Natural Remedies for Neck Pain

| Modified on May 16, 2024

There is a reason that something irritating is called a "pain in the neck!" Neck pain can make daily tasks irritating at least and impossible at most. Natural remedies for neck pain include herbs, supplements, and myofascial release exercises.

Causes of Neck Pain

Sometimes you know what is causing your neck pain. Other times it strikes out of the blue, or you have had it for so long that you forgot what the initial cause was. Obviously, if the root cause of the neck pain can be determined, it is best to eliminate the cause.

Neck pain can be caused by injury or overuse. It can also be caused by poor posture or scoliosis or by a chronic health problem like arthritis or muscle problems. It can be caused by tension.

Modern use of laptops, frequent texting and ever some exercise programs put undue stress or positioning on the neck.

It is not uncommon for neck pain to radiate to other areas of the body. Headaches, jaw pain, back and shoulder pain can be secondary complications of neck pain.

Natural Solutions for Neck Pain

Myofascial Release Stretches

Myofascial Release stretches are one of the most effective ways to bring relief to neck pain and restore motion. Myofascial Release is a hands-on technique that involves applying light sustained pressure into the myofascial connective tissue.

These Earth Clinic videos featuring Erica Reid, a Myofascial Release Therapist from Los Angeles, will help you get started at home.

Front of Neck Pain Stretches Sides of Neck Pain Stretches Sides of Neck Pain Stretches Front of Neck Pain Stretches



Turmeric is a popular natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Turmeric can be taken in capsule form (typically 2-4 twice a day), or a teaspoon of turmeric root powder can be added to a glass of milk (dairy or alternative) and consumed twice a day.


All parts of the mullein plant are gentle and useful for healing. The root of the plant is especially helpful for skeletal problems. Mullein root helps the body to produce more synovial fluid, making the joints move more easily and reducing stress and pain on the vertebrae in the neck. Mullein root isn't always easy to find. Mullein leaf tea, however, is usually readily available. Mullein leaf also helps with skeletal problems and pain relief.

St John's Wort

St. John's Wort is commonly used for pain. If you have nerve pain associated with your neck pain, St. John's Wort would be particularly useful. Because St. John's Wort is helpful for depression and anxiety symptoms, if you are experiencing neck pain due to stress, St. John's Wort may be the perfect remedy for you.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is a cooling oil with anti-inflammatory properties.  It can be used neat (undiluted) along the spine on the neck for pain relief. Do be careful not to get the oil into your eyes. If you find the oil too strong, dilute it in some coconut oil before applying to your neck.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is a relaxing and soothing oil. It can be used neat on the spine and muscles in the neck.

You can combine lavender and peppermint essential oil to get the benefits of both.

Home Remedies

Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw and organic apple cider vinegar is commonly used for pain and strains. It can be applied topically to the areas of pain. It can also be taken internally as a daily tonic. 1 tablespoon is added to a glass of water. This tonic can be taken once or twice a day.

Lime Juice and Baking Soda

Earth Clinic's Ted suggests lime juice and baking soda to help alkalize the body. Because the body feels pain more acutely when it is acidic, alkalizing the body helps with pain. Add 2 Tablespoons of lime juice to a glass. Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. The solution will fizz. Then add 8-12 ounces of water. This tonic is quite pleasant to take.

Hot/Cold Therapy

Alternating warm and cool applications to the neck can relieve pain. Start with a cool cloth and apply it to the neck for 30 seconds. Then apply a warm cloth for 30 seconds. Continue to switch the cloths for 7 changes, beginning and ending with cool. It helps to have 2 cloths and 2 bowls of water, one warm and one cool. It is also helpful to have some else change the cloths for you, but it is something that you can do for yourself if need be.

Castor Oil

Castor oil, used topically, helps with pain. Gently massage castor oil into the pained areas of your neck. Do used old bed sheets and clothing with this remedy as castor oil can stain clothes.



Magnesium is necessary for your muscles. It also helps your body to relax. Magnesium deficiency is common. Taking a magnesium supplement can help to relieve your neck pain. You can also use topical magnesium directly on your neck. Magnesium oil is sprayed onto the neck and will absorb into the neck.  If you find that it itches or stings, you can rinse it off after 20 minutes. By that time, you body will have absorbed plenty of magnesium.


Bromelain is an enzyme that derived from pineapple. It also effective for pain relief and to reduce inflammation. Many report that it works as well as an over the counter anti-inflammatory.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important for collagen production and your skeletal system needs that! Vitamin C also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory.

B Complex

A deficiency in b vitamins can make stress or anxiety problems worse. If your neck pain is related to stress and tension, a b complex supplement may be part of the solution to your problem.

Choosing one or more of the above herbs, remedies or supplements (depending on your preference, availability and your own needs assessment) can help with the immediate issue of pain. If your neck pain is acute, it may be all that is needed.

However, if you have chronic neck pain you will also need to consider modifying some of your current habits, making relaxation a deliberate part of your life, and seeking help from a professional.

Habit Changes

Dietary Changes

A healthy diet will supply needed nutrients to your body to effectively restore and repair injured tissue. Consume a variety of whole foods. Avoid sugars, artificial sugars, white flour, and processed foods for the most part.


Dehydration makes pain worse. Try the apple cider vinegar tonic or lime and baking soda tonic mentioned above. Drink plenty of water or herbal tea. Carry a water bottle with you to help you remember to drink throughout the day.

Posture Changes

If you spend a lot of time using a computer or phone, take frequent breaks to stretch. Make an effort to improve your posture when using electronics.

Improve your Sleep Position 

You may need to adjust your sleeping position to see which position(s) are best for you to minimize your pain. Oftentimes, back sleeping is the best for neck pain. If you sleep on your side you should not use a pillow that raises your head too high. Keeping your spine aligned while you sleep is best for your back and neck.

You may need to invest in a special pillow designed to reduce stress to the neck.

Relaxation Techniques

Cat Therapy

Sometimes the craziest sounding remedies work the best. Some have found that listening to a cat purring will reduce neck pain. Whether it is because the frequency of the cat purring has a benefit or if it is the relaxing effect of the purr, it is certainly a simple thing to try. Here is a link to Ted's Cat Purring Audio.

Epsom Salt Bath

A warm bath with 1 cup Epsom salt (and a drop or two of lavender essential oil if you like) is soothing. The Epsom salt, which is magnesium sulfate, absorbs into your body, which helps to relax the muscles. Water also has a calming effect.

Deep Breathing

Stress can cause shallow breathing, which reduces the oxygen supply to the muscles. Take a few minutes to stop thinking about your stresses, work, etc and breath deliberately. Sit up straight and inhale slowly through your nose. Then slowly exhale through your mouth.

Aerobic Exercise

Exercise helps your mood as well as your muscles. Regular aerobic exercise releases tension in your body, which in turn reduces pain. It also increases circulation needed to repair damage in your neck.

Alternate Health Professionals

Myofascial Release Therapist

Myofascial Release is a branch of physical therapy which focuses on relieving muscle pain caused by tight muscles. This gentle technique has brought relief to many neck sufferers.


If your neck pain is caused by a misalignment of the spine, a reputable chiropractor should be able to realign your spine, bringing you relief.

Atlas Chiropractic

Atlas chiropractors are specialized in adjusting the "atlas." Your "atlas" is your C1, the first vertebra at the top of your spine. Often having your atlas realigned will help the rest of the spine "fall into place."


Acupuncture is an ancient healing technique that is still used today. It is another alternative option for neck pain.

Have you experienced neck pain? What remedies did you try? We would love to hear from you!

Additional Pages of Interest:
Stiff Neck

Apple Cider Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Iowama (Iowa, Usa) on 03/20/2015

After driving across country yesterday, it was no surprise that I spent all night with an aching neck. I had never tried the apple cider vinegar poultice on my neck until this morning, and it definitely did ease things quite a bit. Thank you for the posts about this remedy. I have just ordered a new foam cervical collar to replace one I left behind on a plane. As a suggestion to anyone who suffers from a sore neck from travel, you might read the Amazon reviews of this product. The price has come down quite a bit from what I remember paying a few years back.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Cindy (Illinois, USA) on 05/22/2021 443 posts

I had neck problems that started when I was a kid. When I got a job in the city, I started seeing a chiropractor, twice a week. Then we moved to a small town in an Amish area that actually had its own chiropractor so I made an appointment there. After the appointment, I went to pay ($35 - it was a long time ago but the one I was seeing twice a week was 65) and after I paid I asked about my next appointment. The woman looked at my chart and said he didn't have me down for another appointment so I should just call if I had any problems. When I left, I realized I could turn my head to the left without turning my whole upper body - which I hadn't been able to do for a long time. I was so excited that my family eventually had to tell me to just shut up about it as they were tired of hearing me go on and on. ROFL!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Scottso (Boca Raton, Fl) on 12/18/2016

CURED. There is a post on this site under diabetes 'juicing' by someone named Ti in Houston, TX, answering someone else in Bangalore, India.

Not sure why I copied this remedy on 12/24/14, it somehow caught my eye in it's sincerity. So I have been sufferering from horrendous neck pain for the past two years. I have bought too many pillows to count. Wake up in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep. Morning after morning with horrific migraines, and pressure in my head so strong that I felt like my eyes would pop out of my head.

Just had a blood test around Thanksgiving, my blood sugar showed 146 in a 'normal range' of 50-99. I remembered this saved post about juicing for diabetes....I searched it and started doing it around the beginning of this month, on or about Dec 1. It's the juice blend that includes one cucumber, some celery, parsley, lemon and ginger, all organic, all juiced and the first thing into your stomach in the morning.

I have not yet returned for a follow up blood test...BUT, after 3 days of this juice blend, I no longer have neck pain. I no longer wake up with migraines. I no longer have my eyes popping out of my head. I no longer wake up in the middle of the night without being able to fall back asleep. I feel like I'm walking on clouds.

In all fairness, I want to say that after the first glass of this juice blend, I had no craving to drink coffee. Not sure how the fact that I stopped all caffeine intake would affect me, but the end result was positive.


Magnesium Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Megan (Arkansas) on 03/06/2020

I have used magnesium oil for neck pain and recommend it to family and friends for years. Spray the oil on and leave for at least 15 minutes. Some people leave it on all day but I rinse it out after 20 minutes. Most effective neck pain remedy ever in my humble opinion!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ted (Bangkok, Thailand) on 06/19/2012

As for the person with a severe neck arthritis, for 20 years, went 50% away within 1 week and completely away in about 3 weeks using MSM 2000 mg x 5 times a day plus B1 thiamine 200 to 400 mg a day (for numbness of extremities).


Myofascial Stretches for neck pain

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Bobbi (Vancouver, Wa) on 01/08/2017 1 posts

I started getting the old familiar twinge in my neck after bundling up with turtle neck, collared vest, hoodie and a neck scarf to run errands in the bitter cold snap we have had this last week. This morning, after two days of agony and aspirin, Aleve and marijuana salve I turned to my old stand by, Earth Clinic. Watched the video on myofascial stretches, did it and have gotten instant relief. I had forgotten my own Mantra; "Always check EarthClinic first". Thanks again for the many remedies that have helped or cured over the years!!!

EC: Yea! Thank you for reporting that Erica's videos helped. We find the myofascial release work incredible effective.

Sleep Without a Pillow

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Earthfirst (Chicago, Il) on 09/28/2009

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.


Posted by Js5280 (Colorado) on 09/26/2017

About the only type of exercise that helps with my chronic neck and back problems is swimming/floating/water walking. Yet, I suffer from hypothyroidism too.....any suggestions on how to avoid all the chlorine absorption?

Replied by Wendy
(Columbus, Oh)

I would also like to know how to limit exposure to the chlorine in pools, other than NOT swimming! Is there a natural supplement to take that would remove the chlorine from the body?

Replied by Mama To Many

I tend to think the wonderful benefit of swimming overwhelmingly outweighs the chlorine concern.

Not only is swimming helping your back and neck, the exercise is good for every system in your body, including thyroid.

Vitamin C neutralizes chlorine. You could be sure to use vitamin C each day internally.

You could also apply a thin barrier oil (like almond oil) to your skin before swimming to potentially reduce the amount your body absorbs. But frankly, I am not sure I would bother.

Rinsing off after swimming would probably not be a bad idea.

Enjoy your swimming!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Janet

Thanks MTM - I do shower after each swim, and will up my Vit. C, it never hurts. Thanks again!

Ted's Cat Purr Recording

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Koren (Nanaimo, Bc, Canada) on 11/04/2012

I am still amazed that listening to a cat purring works. My neck was acting up again tonight. I did some neck stretches, but it just seemed to aggravate it. Then I remembered the cat purring, so I played it again (in repeat mode) and the relief was almost instantaneous. Try it. Thank-you once again Ted.

The Importance of Stretching for Pain

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mama to Many~ (Tennessee) on 05/16/2024

My neck has been tight since I slept wrong the other day. While the ACV wrap helped with pain, I was still stiff.

I tried my wobble cushion/wiggle seat and within minutes got a couple of great pops/cracks in my neck - better than when I go to the chiropractor! I learned when I went to a scoliosis clinic for 2 weeks last year how much of my pain and/or stiffness is caused by tight muscles. Since going to that clinic I have done stretches on a regular basis and what a difference it makes.

I highly recommend a wobble cushion. You can get one on Amazon for $20. Don't get the ones that look like a disk. Get one that has a profile of an ellipse.

The chiropractic clinic had me using it twice a day for 10 minutes each time. I am sure there are YouTube videos that will show you how to use one properly.

Also on Amazon you can get a neck traction thing like they have a chiropractors. I still use the one I got from the chiropractic clinic.

My sister-in-law is a runner. She knows a lot about stretching. One time she was visiting and I mentioned my hip pain. She said it was from a tight muscle in my leg. She showed me a stretch to use with a foam roller. I was skeptical, but it worked! The tight/contracting muscle on the outside of my upper leg was stressing my hip. When I have hip pain that stretch works every time.

I am 57. I thought that a lot of my pain was from degeneration. It turns out that often my pain is from tight muscles, a much easier problem to fix!

~Mama to Many~

Towel Roll Neck Pillow

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Michael (New Zealand) on 09/24/2016

When I have had neck problems in the past, I have sometimes got relief by rolling up a medium-sized, bathroom towel and using that instead of a pillow. You might not notice relief for a couple of nights/days but if you persevere you might be pleasantly surprised at the result. I found it was better to roll the towel lengthwise, as it was too bulky the other way round. The towel is placed under the neck rather then the head obviously. It takes a while for the muscles/joints/nerves to adjust to their new position and you to get comfortable. You may end up preferring the towel to the pillow!

04/04/2021 UPDATE:

As a sequel to my earlier post (above), I now wish to promote the Mark!! (improved) version!!

Instead of the rolled towel alone, I now incorporate the same rolled towel into the pillow case I.e. it goes inside the pillow case (with the pillow also inside the pillow case) down one side of the pillow. That way the towel supports the neck and the pillow supports the head.

I have always preferred a less bulky pillow than most other people I know.

Cheers from Down Under


Replied by Nothy Lane

The rolled towel helps a lot. I fold it length wise and put in into a pillowcase. I used to be side sleeper but have really tried to sleep on my back due to neck pain. I find simply starting out on my back helps a lot! I can't believe the difference.

(Illinois, USA)
443 posts

I had neck issues for years until I found a travel pillow which is the same length as a regular pillow but only half as wide so it doesn't curl up over the top of the back of my head and put pressure on my neck as even the very slight pressure of a pillow cupping around my head was horrible, as if someone was pressing down on my head. SOO, half a pillow - much like your neck roll - problem solved! You DO have to make your pillow cases but that's easy peasy.

Wintergreen Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 03/14/2024


In the absence of a history of injury, or absence of evidence of a beginning boil or carbuncle, consider the neck pain due to inflammation of muscles (“muscular rheumatism" ). Muscle spasm with resulting

tilting of the head and stiffness of the neck is common.


1. Apply dry heat to the neck for forty minutes, twice daily.

2. Rub on oil of wintergreen twice daily.**

3. Protect the neck against exposure to cold or wet.

4. Aspirin grain 10 (0.6 gram), four times a day if needed.

Note by Rob: **(2.) Oil of Wintergreen into muscles dilute 1:1 with carrier oil.

From the Book - United States Maritime Service Hospital Corps School Manual 1945 By United States War Shipping Administration page 228.