A stiff neck is common in daily life. It may due to poor habitual posture. Sometimes continually looking down for extended periods of time at a computer monitor or other devices can also cause the neck muscles to tire and overstretch. 

Sometimes when you wake up in the morning with neck pain you are unable to move your head in any direction. 

Neck stiffness may cause headaches, shoulder pain, and even pain in the arms. When a stiff neck strikes, the pain extends down to the shoulders and the spine, causing immense discomfort. Sitting, walking, or even lying down becomes troublesome. 

It may even be difficult to lift your arm in such conditions. A stiff neck is something all of us must have experienced. It may happen again in the future. To ease the situation in the future it would be helpful to know how to get rid of stiff neck pains. 

There are simple home remedies that can be very helpful. Be it you, a friend, or a relative, these methods can be applied to anyone. These quick remedies for neck pain will provide quick relief.


Massage is a good cure for a stiff neck. A gentle massage greatly helps in relaxing the muscles while reducing the stiffness. 

Locate the area where the pain is centralized and start massaging slowly. Move your hand in slow motions. Try to figure out the direction of the massage that gives maximum relief and continues massaging in that direction. 

Applying an essential oil like peppermint will help relieve inflammation. You may also usewarm coconut or olive oil for your neck it will provide the necessary warmth to the neck muscles along with increasing the blood circulation, which helps minimize the stiffness. You can turn to a professional therapist if you can't massage by yourself.


Massaging in a soothing balm can bring quick relief. Make your own by melting a tablespoon of beeswax and two tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat. Stir in five drops of eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil. Pour into a lidded container and cool. Massage the creme over the affected area for soothing relief.


It is hard to fall asleep or to sleep soundly when your neck hurts. Be careful about how to sleep in the evening, so you don’t exacerbate the problem.

v  Select the Right Pillow

If you wake up in the morning with a stiff neck, it’s time to replace your pillow. Choosing a memory foam pillow will give consistent support, which helps your neck to relax and become restored during the night. A feather pillow may provide good neck support but will lose its fluffiness in about a year. When you begin to awaken with a stiff neck, it’s time to shop for a new pillow. This is an important way about how to sleep with a stiff neck.

v  Sleep Without Any Pillow

Lying flat in bed without a pillow may aid in relieving neck pain and keep your neck from getting stiff while you sleep. Sleeping without a pillow for a few nights after tweaking your neck is recommended.

v  Sleep on a Firm Mattress

Your mattress could be the source of your neck issues. A mattress should be flipped occasionally to help keep its proper shape, although not all mattresses are designed to be flipped. Mattresses are good for about seven years, so if you’ve had yours longer than that, it’s time for a new one.

v  Don’t Sleep on Your Stomach

Lying on your stomach to sleep twists your neck to one side and is hard on your spine. Instead, sleep on your side or back. If you turn over onto your stomach while you’re asleep, you won’t have to lie that way so long. Sleeping on your stomach also can affect your low back because your belly sinks into the bed if you don’t have enough support.


At times the stiffness is because of straining the neck in one posture for a long time. Even a small movement of the neck appears to be impossible at such times. However, you must remember that to get relief from such a condition it is important to make the neck move. It may be painful but the pain will be worth it. Try the following stretch exercises.

neck exercise

·        Gentle Neck Stretches Lying. Lie down on your bed and stretch your head up from your shoulders. Tuck your chin into your neck as far as possible. Hold for ten seconds and repeat thirty times. Then turn your head from side to side gently. Keep going as long as you can, and notice that you’re able to turn farther as you keep rolling.

·      Gentle Neck Stretches Standing. Try doing the same chin tuck exercise while standing or sitting in front of a mirror. Look straight ahead and tuck. You may place your hands on your chin and push. Keep the correct posture by looking into the mirror.

·        Forward Tilt. Sit on a straight-backed chair and tuck in your chin as above. Lower your head only and place your hands on top of your head. Don’t push, just lay them there. Don’t round your shoulders or back. Hold for ten seconds and release. Repeat thirty times.

·        Side Tilt. Repeat the same exercise only this time from side to side. Hold onto the edge of the chair so you don’t lift the right should. Tuck your chin, lowering your head to the left shoulder. Lay your left arm over your head, fingers touching your right ear. Hold for ten seconds and repeat for the other side.

·        Look over Shoulder. Turn your head from side to side, looking as far back over your shoulder as possible while keeping your head upright.

Exercising helps a lot. You can also try moving your neck in a pattern of digit-8. But, make sure it doesn’t pain. If it pains, don’t do these exercises.


If you notice any kind of swelling, even a small degree, remember that you need a cold fomentation. Do not apply a hot pack to an inflamed condition. To make a cold compress, crush some ice and wrap it in a polybag. Now, cover the stiff part of the neck with a small cloth or towel, then place the wrapped ice over it. Hold it on your neck for about ten or fifteen minutes, and repeat every couple of hours for two days. The cold helps to numb the pain and limit the buildup of lactic acid which causes soreness.


If the cold compress doesn’t help, try heat. Apply either a heating pad, a hot water bottle, or a hot towel on your neck for at least ten minutes, two to three times a day will provide great relief. The pain will not vanish all of a sudden but will reduce to a great extent. It is a useful remedy that will increase blood flow while decreasing the stiffness of the neck.


 Relax your muscles by taking a hot shower or bath. Keep your neck under a shower of warm to little hot water for about 4-5 minutes. Don’t turn or move your neck while doing this. This is one of the best cures for stiff neck muscles. This will not only relieve your neck stiffness but will also drive stress out of your body. With hot water constantly falling on your neck it serves as a hot fomentation treatment soon giving relief to your stiff neck.


Epsom salt may bring relief to a stiff neck. It works to reduce muscle tension and stress by improving blood circulation. This salt contains magnesium and sulfate, which regulates the activity of various enzymes in the body. Put two cups of Epsom salt in a tub full of warm water and soak for fifteen or twenty minutes. If you are diabetic or have kidney problems, don’t do this.


Soak a paper napkin in some apple cider vinegar and place it on your neck. Leave it for a few hours. Apple cider vinegar is an excellent remedy for stiff neck muscles as it gives great relief in just one application.


If the condition is very bad and home remedies do not seem to work then go for the over the counter (OTC) pain killers. As far as possible try to avoid medication but there may be times of emergency or conditions being rather bad when medication becomes the only way out. 

Taking an OTC pain medication will help control the pain. Use ibuprofen or acetaminophen following the accompanying instructions. Or rub ibuprofen gel on the affected area. However, avoid aspirin for kids, who are less than the age of 18, as aspirin causes Reye’s syndrome, which results in swelling in the brain.

10 Home Remedy For Stiff Neck Pain

When to See a Doctor

If your pain isn’t relieved within a few days or weeks by using these methods or by using OTC painkillers, see your doctor. A primary symptom of meningitis is a stiff neck. Meningitis causes swelling around the brain because of a bacterial infection. 

A stiff neck may indicate a heart attack. Anxiety may also cause a stiff neck, so you may wish to visit with a counselor. Seek immediate medical attention if the stiff neck is accompanied by fever, chest or arm pain, vomiting or nausea, dizziness, difficulty touching your chest with your chin, or trouble walking, sitting, or standing.

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