6 Natural Remedies for a Stiff Neck

| Modified on Jan 27, 2023
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Stiff Neck Natural Remedies

If you have ever woken up with a stiff neck, you know the dread that fills your mind as you wonder how you will accomplish the tasks for the day. Fortunately, natural remedies like apple cider vinegar and castor oil packs can help reduce pain and restore your neck function in a timely manner.

A stiff neck is usually caused by a muscle injury or spasm. Another common cause of a stiff neck is sleeping the wrong way. Of this is called a “crick in the neck.” In rare cases a stiff neck is caused by meningitis. If your stiff neck is accompanied by fever, chills, malaise, vomiting or nausea, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Even with these natural remedies below, take it easy as your stiff neck loosens up to avoid re-injury.

1. Rest

Usually when you have a stiff neck, you don’t really have time to rest, but rest is critical if you have a stiff neck. Stressing you neck when it is already compromised can make it worse and healing may take longer.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw and organic apple cider vinegar makes a great poultice for a stiff neck. Soak a cloth with apple cider vinegar and apply it to you neck, warm or cool, depending upon what temperature is soothing to you.

3. Castor Oil

Castor oil can be used topically for pain. Massage castor oil into your neck muscles and spine.

4. Heat

A heating pad or warm rice sock can help to relieve the pain and stiffness. If your stiff neck was caused by tensing the neck due to cold, this will be an especially comforting remedy.

5. Magnesium

Magnesium is necessary for your muscles and helps them to relax and repair. You can take a magnesium supplement, apply magnesium oil to your neck, or take an Epsom salt bath. Any of the three will help supply the magnesium to your body. Magnesium oil, sprayed onto your neck, will get the magnesium where it needs to be in the most timely fashion.

6. Myofascial Release Stretches

Myofascial Release stretches are one of the most effective ways to bring relief to a stiff neck. 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

Preventing a Stiff Neck in the Future

If you are prone to a stiff neck, you may need to evaluate your sleeping situation. You may need to adjust the position in which you sleep or try a different type of pillow.

If cold weather is linked to your stiff neck, you may need to take up wearing scarves or tutlenecks. Keeping the neck warm will help you not to tense the neck mucles due to cold and reduce your risk of neck stiffness.

If you do not sleep deeply, your muscles may be tense while you sleep, putting you at higher risk for a stiff neck.

If this is the case for you, try one of the following:

  • A cup of chamomile tea before bed to relax you.
  • A tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in the evening. Blackstrap molasses has magnesium for your muscles and other important nutrients.
  • See our Insomnia Page to get more ideas to improve your sleep.

Be Careful with Pain Medication

While it may be your first inclination to take medication to relieve your pain, taking pain medication can mask the pain and make you more likely to overuse your neck and make your injury worse. If you take pain medication, be sure that you do not overdo activity because “you feel better.” That feeling may not last once the pain medication has worn off, and in fact, may be worse.

Do you have a natural remedy for a stiff neck? We would love to hear about it!

Additional Pages of Interest:
Neck Pain Remedies

Alkalize and Heat

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mama to Many (Tennessee, US) on 01/28/2015
5 out of 5 stars

This morning I woke up with a miserable pain in my neck. I had gone to sleep with damp hair in a cold room. Perhaps I slept wrong. I was figuring it was going to be a day of hanging out on the couch feeling yucky.

I forced myself to fix Ted's Lime/bicarbonate alkalizing drink and a rice sock before setting up camp on the couch in front of the woodstove.

Lime drink - 1.5 cups water - 1 T. lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) This may not be Ted's exact recipe, but it is based on his recipe.

Rice sock - fill a sock 1/2 full of white or brown rice. Tie a knot in the end. Sprinkle with 1 T. water. Microwave 90 seconds or so. (I keep a microwave for this purpose! If you do not have one, you could steam the rice sock in a vegetable steaming basket on the stove until it is warm.)

I sat on the couch and drank my drink and put the rice sock on my neck. After about 45 minutes, I realized my pain was 90% better! I was not expecting that. I didn't drink the lime drink thinking it would help, I just knew it was a good thing to drink. But I think it and the rice sock both helped.

Dehydration definitely makes pain worse, so it would stand to reason that hydrating would improve pain. But I suspect that being in an acidic state would also make pain worse, which is why I am guessing the drink helped. Based on past experience, I don't think the rice sock alone would have caused such an improvement in pain. I know it helps, but I think the alkalizing was key.

The moral of the story is, "Don't underestimate the role of improving alkalinity and hydration of the body for decreasing pain."

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Quite amazing, Mama to Many.

Apple Cider Vinegar

11 User Reviews
5 star (10) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Yekara (JP, Ma) on 07/16/2013
1 out of 5 stars

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

Replied by KT
(The USA)

Sounds like 1 TBSP Blackstrap Molasses (BSM) in a glass of warm water before you go to bed might be good to try.

Replied by 27julieh
(Orange County, Ca)

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.

Replied by Suchi
(Kingston On)

So do I need to use ACV with mother or without mother for neck issues?

Replied by Mama To Many
(Tennessee, Usa)

Dear Suchi,

When I have used Apple Cider Vinegar topically for pain issues, I have used it with the mother.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by KT

Maybe you're not getting proper absorption of magnesium and B vitamins.

Replied by Dave
(Fountain Inn, Sc)

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.

Replied by Yekara
(Jp, Ma)

I am writing again. I will try epsom salt baths. I have not found them helpful in the past. they help a little but not much.

I feel super exhuasted and the pain in neck shoulder area is intense and my neck sometimes jerks. It is very gravelly beneathe the skin. my compexion is too pale and a bit gray. I eat no sugar or junk food or flour what soever and feel awful, cry alot, lots of resentment that wont quit and fear.

I prefer not to do blackstrap molasses as I dont do any sugar including honey etc. I have not had results from acv.

I do have lymes and parasites. Do you recommend a specific brand as I do not have much money. I feel frustrated as nothing seems to really help. I do phys therapy but no results and massaging with magnesium oil made it much worse. other oils dont help much nor do they hurt

What minerals would you recommend my diges is bad. I also write wonderful poetry and do great music and art but feel stuck. I am on trazodone and gabapentin 100 and 250 mg respectively

Thanks, Yekara

Replied by Maria
(Gippsland, Australia)

hi Yekara, whilst l hope you get some relief from the epsom salts bath l find the position that the neck ends up in can agrivate it sometimes, if your neck is suffering from some trauma.

The symptoms you mention can be side effects of the meds you are on so you should talk to your Dr.l assume your liver enzymes are still in the normal range on your last blood test. l hope your dr is doing regular liver function tests, as the liver can be affected in some people on these meds.All the best on your journey to health. God bless.

Replied by Yekara
(Jp, Ma)

Hi Dave etc,

I am going to do epsom salt baths daily and do psyilliam powder. I do have lymes and parasites. I have been taking a supplement to kill the parasites. My diges is bad, bloating, gas, aching stomache, maybe an ulcer not sure, lots of diahreah, bad bad odor, athletes foot, bad breath, can't take really full deep breaths but no asthma, thank heavens, have had some bouts of nausea and vomiting alot, but not now. I do not think I am digesting my food, it feels like it goes in and out but without assimilating it.

I am very exhausted and do not sleep well at all.even when I do, I wake up exhausted. I have neuropathy in my legs, but not diabetis, brain fog, memory problems and terrible pain in my neck esp left side, it is gravelly, stringy and inflamed, massage seems to make it worse. I have tried chiro, phys therapy acupuncture to no avail.

I am coming down on the drugs I am on trazodone and gabapentin, I am now down to 87 mg, from 100, and 250 gabapentin from 300. I must do it very slowly so that I am emotionally safe..

I am doing alphabiotics and eft but I cannot seem to lose the resentment and low self esteem and feeling of being rejected depression and sorrow.

I need to move as it is a sick building, but dont have the money to do it now, plus am just too tired.

Right now I have bronchitis and am very exhausted, am taking loads of vit c, tea, soup and will try cabbage with honey on chest.

Any ideas or encouragement appreciated. Garlic, raw helped keep away bronchitis many times, but got too run down.

Thanks, Yekara

Replied by Dave
(Fountain Inn, Sc)

Hello Yekara,

The Lyme/Parasites alone could be the cause of most of your symptoms. Yes...to the Epsom Salts bath daily. And you could also supplement with oral Magnesium.

By way of killing the Lyme, if me I'd be taking Colloidal Silver three times daily to do that. Two tablespoons per dose. See how effective it is by noting whether your energy level rises after a month. If you are improved in energy levels then likely it is the Silver/ Epsom combo doing well for you so keep up until much better...maybe 6 months. Do not take Epsom salts after you find the salts accumulate on skin after you get out of bath...that will tell you your system is saturated. Only go to once a week after that.

On digestion issue; one tablespoon in glass of water with a one third teaspoon of baking soda. Let fizz and then consume. Do that at night before bed. Might help digestion.

For neck pain when I do have neck pain...and think it is from inflammation ... which I suspect is your case ... and not from an accident, then I'd apply Apple Cider Vinegar direct to the neck on a paper towel and let it absorb. And I'd heat the ACV so you are applying warm ACV as the poultice. I'd try that for a few days and see if any improvement. Sleep on the OPPOSITE side of the hurting neck to allow gravity to pull a bit on neck if the vertebra is out on the pain side. Do not do anything to aggravate the neck such as lying on back on couch and pressing head against an arm rest. That can add to the vertebra curvature issue and cause a reverse curve. This could aggravate the inflammation already present making the neck pain much worse.

Replied by Yekara

Hi Dave et al,

Thanks for responding. I could not access the posts at first. Should I also take the psysillium as well, in addition to baking soda? and what dose and kind of cs. I am using acv, can tolerate it. Is there a cheap way to make my own cs, it is way expensive at the store, is there a cheap gadget I could buy to make it?

a chiro has had me taking homepathic nosode drops for lyme and according to her I am down on the lyme, but I do not feel better at all. I also took tablets with wormwood etc for the parasites am almost at the end but I am not digesting well at all.

My sleep is awful and have felt incredibly tired and way way depressed. I went down to 87 mg of trazodone, from 100. I poop a ton and it smells bad. I drank some veg juice today, beets, carrots apple greens etc and I pooped up a storm. I don't mind cleaning out my system, but am already way exhausted and don't want to lose weight. When you say oral mag, any particular kind or dose?

Any ideas about sleep, I take sleep thru and a homepathic called moon drops.

thanks so much, yekara

Replied by Dave
(Fountain Inn, Sc)

Dear Yekara,

To answer one of your questions to me; yes there is a cheap and easy way to make your own CS.

Go to the top of Earth Clinic page and see "Videos"... there are eight, and one of the eight is by me on how to make CS. To buy a unit costs less than 80 dollars.

The Lyme will keep you from sleeping. Once you are on CS, in a few weeks, your energy and ability to rest will increase. You can have the CS generator within 3 days. Google "Colloidal Silver generators" and you'll find many...add on "cheap" or "inexpensive" and that might give you more sources.

Replied by Lou
(Tyler, Tx)

I am experiencing the same neck symptoms and lack of sleep. I rubbed virgin coconut oil all over my torso Saturday night and felt much much better by Sunday and Monday. Try it. Also, tart cherry juice (a small glass at dinner time) will help you to sleep. I keep forgetting to drink mine! LOL

Replied by Yekara

Hi, What minerals should I take, could you get specific and give me a good brand if possible. Also my herbalist said she didnt like colloidal silver because it is a metal, do you think it is safe to digest? Thanks yekara

Replied by Frances
(Cabarlah, Qld.)

Yekara, for the Lyme disease, I would suggest you investigate the core protocol of Stephen H Bruhner which treats Lyme with herbals.

Replied by Maryann

Go to the Doctor. Sounds like something bad is happening to me!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Dixon (Twin Falls, Idaho, Usa) on 05/05/2010
5 out of 5 stars

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

Replied by Deedee
(North Carolina)
5 out of 5 stars

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.

It works
Deedee NC...... Tarheel state ..... I feel GREAT.

Replied by Dre
(Vancouver, Bc Canada)
5 out of 5 stars

Thanks it worked for me probably 60% better this morning!

Replied by Judith
(Haines City, Florida, Usa)
5 out of 5 stars

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!

Replied by Maria
(Limassol, Cyprus)
5 out of 5 stars

apple cider vinegar for stiff neck - it's working I felt better when I tried this therapy. Thanks a lot.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Heidi (Charlotte, NC) on 07/30/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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).

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kate (Atlanta, Georgia) on 07/23/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Marguerite (Staten island, ny) on 04/29/2007
5 out of 5 stars

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

Replied by Anonymous
(Arlington, Tx)
5 out of 5 stars

Tried it once, does seem to work. Thank you.

Replied by Stephanie

I'm also allergic to sulfa antibiotics. It is not the same structure as sulfate salts in supplements. The only thing you need to be careful of is the artificial sweetener Acesulfame potassium. It is chemically similar and can cause an allergic reaction in people with sulfonamide allergies.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Anonymous (USA)
5 out of 5 stars

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.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Fran (Rocky Face, GA) on 02/12/2007
5 out of 5 stars

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

Latex Pillow

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Stella (USA) on 06/21/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Replied by Grace

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.

Replied by Maali

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!

Magnesium Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Dutchie (Toronto/Amsterdam) on 01/26/2023
5 out of 5 stars

Magnesium oil for stiff neck

Apply it 3 times a day and your stiff neck will be gone within days.

You can buy magnesium oil on Ebay, Amazon or health food store.

Make sure you buy 100% magnesium oil.

Expect flaky white stuff on your neck that you need to wash off after a few hours.

Neck Exercises

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Firas (Boynton Beach, US) on 12/25/2007
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Neck Pain Remedies

Posted by Ash (Chicago, Il, USA) on 02/25/2013

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.

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Ash, try Epsom salts baths. And read up on magnesium.

Replied by Joy
(Battleground, Wash)

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.

Sleep Without a Pillow

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by DL (USA) on 07/06/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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!

Replied by Greater
(Sarasota, Florida, Us)

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.)

Replied by Edwina
(District Of Columbia)

The Clair Davies book is essential for managing trigger points!

TCM and Qi Gong

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Posted by Sam (Miami, US) on 06/21/2014
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Replied by Cc
4 out of 5 stars

Thank you for your post! I tried massaging the muscle you describe and it helped a lot. I'll do this anytime I get a neck spasm from now on. Many thanks!

Ted's Cat Purr Recording

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Posted by Joy (Pensacola, Fl) on 05/15/2013
4 out of 5 stars

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.

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