21 Home Remedies for a Stiff Neck

Having a stiff neck causes pain and sometimes makes it impossible to turn your head at all. Most people with a stiff neck says that their necks are worse in the morning. Rough activities can also cause your neck to get stiff.



Causes of a Stiff Neck

There are a handful of issues or actions that can cause a stiff neck. Sudden impacts to the neck or to the head, sleeping with your head at an odd position, poor posture, stress, and holding your neck at an odd position.



While the main symptom of a stiff neck is in its name, there are a few things can come with it. A stiff neck can come as a mildly annoying sensation or it can be painful enough that you have to turn your whole body to look over your shoulder. Because of a stiff neck, the rotation of the person’s neck can be limited.



Home Remedies for a Stiff Neck

If your stiff neck doesn’t get better after a week or so, it may be best to talk to your doctor because you could have a spinal issue that’s going to take more than home remedies to fix.


  1. Take Breaks

Sitting in front of a desk or a computer for too long can affect your neck because most people tend to slouch when writing and typing. Write for about an hour and take a couple minutes break.  Take a walk around your workplace, get some water, do some stretches, whatever you need or want to do.

Some doctors suggest getting a standing desk. Reports state that standing can take 40 to 90 percent of the pressure off your spine. So standing is healthier for your neck than sitting is.

sit up, man, working, dry cough

Sit up straight when you are working to reduce the chance you will end up with a stiff neck

  1. Stretching

A lot of times, a stiff neck is caused by muscle tension. When you start to feel your neck getting weird, try doing some yoga or just try some neck rolls.

Some more good stretches for stretching include tilting your head so each ear is brought to each shoulder ten times, squeeze your shoulder blades closer to each other ten times, or roll your shoulders back ten times.   


  1. Heat

Whether you take a hot shower, use a heating pad, or place a towel hot water and carefully wrap it around your neck for a hot compress, heat will help you. The heat can help the muscles of your neck to loosen up so you can stretch the kink out of your neck before it gets bad.


  1. Magnesium

Magnesium is another substance that can help to loosen and calm muscles. You can magnesium in supplement pills, an oil you topically apply, you can take a bath with Epsom salts.

It could be beneficial to combine the heat suggestion from three and the magnesium. Instead of the hot shower, try a hot bath with Epsom salts and kill two birds with one stone.


  1. Correct How You Sleep

Sleeping on your stomach is one of the worst things you can do for your neck and back. When sleeping on your stomach, you twist your neck at odd positions so you can breathe; your back gets no support.

To keep you sleeping on your back, or at least off your stomach, you can get different pillows to help keep you in place. They make pelvis pillows, you can roll up a pillow and put under your back or under your knees. Some people use body or pregnancy pillows.


  1. Gentle Exercise

Working out like running or in a gym might do more harm than good when you’re prone to a stiff neck. That does not mean you can’t exercise. Try gentle things like walking or swimming. Even if you can’t feel walking and swimming helping, the gentle movements still gets the blood flowing and the blood flowing can carry more oxygen to your spine which can assist in the alignment of your spine and henceforth your neck.   

swimming, chlorine, dry hair

If you must swim in chlorinated water, make sure to wear a swim cap so that it covers all of your hair to prevent your hair from drying out

  1. Self-Massage

If stretching doesn’t loosen your muscles, you can massage your neck with your fingers. There’s no special way to do it, just what feels good to you.


  1. Temperature

People with stiff neck say that they have trouble with colder temperatures when they’re sleeping. So play with fans and things, see what feels best for you, though keep in mind that colder air from fans or air conditioning units cause stiff necks.


  1. Anti-Inflammatory Food

Inflammation can increase your chances of getting a stiff neck. There are different foods that you can eat and avoid to lessen the inflammation.

Helpful foods include the following: beets, coconut oil, tomatoes, bok choy, chia seeds, flax seeds, berries, pineapple, leafy greens, ginger, celery, citrus fruits, olive oil, turmeric, fatty fish, broccoli, bone broth, and walnuts.

Harmful foods include the following: fried foods, refined carbs, margarine, sugary drinks, red and processed meat.


  1. Keep Your Stress Down

Being stressed can add lots of tension to your body and that can spread to your neck causing pains and issues. There are kinds of teas and stretches that you can that can help you. Try lavender or chamomile tea and yoga.


  1. Adjust How You Use Your Phone

Looking down at a phone can put repetitive stress on your neck muscles. There are different ways that you can hold your phone so you don’t suffer from a stiff neck. Hold your phone at eye level so you’re not looking down at it; use earbuds or earphones; take hourly breaks; don’t hold your phone between your head and shoulder, instead,  put it on speaker.

cell phone, cell, phone, sitting, stiff neck

Don’t sit like this while using your phone, or else you may get a stiff neck

  1. Don’t Drive Long

Sitting at a desk for too long is bad for your body, so is driving. Pull over and stretch, have your chair set so it helps you to sit up, and have an alarm to get you to sit up.


  1. Blend the Essentials

Blend a couple drops each of peppermint, lavender, cypress, and basil essential oils and dilute them all in a teaspoon of olive oil. All of these oils together can be rubbed into your neck twice a day. The peppermint and lavender oils help to keep you calm while also relaxing your muscle; the cypress, basil, and peppermint oils soothe sore muscles.


  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar holds anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antioxidant components. You want to take a cloth or napkin and soak it in apple cider vinegar and place the cloth or napkin on your neck for about an hour. Doing this will allow the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components to soak into your neck muscles so they can relieve your neck tension. You can use this compress twice a day until your stiff neck problems are few and far between.


  1. Vitamins

Having a vitamin deficiency can cause your muscles to restrict, but there are a few that can help to loosen them up again. Try upping your intake of vitamins B, C, and D. There are foods heavy in these vitamins, or you can get them in capsules and pills.


  1. Brace

Wearing a neck brace can stop you from suddenly moving your head and causing yourself more pain. At regular times, you can take the brace off and gentle message or stretch your neck. You can wear the brace as long as you need to for the pain and/or stiffness to dissipate.


  1. Cayenne Pepper

This pepper is used to help loosen the muscles in your neck. You can mix a teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder with two tablespoons of olive oil to make your own massage oil. If that’s not your cup of tea, there are lotions that contain cayenne pepper powder or you can add it yourself.

cayenne, pepper, spice, spicy, flu

You can also add cayenne pepper to your meals to make them spicy

  1. Turmeric

Adding this spice either to your food, to a glass of milk, or taking a turmeric capsule after speaking with your doctor can seriously lessen the pain you feel due to a stiff neck.


  1. Scraping

This is going to sound odd, but it is supposed to increase blood circulation in your neck and ease the pain. You massage oil into your neck and then ask someone to gently scrape the hurting area of your neck with a spoon. Your neck should not bruise from this and you really should not do it yourself.


  1. Stay Slim

This doesn’t mean you have lose weight. Being overweight can put more pull and strain on your neck muscles. Speak to your doctor before you start an exercise and diet program.


  1.  Double Strap In

Instead of using a purse or messenger bag, try using a backpack with two shoulder straps so that the weight is even over your back and shoulders instead of pulling on and straining the muscles in one shoulder.                  

backpack, stiff neck

Wear your backpack like this to keep your neck safe. If it is uncomfortable, adjust the straps.


Which of these home remedies will you try? Comment below!










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