Last Modified on Jun 22, 2014
Neck pain treatments range from simple stretching exercises to dietary supplements. An important component of treatment also involves identifying the exact cause of the pain. In any case, most stiff necks and other muscle related neck pain can be treated effectively using safe, natural methods.
What is Neck Pain?
Neck pain is often related to shoulder pain and can be categorized in a number of ways. The common causes of neck pain include abnormalities in the bone or joint, trauma, poor posture, degenerative disease, tumors and muscle strain.
Pain located in the neck often presents as a dull aching; however, the condition may also present other symptoms. Numbness, tingling, stiffness, tenderness, shooting pain, difficulty swallowing and swelling are all common.
Natural Remedies for Stiff Neck
Treating a stiff neck often requires identifying the underlying cause first. Once the cause has been identified, the appropriate treatment can be applied which may include massage, stretching, rest and even dietary supplements. In any case, common treatments for any neck pain include apple cider vinegar, kudzu and blackstrap molasses.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. When applied as a poultice to the site of pain or taken internally, apple cider vinegar relieves pain at the site and prevents further issue. Apple cider vinegar also delivers a number of important nutrients to the body to prevent nutrient-deficiency related pain and injury.
Kudzu is another natural remedy for treating neck pain and stiffness. Like apple cider vinegar, kudzu is an anti-inflammatory that relieves swelling related pain. Kudzu also aids in circulation and blood flow and relieves pain that may be associated with a lack of circulation.
Some muscle pain can also be linked to nutrient deficiency, specifically a lack of calcium and potassium. Blackstrap molasses is nutrient-dense syrup that delivers important vitamins and minerals to the body. In relation to neck soreness, blackstrap molasses replenishes nutrients and relieves associated pain.
Neck pain may be the result of a variety of conditions. Nonetheless, natural remedies and nutrients, in particular, can effectively relieve pain and prevent further muscle issues.
|Apple Cider Vinegar||10 YEAS|
Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment for a Stiff Neck
Home Remedy Ingredients:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Paper Towel
Soak a paper towel in apple cider vinegar and place it over the affected part of your neck. You can leave this treatment in place for a couple of hours. People experience dramatic relief in just one application, but the apple cider vinegar application can be repeated later in the day.
[NAY] 07/16/2013: Yekara from JP, Ma: "hi, I am experiencing terrible pain in my neck and shoulders, it feels gravelly beneath the skin, and kind of guazey and stringy and the pain feels electric. I have similar pain around hips etc.
I am also absolutely exhausted and do not sleep well at all. My digestion is very bad and not to be gross but my poop really stinks and I have a lot of acid. I have big dumps of poop. I dont seem to be digesting. Enzymes and pobiotics have not helped.
I applied apple cider vinegar and baking soda to the pain and it made it worse, it seemed to make it spread. I don't think it is advisable to take it internally as vinegar makes me feel awful.
I was given a scrip for vit d3, 50,000 mg which I have taken but, no luck so far.
I feel enormously sad and very angry can't shake it and am verly isolated any ideas?
Thank you, yekara"Replies
07/17/2013: Kt from The USA replies: "Sounds like 1 TBSP Blackstrap Molasses (BSM) in a glass of warm water before you go to bed might be good to try."
10/23/2013: 27julieh from Orange County, Ca replies: "Yekara from JP, MA:
If you have not had any traumatic injury to your neck/shoulders/back/hips, the symptoms you describe sound very much like fibromyalgia, including the sleep issues."
12/28/2013: Suchi from Kingston On replies: "So do I need to use ACV with mother or without mother for neck issues?"
12/28/2013: Mama To Many from Tennessee, Usa replies: "Dear Suchi,
When I have used Apple Cider Vinegar topically for pain issues, I have used it with the mother.
~Mama to Many~"
01/03/2014: Kt from Usa replies: "Maybe you're not getting proper absorption of magnesium and B vitamins."
01/03/2014: Dave from Fountain Inn, Sc replies: "Dear Yekara,
I greatly empathize with your suffering. The last sentence in your post was very enlightening...how you feel enormously sad and angry...
I read carefully everything you described.
My guess (without more) is that the neck and shoulder pain is not from an accident. If you have not had an accident (car wreck ... maybe two or a really bad fall... or even gymnastics as a child) then likely the neck/shoulder pain is INFLAMATION from the condition within. Obvious digestive problems which you discuss. I assume you can tolerate breads so am guessing that celiac is not the problem (or other gluten insensitivity).
Also, could you confirm that you have not had a serious infection that you've been fighting.
So my best guess (without more) is that you have some significant deficiency...mineral especially.
If this were me, I'd start immediately with an old and effective remedy; Epsom salts baths. I'd take one daily for a week; two cups of Epsom salts into a hot bath and just soak for twenty minutes. (Not so hot that you burn! ) I'd do that for a week and I'd be taking mineral supplements orally.
I know you said you don't tolerate ACV. But I'd try ACV tablets. Or I'd start with a quarter teaspoon of ACV in a glass of water, with a quarter teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in it. Then if I could tolerate that I'd go to a higher amount slowly. The reason Earth Clinic has so much positive about ACV is that it is incredibly effective. Clearly you need help on the digestive side.
Next to help with digestion ... a must is to try ...."Psyllium powder"...1 teaspoon. VERY EFFECTIVE....(1 teaspoon daily for a week and then every other day).
Yekara, it is obvious something serious is happening to you. Maybe an infection attacking the liver...
You don't describe a whole lot to consider but you do have enough to suspect some specific problems. If you'd write back with more information ...that could help us help you.
May you be healed in 2014."
[YEA] 05/05/2010: Dixon from Twin Falls, Idaho, Usa: "several days ago i had a major stiff/sore/aching neck. i suffered through one day. next morning not good. went on earthclinic with the hopes that someone else might have an answer, and sure enough did. took apple cider vinegar, soaked a cloth with it, wrapped it around my neck. put shrink wrap over top to keep it moist and keep our smelly acv from getting on anything else. soaked about an hour, went to work. after a few hours it was easing up a BUNCH. put some more on that night. next day mild soreness. next day after that i feel good!!! i have never had that kind of success with an aching neck like that before. dont be bashful, and give it a whirl if you have the same kind of prob. i share earth clinic with a lot of people. THANK YOU"Replies
05/20/2010: Diane from Irvington, Nj, Usa replies: "I suffer with knee pain. I tried rubbing vinegar on my right knee. The pain has gone away."
[YEA] 07/07/2010: Deedee from North Carolina replies: "It works, Wednesday of last week I awaken with a painful stiff neck. I tried the ACV soak in a wash cloth and place around neck and shoulder and it works, follow with a hot towel. Thanks for the tip. I feel much better. No more stiff neck. My husband was amazed. I read a lot and came across this and I just typed in, What is good for a stiff painful neck? And right before my eyes, I read the post about the ACV.
Deedee NC...... Tarheel state ..... I feel GREAT."
[YEA] 08/12/2011: Dre from Vancouver, Bc Canada replies: "Thanks it worked for me probably 60% better this morning!"
[YEA] 12/11/2012: Judith from Haines City, Florida, Usa replies: "I was skeptical, to say the least, about using ACV on my stiff neck. I injured it a little over a month ago lifting some very heavy furniture for some friends. After many Chiropractor visits and 1 visit to a massage therapist with little relief I finally checked this site to see if you had some recommendations. Tried the ACV on a rag with a hot, moist towel wrapped around it. What a HUGE difference in neck-stiffness after only an hour and a half! This worked! Thanks so much for your site- Love it!"
[YEA] 02/03/2013: Maria from Limassol, Cyprus replies: "apple cider vinegar for stiff neck - it's working I felt better when I tried this therapy. Thanks a lot."
[YEA] 07/30/2009: Heidi from Charlotte, NC: "I had either slept wrong or strained my right neck/shoulder area and it was excruciating. After a sleepless night in bed, I woke in even more pain than the day before. I had to roll out of bed and off the couch because it hurt terribly to raise up.
I went on the Internet and typed in "remedies for muscle strain" and I came across your website. Someone had written in that cider vinegar worked. I was somewhat skeptical, but I use white vinegar for a variety of things so I was willing to give it a try. I found some cider vinegar way in the back of our cabinet and soaked a paper towel with it. I got it wet enough that I had to wring it out. I placed it partially on my neck and the rest draped my shoulder. I then placed a towel on top of it and sat on the couch for 3 hours. It stank and I immediately thought of Easter eggs, but amazingly within an hour the pain had subsided tremendously. I couldn't believe it! After the three hours, I removed the towel and paper towel. I then preceded to clean my bathrooms. By the end of the day, there was very little indication of the pain I awoke with. My neck was just a little stiff, but cured! I am a true believer in cider vinegar!! (I had tried ibuprofen the day before and it did absolutely nothing)."
[YEA] 07/23/2009: Kate from Atlanta, Georgia: "I threw my neck out of whack two days ago and expected to be in pain and useless for at least a week. This was a combo of both spinal pain and muscle pain. I couldn't move my head at all. I soaked a paper towel in a mixture of 50 percent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and 50 percent water, folded in half, and put it on the worst of the pain. This was then covered with a rolled towel for support, and kept in place for about six hours. I removed it before going to bed.
The next morning the pain that had brought me to tears the previous day was reduced to simply being sore and very stiff. I didn't have to hold my head with my hands when I lifted it off of the pillow! I couldn't believe the difference. I was able to do my regular household chores (for better or worse). I meant to use the compress again last night, but never got around to it. The stiffness has mostly worked itself out, and I am 90 percent back to normal."
[YEA] 04/29/2007: Marguerite from Staten island, ny: "hi--maybe you might think im crazy--but i came onto your website just by browsing out of sheer frustration two years ago i pulled neck muscles from lifting a heavy object--finally i went to the doctor after months of suffering he did tests and said i have degenerative arthritis in my 4-5-6 vertebra been there along time with no problem but he gave me a shot of cortisone ok it went away now two weeks ago i again lifted something heavy like my grandchild and bingo--i developed muscle spasms in my neck or pulled tendons-i don't but i refuse to go to the doctor-i don't like medications the pain was unbearable--because it activates my neck arthritis so i come upon the site and i started taking apple cider and honey with grape juice also --soaking a rag in acv and putting it on my neck with a heating pad bingo feels so much better can't believe it--i also want to know--i am allergic to the medication sulphur is that the same sulphur in glucosamine and chondroiton thank you marguerite"Replies
[YEA] 10/04/2012: Anonymous from Arlington, Tx replies: "Tried it once, does seem to work. Thank you."
[YEA] Anonymous : "For a stiff neck, take a half vinegar half warm water solution and soak a rag in it, then wring the rag out and wrap it around your neck. Put a layer of plastic wrap (to keep your sheets dry) and finish up with a towel (be careful not to strangle yourself). Leave this on over night and in the morning you will not believe the difference."
[YEA] 02/12/2007: Fran from Rocky Face, GA: "Felt you might want to tell people with a stiff neck to try Kudzu as it is great for necks as well as alcohol victims...also, good to stop children from wetting the bed.. God Bless You"Replies
05/17/2013: Kay from Destin, Fl replies: "Can you give some details on the preparation and how it's applied? And what are alcohol victims?"
[YEA] 06/21/2008: Stella : "re: Stiff Neck and Headaches. If you have a constant issue with bad pillows as I have had then a Latex Pillow may be the answer.I have invested so much money in bad pillows. I've tried all makes and models, then I finally bought 100% latex pillow. Wow! it's a dream come true, It's not too high, not too low, It's very cushy and doesn't bottom out, which means no more stiff necks and morning headaches. I never cared for memory foam, but I love latex."Replies
12/16/2013: Grace from La replies: "When I was traveling noticed in Asia the pillows were thinner and not as my neck felt so much better, I think there is something to having a thin pillow and not the big, fat, fluffy ones that we are generally used too.. Memory foam is dangerous it has formaldehyde in it which we all know is cancer causing and may have polyurethane which is petroleum products. The chemicals in new polyurethane foam outgas into the air we are breathing these are toxic chemicals VOCs, or volatile organic compounds you can smell them . Flame-retardant chemicals in mattresses contain amounts of polyurethane foam an organophosphate chemicals. We are investing in 100% natural organic chemical free certified mattress and pillows, and in a 100% organic wool comforters naturally hypoallergic and dust mite free. Latex I haven't researched, but I would be careful make sure it is certified organic chemical free."
12/17/2013: Maali from Birmingham replies: "This is such an awakening for me as I have memory foam pillows. I have been having neck problems for a couple of months now & the doctor felt it was a neck muscle sprain and gave me pain killers & anti-inflammatory pills. I will now get rid & find more organic pillows. Thank you for the information! Bless!"
[YEA] 12/25/2007: Firas from Boynton Beach, US: "For the last 3 years nothing worked to fix my neck spasm. Reason of spasm, most probably, is a combination of stress and heavy physical activity. Tried Botox, muscle relaxant, tons of other injections, chiropractic, acupuncture, tons of other therapies but none worked. What helped are prayers and exercise and physical fixtures I invented by myself and sleeping on the side that my head tilt toward. Among the fixtures I invented are:
1. I used my pant belt to hold a pound or so of weight lifting disc and the other belt side was made round the diameter of my head. When placed on my head was back to normal position. This needs repetition for reprogramming your muscles. Also make sure your forehead blood not stagnating by frequently removing the belt, rubbing your affected area to re-circulate blood and put the belt back on head.
2. I used shower towel and pant belt. Twist the towel until tight, wrap it on your head and hold the lose two ends by hand then remove the towel while still twisted. Now use the pant belt to make a knot and hold the towel to diameter of your upper head. Push belt slightly inward and re-insert on top of your head. It worked like magic for me by removing some pain, fixing my head straight, and gave me feeling of more relaxed head.
3. Use olive oil or Emu oil to rub your neck 3 times a day.
4. Do lots of neck exercises, but need to consult your physician. Not all physicians will give you the proper exercise, some times you have to invent them or accidentally discover them on your own. I invented my own exercises that really worked like miracle for me.
Doctors will not give you the solution to this problem 99% of times, only 1% of times doctors "may" give you the cure. You must be your own doctor to solve your own problems.
Now if you want to publish my invention or mass produce it then remember that I published them here on Dec. 25, 2007. I also have been using them for over a year and saw good results. I hope that you will not be miss-guided by doctors, because it is painful to lose time and money in doctor's pockets without seeing any results my dentist (also did TMJ work for me but didn't work) was stunned when he saw the amazing results."
02/25/2013: Ash from Chicago, Il, USA: "Hi, I'm a 38 years old hair stylist with severe neck pain and swollen lymph node where its swollen due to over streched nerve and too much tilting on one side too painful over streched my neck muscle causing it to swell and pain and my dr said it can be a torn muscle turned into a hard mass. Wanted to know what should I do now.. Too painful and cannot keep my neck straight without support. Neck bone is hard stressed and painful with hard swelling over it."Replies
02/26/2013: Mmsg from Somewhere, Europe replies: "Ash, try Epsom salts baths. And read up on magnesium."
02/27/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "I can relate to this, you can take a cotton "tube " sock, (no heel indentation) and put white rice in it from the bulk bin ( fill sock to one third full, tie off the end, (Pull other tube sock over it as a cover) put in microwave for 30 second intervals until it is the temperature you can tolerate and put this on the pain area and let the moisture from the rice and the heat penetrate the muscle.
Also go to a pharmacy store and buy gel packs for the freezer and freeze them and use them in a thin kitchen towel, alternately with the heated sock pack, to get some circulation in the area. Use heat pack 3 minutes, use freeze wrap 30 seconds , 3 repititions and end with heat.
I have been reading in this site about castor oil packs and amazon sells the supplies and I plan to try them for my liver and back issues, maybe it would help your neck. Read some reviews on amazon if you have questions about products."
09/30/2009: Soulshock from Bayambang, Pangasinan, Philippines: "hello guys its my first time to visit your site and i just wanna say that your site had been very informative and very helpful
i had just drop a comment because i do really badly need your help I'm suffering for the neck spasm for about 2 months and still now it still hurts i have red some suggestion like putting some apple cider vinegar around the neck but unfortunately this vinegar is not likely available in our country.
by the way I'm jojo from Philippines 28 yrs old and I'm not that person to afford some expensive stuffs i had try to go to a doctor then she gave me some medication and some neck exercise but still im still suffering from my neck
could you still give me some practical suggestion and tips about my problem i just wanna give up with this neck please i do really need your help
i would much appreciate if you reply to my message or just drop a message on my email heres my email Shoock187213 (at) yahoo [dot] com
thanks and more power"
10/01/2009: Kathy from Dubois, Pa replies: "Muscle spasms and twitching are often the first sign of a Magnesium deficiency. My neck used to be so stiff that I could barely turn it, especially to the left (for some reason). The spasms eased when I started taking Epsom Salts soaks, and went away entirely when I added a Magnesium Citrate drink before bed each night.
p.s. With air and time, any fruit juice will turn to vinegar. If you live in a tropical climate, you might want to try making pineapple vinegar...I bet it would be delicious. Scroll down and you will see that I have posted a recipe for vinegar in reponse to another person's post. Just use pineapple juice in place of the apple cider and proceed in the same way."
EC: In case you can't find it, Kathy's post on how to make vinegar is here: http://www.earthclinic.com/remedies/acvinegar2.html#ACVTIPS_32924
10/01/2009: Lita from Sanford, Fl replies: "You know Kathy, your comment about pineapples brought me back to when my mother was alive. She was a diabetic that would eat whatever she wanted to eat. But a week or two before her doctor's appointment she would take the peel of pineapples or grapefruits (whichever was available) and put them in water and refrigerate. When the doctor took her blood sample for sugar levels her sugar levels were low!!! I just wish that she would have use it daily instead of only for cheating."
02/24/2013: Jerry from North Bend, Oregon replies: "I'm curious. You mentioned: a week or two before her doctor's appointment she would take the peel of pineapples or grapefruits (whichever was available) and put them in water and refrigerate. My question is how wold the peel of pineapples or grapefruits left in the refrigerator untouched make gluclose readings lower?"
[YEA] 09/28/2009: Earthfirst from Chicago, Il: "Neck Pain - Stiff Neck:
After a neck injury i got overdoing it at the gym i was unable to look left or right without terrible discomfort. i tried sleeping a few nights without a pillow and although it was a little uncomfortable to fall asleep i was mostly healed by the following morning. two additional nights of this and i was 100%. its worth a try if you have back pain too."
[YEA] 07/06/2008: DL from USA: "I injured my neck last Tuesday while working out with a personal trainer. I was doing a sit up with an 8 lb medicine ball in my hands and didn't tuck my chin in correctly as I came off the ground. I could feel my neck muscles strain and had a bad feeling at the time that I should stop what I was doing but kept going, ignoring (duh) my intuition. The next morning I woke up with terrible pain on the left side of my neck, just under the lymph nodes. It also felt like something was digging into the side of my throat every time I swallowed. I didn't do much about it except take some apple cider vinegar, figuring it would get better in a few days. 5 days passed, no improvement, and the pain was making me really tired all day so I decided to do something about it!
After debating about going to the ER (since it was the weekend and I couldn't get in to see a doctor for 2 more days), I decided instead to research on the internet exactly what my injury was. It took about an hour of research, but I ascertained it was a strain to the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Then I searched more under the term "Sternocleidomastoid strain" and came to a site mentioning "The Trigger Point Manual" by authors Travell and Simons. I remembered seeing this book in my husband's vast health collection, so I grabbed it and studied the section under sternocleidomastoid. The book talked about the importance of using the right pillow when you have this injury, so I decided last night to forgo a pillow altogether since I was waking up in excruciating pain when using my low-fill feather pillow. I also took a heaping teaspoon of turmeric in hot water right before going to bed. Then, before going to sleep (while lying down pillow-less), I decided to massage around the painful area in my neck, rather than touch it directly because it hurt so much. I also gave my ears a good massage and, grabbing the tips with my thumb and index finger bit by bit, pulled them in various directions. I actually found a tiny section on both ear tips that hurt terribly if I pulled it up and out in a certain direction. I figured this one spot might be related to my neck pain and held that position for 30 seconds. I could feel my jaw loosen from that one.
This morning I awoke feeling less pain (about 50% better). The injury was still making me feel really tired all day, so I took a long nap this afternoon -- yes, without my pillow! Now the pain is almost gone. I am excited! I think (but can't say for sure) removing the pillow has really been key, followed by the massage work and extra rest. Obviously I am going to be very careful in the future when doing any weight bearing exercises that trigger the neck muscles!"Replies
05/26/2012: Greater from Sarasota, Florida, Us replies: "I second that self-administered trigger point massage can be very effective... I recommend the book "The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook" by Clair Davies, which is very informative and quite easy to use. (I hear the Travell/Simons book is great but expensive and rather dense/technical.)"
[YEA] 06/21/2014: Sam from Miami, US: "If you tried everything you could and nothing worked to relieve a stiff neck, you should look into TCM and Qi gong. Liver energy imbalances could result in a stiff neck/shoulders. Also, put your palm under your arm pit (keep your elbow down), right on the side of a shoulder blade try to feel with your fingers a muscle that might be stiff. Massaging this muscle or applying a suction cup for a few minutes will release tension in your neck."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 05/15/2013: Joy from Pensacola, Fl: "Ted's Cat Purr Recording helped my neck pain about 25%. This is what I found online:
Veterinarians have long noted that broken bones heal quickly in cats. The vibrations associated with the feline purring is of interest to the holistic healing community. The measurable Hertz of a cat's purr lies between 25 and 150. 20 to 50 HZ have shown great promise in speeding bone injuries in human medicine. Research is currently being done to find out if purring actually accelerates the natural healing process of broken bones in humans. "Here kitty, kitty", says the woman with a broken ankle."