A stiff neck isn’t a serious medical condition, but it’s definitely a nuisance that can turn out to be quite a hinder for your daily activities. It typically manifests itself through a difficulty to move your neck and numb pain should you try to do so. Causes for this condition vary, but some of the most common ones include prolonged hours sitting down, sleeping in an awkward position, or even internal factors such as anxiety. Even though it’s a problem that can go away on its own in several days or weeks, you can easily help your muscles recover faster using some simple home remedies for stiff neck. As such, we’ve provided a comprehensive list of quick and effective treatments that you can attempt from the comfort of your house!
1. Cold Compress
Cold temperatures are highly effective when dealing with issues of this kind. For starters, cold can numb out the pain, bringing you relief in this regard. But a cold compress can also inhibit production of lactic acid, which is a metabolism-produced substance that can cause soreness. Therefore, a cold compress is one of the best home remedies for stiff neck because of how accessible and efficient it is.
- Since you absolutely should not apply ice directly to your skin, start by wrapping a fistful of ice cubes in a thin towel.
- Press the compress against the affected area for up to 20 minutes.
- To get the best of results, undergo this treatment once every 2 hours for the first 48 hours since the symptoms have started acting up.
2. Hot Compress
On the opposite pole, heat can be just as useful as cold, though for very different reasons. Heat is going to improve blood circulation, which in turn is going to reduce the stiffness in your neck.
- Start by procuring a hot compress of your choice. This can be either a heating pad, a hot towel, or even a bottle filled with hot water, preferably wrapped in a thin towel.
- Apply the hot compress to the aching area of the neck and keep it pressed for 10 minutes.
- Repeat this process 3-4 times a day as many days as you need until you get the relief that you seek.
3. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil has deep soothing properties which will bring quick relief to stiffness in your neck. Furthermore, peppermint oil is also a natural analgesic, meaning it will help reduce pain and soreness. Children and adults that have sensitive skin shouldn’t use peppermint oil as a treatment.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a dish and then heat up, either in a microwave or over a steam bath.
- Mix in 5-6 drops of peppermint essential oil.
- Using clean fingers, massage this blend while it’s still warm directly into the affected areas.
- Repeat this process 2-3 times a day for the next few days or until you see satisfying results.
4. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper acts as a sort of natural heating pad since capsaicin, its main compound, has thermic properties which can improve circulation. Furthermore, cayenne peppers are excellent natural analgesics which will soothe pain and soreness, making them truly excellent home remedies for stiff neck.
- Warm up 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then add in 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder.
- Spread this paste over the sensitive area and cover using a bandage or plastic linen.
- Wait for 3-4 so that the mixture can act its benefits.
- Remove bandage or plastic and rinse, repeating daily.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a natural antioxidant with deep and efficient anti-inflammatory properties. It can help you treat pain associated with neck pain and gradually help your muscles relax and loosen up. Furthermore, apple cider vinegar can also prevent future occurrences caused by nutritional deficiencies due to its highly nourishing value.
- Soak a paper napkin in a little bit of unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar. If you have sensitive skin, dilute it first by combining it with water in equal amounts.
- Place the napkin over the sensitive area and keep it on for 2-3 hours.
- Remove afterwards and then wash the skin with lukewarm water.
- Repeat this remedy twice every day until you notice improvements and feel satisfied with the result.
Turmeric is a great contestant for the title of ‘the best of home remedies for stiff neck.’ It has natural anti-inflammatory properties, all thanks to the substance known as curcumin which lies at its foundation. Turmeric can provide almost immediate relief and it will reduce inflammation in your neck greatly.
- Add 1 teaspoon turmeric powder to 1 cup of milk.
- Move to heat and let this mix simmer gently for 5 minutes.
- Next remove from heat and let the blend cool slightly, adding in honey.
- Sip twice a day on this turmeric milk.
Simply massaging the area will sometimes be enough to help you relieve the soreness and pain of a stiff neck. This is because the motion will improve blood circulation. And proper, boosted blood circulation is definitely one of the key elements to treating this annoying condition. You can attempt a very basic form of massage from your very own home following the instructions below.
- First of all, start by taking a hot shower or bath in order to relax your muscles.
- Next, create a blend of olive oil, coconut oil, and mustard in even parts and then slightly warm it up.
- Apply the mixture to the affected area and then massage in gentle yet firm motions for about 5 minutes.
Tip: Sometimes you may not be able to accomplish this by yourself because of your stiffness, so ask a friend to help you out if you can’t.
8. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is an excellent natural pain reliever and it can bring you relief when you’re struggling with the dull ache of neck stiffness. This is why, if you have some chamomile tea bags around your house, you can transform them into excellent home remedies for stiff neck.
- Start by boiling around 1 cup of water.
- Then, in a bowl, add two bags of chamomile tea and pour the water in.
- Cover the bowl and let everything infuse for about 5-10 minutes.
- Uncover and take the chamomile bags out, placing them directly to the troublesome area.
- Keep each of the bags pressed for around 10 minutes.
- Repeat this remedy daily as many times as you need to get the desired results.
9. Lavender Oil
Lavender essential oil is one of the most potent essential oils for treating inflammations and irritations. This is because lavenders are deeply soothing and they can bring relief. Furthermore, lavender oil has relaxing properties which will help stiff muscles relax and get rid of the soreness.
- Pour 5-6 drops of lavender essential oil directly into your palm and gently rub into the affected area for 2-3 minutes.
- Alternatively, you can create a diluted mixture by adding 7-8 drops of lavender essential oil to half a glass of water and then soaking in a cotton ball. Use the cotton ball to apply the oil and leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing.
10. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is rich in magnesium and other nutrients and minerals which will help with muscle relaxation. Furthermore, Epsom salt can improve circulation, which we’ve already established as being a really important factor for the recovery process.
- Fill a tub with hot water and then add in 2 cups of Epsom salt.
- Stir thoroughly to incorporate the salt through the whole mass of the water.
- Soak in this bath for 10-15 minutes to help your muscles relax.
- Do these baths daily for as long as it takes to get to the results that you desire.
Celery can really help with muscle relaxation, thus being one of the many efficient home remedies for stiff neck that we recommend you try out. Consuming celery is going to help your body recover from the inside-out and in a matter of a few days, you’ll be able to feel the improvements.
- Acquire 2-3 celeries and clean them thoroughly.
- Slice the celery in small pieces if you don’t have a juicer.
- Place them in a juicer or a blender with a little bit of water and then process thoroughly.
- Have 1 glass of celery juice a day until you’re seeing noticeable improvements.
Horseradish, also known as sahijan, is one of the best home remedies for stiff neck, which is why you should definitely consider using it as a treatment. It’s a natural and quick method of reliving the pain and the treatment itself is so incredibly easy and effortless!
- Acquire some fresh horseradish leaves and then press 2-3 of them directly to the affected area.
- Keep the leaves pressed for no more than 5 minutes since this could lead to irritation or numbness.
- Alternatively, grind the leaves and then combine them with a little bit of lavender essential oil to create a more powerful ointment.
There are also plenty of easy and accessible exercises you can attempt to bring some relaxation to your muscles and deal with muscle stiffness. Below, you will find some of our best recommendations.
- Press your fingers to the back of your neck and then move your neck against them while pressing down into your skin, creating opposing forces.
- Move your neck in circular motions.
- Move your neck in a pattern of 8.
- Focus on your abdominal breathing the entire time.
Sometimes, we just can’t afford always watching out for our posture and we definitely can’t control what funky positions we decide to sleep in. That being said, it’s easier to treat a stiff neck than it is to prevent it sometimes. If you woke up with this unpleasant situation on your hands, simply pick the most accessible of our aforementioned home remedies for stiff neck and get started with the treatment. Have you tried anything else in the past that has helped you with this particular condition? If yes, share your experience in the comments below!