How to Heal a Stiff Neck…Naturally

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How to Heal a Stiff Neck NaturallyA stiff neck is one of the most common health complaints a doctor is likely to hear. Almost everyone experiences neck pain at some point in their lives. Neck pain can be sporadic, coming and going, or it can develop into a chronic problem.

Common Causes of Stiff Neck

The good news is that neck pain doesn’t usually signify a serious health problem. There are a number of reasons why you can get a stiff neck and most have to do with posture.

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A stiff neck is often the result of sitting for long hours in front of the computer. Another common cause of neck pain is sleeping on a mattress or pillow that isn’t quite right for you. Finally, any form of exercise can potentially trigger a stiff neck if you strain your muscles in an awkward way.

Natural Ways to Relieve Neck Pain

If you have a stiff neck, rest assured there are some natural remedies you can try to get some relief. Here are six ways to safely relieve neck pain.

1. Get a Massage

Go to a professional and make sure you mention that you are experiencing neck pain. A good massage therapist can help to relieve tension in the neck and the surrounding muscles that play a role in the movement of your neck, such as your shoulders and upper back. If you can’t afford a massage therapy appointment, try working on your neck yourself. Be gentle and remember to manipulate the muscles on both sides of your neck rather than just the side that’s causing you pain.

2. Try Some Stretching Exercises

Neck pain can be the result of muscle stiffness and tension in the back, the jaw, or the shoulders. Stretching out these muscles can help to relieve the tension and stiffness in your neck, without overworking the neck muscles themselves. If you’re not sure which stretching exercises to do, consider trying some yoga stretches or tai chi exercises. Both are designed to gently stretch all the muscles of the body in sequence, helping to avoid further pain or injury.

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3. Try Applying Hot or Cold Compresses

Heat can help to loosen up a stiff neck. You can place a hot water bottle on your neck. If the pain is sharp and localized to a specific area, you might find that applying a cold compress is the way to go. Any sudden injury is best treated by cold for the first 24 hours.

4. Get Some Acupuncture Treatments

Acupuncture treatments can help free up any blockages that might be responsible for your stiff neck. Acupuncture is applied along specific meridians of the body and may be able to help address the root cause of your neck pain. Neck pain isn’t always caused by the neck itself—it may be the result of other imbalances in the body.

5. Try Applying Arnica to Your Neck Muscles

Arnica is a homeopathic remedy that has been proven to relieve muscle stiffness and soreness.

6. Soak in a hot bath with essential oils

Rosemary and/or lavender are good for relieving muscle stiffness and tension in the neck. Alternately, you can try soaking in an Epsom salt bath.

“Neck Pain,” MedlinePlus web site;, last accessed Jan. 21, 2014.
Scriven, A., “7 Natural Tricks to Heal a Stiff Neck,” MindBodyGreen web site, July 28, 2014;, last accessed Jan. 21, 2014.