9 Ways To Treat Neck Pain Naturally

Healthy Living, Lifestyle

By: // January 21, 2019

Suffering from neck pain? You’re not alone.

Up to 70% of Americans experience significant neck pain at some point in their life, whether caused by injury, poor posture or an underlying medical condition.

Neck pain can greatly impact your day-to-day life and can be frustrating to treat using conventional methods.

Let’s explore the different causes of neck pain, what other symptoms may accompany your pain, and how to treat neck pain naturally.

Use the links below to quickly navigate this guide:

Why Neck Pain Is So Common

In order to understand how to treat neck pain, it’s important to understand that the neck—also referred to as the cervical spine—is a complex structure made up of seven distinct vertebrae, beginning at the skull and extending all the way down to the upper back.

Structures within the neck include muscles, skin, arteries, veins, lymph nodes, thyroid gland, and more—so problems with any of those structures can contribute to an overall feeling of neck pain.

Not to mention that your head weighs approximately eight pounds, so your cervical vertebrae put in quite a bit of work to hold it up every day.

Because of this, it’s easy to see how neck pain can be such a common occurrence. A strain or sprain in the neck can easily cause the surrounding muscles to tighten, limiting your range of motion and causing significant pain.

What Causes Neck Pain?

Neck pain can be caused by a variety of different conditions.

It’s important to have chronic neck pain examined by a doctor so you can get to the root cause of your pain and treat it properly.

Common causes of neck pain include:

  • Neck strain or injury
  • Poor posture or being hunched over your computer
  • Common infections/viruses that cause swollen lymph nodes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Stress, which can cause you to hold tension in your neck
  • Pinched nerves
  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Sleeping in an uncomfortable position

What Other Symptoms Can Accompany Neck Pain?

Because your neck is such a complex structure between your head and back, neck pain can radiate to other areas and cause other symptoms as well.

For most conditions, neck pain is described as a “dull ache,” but the type of pain can vary depending on which condition is causing it.

Depending upon the cause, you may also experience headaches, shoulder pain, facial pain, back pain, or tingling along with your neck pain.

If you have a chronic condition such as fibromyalgia, your neck pain will present with symptoms typical of fibromyalgia, and the same goes for other chronic conditions.

9 Ways To Treat Neck Pain Naturally

If your neck pain is the result of an underlying medical condition or serious injury, it’s important to check with your doctor to decide on a treatment plan that may include physical therapy or medication.

However, if your neck pain is caused by day-to-day stress, poor posture, or exercise, here are nine simple things you can do to start feeling better.

While medication is often a treatment for neck pain that’s caused by specific medical conditions, you can also try these nine ways to treat your neck pain naturally.

1. Acupuncture

Studies have shown that the ancient practice of acupuncture can be more effective at treating chronic neck pain than more traditional remedies like medication or physical therapy.

Acupuncture is based on the belief that there are over 2,000 points on the human body that connect with 20 meridians. These meridians or “pathways” conduct energy or “qi” throughout the body.

Acupuncture uses extremely thin needles and places them in specific combinations of these 2,000 points to correct the body’s flow of energy and alleviate pain.

It can take a few acupuncture visits to start feeling relief, so give it a little time.

Related: How To Relieve Headaches With Yoga

2. The Proper Pillow

It could be that your sleep habits are causing your neck pain.

Sleeping in an uncomfortable position or on an uncomfortable pillow can quickly throw your neck out of alignment.

The two best sleeping positions for your neck are on your side or on your back, and the type of pillow you use can also contribute to neck pain.

Try these tips to find a better pillow and alleviate neck pain for good:

  • Use a feather pillow or memory foam pillow that easily conforms to the contour of your head.
  • Avoid using too high a stack of pillows, which will inadvertently keep the neck flexed and stiff overnight.
  • If you sleep on your side, keep your spine straight by choosing a pillow that is higher under your neck than your head.

3. Hydrotherapy or water therapy exercise

Hydrotherapy or water therapy exercise can greatly reduce neck pain, especially if you suffer from osteoarthritis.

Aquatic exercise like water aerobics is gentler way to increase your range of motion and ease pain than land-based exercise.

You can also add Epsom salts to your bath to help treat neck pain.

This is because the magnesium found in Epsom salts decreases inflammation and muscle pain.

Simply add two cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath, and soak in the tub as your muscles relax.

4. Stretching

Use pilates moves like the full body roll up to reduce neck pain.

Sometimes some good old fashioned stretching can help reduce neck pain by breaking up tension.

Relieve tight spots in your neck with some gentle yoga poses that not only diminish pain but open up space in in your head for more oxygen.

Inversions like downward dog get oxygen flowing and can not only alleviate pain but help the body naturally detoxify.

5. Ice and Heat

There’s a lot of confusion over whether you should apply ice or heat to ease pain.

The truth is that ice is better for injuries, while heat is ideal for muscle sprains or spasms.

If you’ve pulled a muscle in your neck, try heat after any initial swelling has gone down; if you have an injury like whiplash, try icing it with a cold pack.

6. Hydration

It may sound simple, but staying hydrated can be the key to alleviating neck pain and preventing future issues.

The discs between the vertebrae in your spine require water to maintain spinal alignment and take pressure off the spine.

Over time, staying well hydrated can help prevent further damage to your cervical discs, lessening your chances of future neck pain.

7. Massage 

Massage of the neck or surrounding muscles can help ease tension and break up the fascia in your neck.

Even some light cranial massage can be beneficial since the head and neck are so intertwined.

Regular massage will also help keep your joints limber, which will decrease the chance of pulling or straining muscles in the future.

8. Pilates

A study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found that patients with chronic neck pain found significant relief after a six-week Pilates program.

Pilates helps you realize that everything in your body is connected, and even small movements can become meaningful when they help strengthen and lengthen the neck and surrounding muscles to alleviate pain.

The seven vertebrae in the back of your neck, C1-C7 make up an important part of your spine. Pilates moves like the head nod help to stretch out the neck and spine, while the full-body roll up increases strength throughout your spine, neck and ab muscles. Watch this video here where Chris goes through exercises and stretches to relieve neck pain and strengthen neck muscles.

9. Chiropractic Care

If your neck pain isn’t responding to the remedies above, sometimes a professional may be needed.

Chiropractors work by making manual adjustments to your spine; we suggest if you are looking for a chiropractor, to find one through referral.

Because there are so many out there, if you know someone who’s has a chiropractor he/she recommends, a referral is your best bet.

Want to save these tips for reference? #PinForLater

9 Ways To Treat Neck Pain Naturally

READ THIS NEXT: The Link Between Yoga and Chronic Pain

Printed from GetHealthyU.com


on April 18, 2021 at 8:12 PM Reply

Felicia here I have been having neck pain for almost 5years now and doctors isn't sure xray showing nothing is wrong but every night I have a take pain medication to easy the pain can I get some advice on what to do

    on April 21, 2021 at 8:17 AM Reply

    have you considered seeing a chiropractor? they might have some more alternatives for you to try!

on May 23, 2020 at 5:27 AM Reply

Wow Great Article First of all a were feel neck strain or am feeling of nech stress when i am not work anything or after bed i know i hate big pillow when i massage my neck by the tip of my bed i feel relax and whdn i do roll or any neck sport i feel relax It is now about 3years am not go to any health center or Haspital Incase of this When i search about neck pain i got this Article

on March 6, 2019 at 11:18 AM Reply

Great article! With sedentary lifestyles, musculo-skeletal issues like neck pain, stiffness of lower back, back pain and migraines have increase in otherwise completely fit individuals. In fact it is surprising to see how people who work-out regularly get afflicted by these conditions. Improper blood circulation is a prominent culprit, which is why it is important to take breaks at workplaces and walk and stretch muscles.

    on March 13, 2019 at 1:57 PM Reply

    Angelina - Thank you so much! And you are so right, that neck pain can be a big problem for even those who are active. We all have to take care of our bodies and make sure that we are taking the right steps to stretch our muscles! One of my everyday morning routines is stretching and rolling out my back and neck. I have been doing it for years and I swear it's been the cure to my back pains I experienced years ago! Cheers to stretching :)

on February 26, 2019 at 12:48 PM Reply

I've had this neck pain for years but the CT scan is showing no causes of the pain ; the pain also affects the legs

    on February 26, 2019 at 1:51 PM Reply

    Noreen - First off, I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing neck pains. It sounds like you are taking the right steps in going to your doctor first to figure out why you are having neck pains and where to go from there. Consult your doctor on what movements and exercises might be good for you to try and subside the pain. However, take a look at the 10 minute video in this blog where I go through some pilates exercises that will strengthen the muscles in your neck. Maybe some of these exercises will help your neck gain more strength and feel better!

on February 21, 2019 at 4:44 AM Reply

Hello Chris, neck pain is very common nowadays. It can be caused due to injury, poor posture or an underlying medical condition. Your tips to get rid of neck pain are very useful for all who are suffering from neck pain.Thanks for sharing.

    on February 25, 2019 at 12:40 PM Reply

    Daniel - you are so right. Neck pain is very common and something a lot of people ask me about! I am glad that you found the tips useful and hopefully they help you and you can share with others who are experiencing the same pain!

on December 20, 2018 at 2:03 PM Reply

Hi Rachel, I think Jan makes the best point here…..”Don’t believe we should throw out everything concerning the TrA, but we should not give it anymore attention than we do other structures.” TrA should simply be another tool in our toolbox. I liken the recent TrA craze to the VMO of the knee. Is VMO training important for a knee patient-sure it is. Would we get a patient better if we only focused on the VMO, and neglected other hip and knee musculature? of course not! take TrA strengthening for what it is-another muscle you can add into your core training programs. Like Jan said, let’s not make it the end all and be all of eliminating back pain. Thanks.

on December 2, 2018 at 2:08 PM Reply

Fibromyalgia attacked my mother body more than 3 years ago after her knee surgery. She has been in a wheelchair for about six months, and she used a cane for another six months. She  did not even know how to walk anymore. We fought the fibromyalgia with a lot of pain pills and tears not until we had to give a try on natural formulas, we purchased a herbal treatment from totalcureherbsfoundation.com  which help her a lot and bring her back to normal again, the herbal formula reverse the symptoms dramatically and she’s totally free from the Fibromyalgia that cost her pains for ages .

on June 6, 2018 at 8:48 PM Reply

I have problem with my neck when getting up in the morning a few days ago & the pain is worse now. Thanks to your post, I will plan to see a chiropractor to improve the situation & look for a new proper pillow. Many thanks for your sharing!

on May 8, 2018 at 6:16 AM Reply

I think I've had fibromyalgia for many years but was diagnosed approximately 5 years ago. I was working at Walmart and was just exhausted. Not the tiredness that sleep helps. I mean totally exhausted, with muscle pain. My primary doctor diagnosed fibromyalgia. He  prescribed Cymbalta around 4 years ago. Cymbalta was approved for Fibromyalgia treatment. Although it did relieve some of the pain, I still suffered from fatigue. November 2017  my doctor started me on Natural Herbal Gardens fibromyalgia Herbal mixture,With the help of Natural Herbal Garden natural herbs I have been able to reverse my symptoms using diet, herbs, which i feel has made the most difference. The Fibromyalgia natural formula immensely helped my condition, it reversed my Fibromyalgia. my muscle pain. And then the joint stiffness, and fatigue. gradually disappeared. Visit NATURAL HERBAL GARDENS via their official web-site www. naturalherbalgardens. com.  and i turned 69 today. i am glad to get my life back, I will keep sharing awareness DON’T GIVE UP HOPE!!!

on January 5, 2018 at 8:22 PM Reply

Great to know alll this. Ive had the neck pain for 2 days now, started in the nite.

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