bad sitting posture can take a profound toll on the joints and muscles in your neck and back, leading to lasting discomfort.
Cleveland Clinic has put together an excellent guide for good posture while sitting and standing, including several exercises for re-teaching your body to sit or stand properly. For neck pain resulting from posture, there is simply no alternative for corrective exercises. With a bit of practice, your newfound good posture will become second nature, and your comfort and appearance will both be better for it!
Most effective neck pain remedies for bad standing or sitting posture:
- Posture improvement exercises (as described above)
- Lumbar support chairs or accessories
- Apply heat, cold, or topical treatments (for managing moderate symptoms)
Poor posture while sleeping
Everyone has their favorite sleep position; for some, it’s virtually impossible to sleep any other way! But unfortunately, not all sleep positions are created equal, and some can even cause lasting neck pain.
The main culprit is sleeping on your stomach. Compared to sleeping on your back or side, stomach sleeping puts significant strain on your neck. And because you’ll remain in that position for 5-9 hours of sleep, that stress can cause a real crick!
If you’re a belly sleeper suffering from chronic neck pain, the odds are that your sleeping habits are partly to blame. Try changing up your sleep routine by adopting a more posture-friendly position. If you’re having trouble falling asleep in this new position, consider using a sleep aid such as melatonin or one of the many sleep-aid CBD products here at CBD Choice. After a few nights in this new position, your body will adjust, and you’ll find it easy to drift off in your new, neck-friendly position!
Most effective neck pain remedies for bad sleep posture:
- Changing sleep position (as described above)
- Neck pillow
- Trigger-point self-massage
- Apply heat, cold, or topical treatments
At-Home Neck Pain Remedies
Now that you’ve identified the likely source(s) of your neck pain, here are a few tips and tricks for best alleviating your specific symptoms.
Trigger-Point Self Massage
“Trigger-points” might be better known as “muscle knots”, and it’s no secret that a bit of manual stimulation can be a big help. While it may seem odd to give yourself a massage, focusing on trigger-point can be a quick and effective form of DIY therapy.
- Locate the knots in your neck and shoulders. These are sore, tight spots in the muscle that are usually quite easy to find.
- Using your fingertips or a massage ball, apply firm pressure to the knots. Gentle back and forth or circular motion can help.
- Repeat for a period of three-five minutes.
For more tips on delivering an effective self-massage, check out Cleveland Clinic’s excellent guide to trigger-points.
Anti-inflammatories are a broad category of drugs and supplements that work with the body’s immune system to reduce painful swelling. The category includes common over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, tylenol, and ibuprofen, as well as a wide variety of natural botanical extracts.
However, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories have been shown to have a number of adverse side effects for a significant portion of the population. As such, many users elect to use natural alternatives such as turmeric or CBD oil, which offer the same inflammatory benefits without the downside.
If your sleep posture is to blame for your chronic neck pain, a neck pillow may be just what the doctor ordered. Whether you’re a back, side, or stomach sleeper, there’s a pillow designed to take the strain off your neck and make your preferred position work for you!
For tips and tricks on the best neck pain remedy pillows, take a look at this guide by Medical News Today.
Stress may be unavoidable, but we can all do something to reduce its frequency, severity, and impact on our health. Reducing pain is one of the most effective neck pain remedies; what’s more, it will improve your overall health, sleep, and even immune system!
Of course, many users turn to CBD oils and other supplements for stress relief. In fact, stress and anxiety relief are some of the best-understood and most proven applications of CBD.
We’ve also written extensively on other natural techniques for relieving stress. For more, be sure to check out our in-depth guide on managing stress and anxiety.
Apply heat, cold, or topical treatments
A time-honored remedy for all sorts of joint and muscle pain, hot and cold compresses are great, if temporary, neck pain remedies. However, there’s often some confusion about which to use. Hot or cold? Which is the best neck pain remedy?
Well, both. But in different contexts. Experts recommend using cold compresses on your neck during the first 24-48 hours of pain, then warm compresses after. That’s because the cold will help reduce swelling and inflammation that could otherwise exacerbate your symptoms. After that, a heating pad or other warm compress can do wonders to loosen the muscles, relax tension, and get your neck back to feeling its best.
Many users also turn to CBD topicals for their proven pain-relief potential. CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory, which can help relieve tension and swelling present at all stages of neck pain. Some manufacturers even make heat relief and cold relief CBD topicals, which deliver traditional temperature therapy with a natural CBD boost. They’re ideal neck pain remedies that help take the edge off of most common symptoms.
For those with poor sitting posture, a bit of lumbar support can go a long way. Although the lumbar area is in the lower back, poor support can put a strain on the entire spine, up to and including the neck.
Adding a lumbar pillow, replacing your chair, or even using a rolled-up towel to support your lower back can be a big help. By correcting the position of your back, this support takes a significant load off of your spine, improves your posture, and makes a lasting difference for your comfort and well-being.