How to Reduce Neck Pain Naturally Through Movement, Hydration and Sleeping Positions

There's nothing worse than a pain in the neck in the most literal way. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to reduce neck pain naturally, through heating and cooling, movement and changing sleeping positions. These simple steps can help you find relief fast.

Get Moving

“Our bodies were built to be vertical and mobile,” says Meghan Lamothe, a physical therapist at NYC’s Hospital for Special Surgery. “Sitting in one position for too long can have negative effects on our whole body, particularly the neck.” And when you do get up, try doing some “chin tucks” to loosen muscles and lessen pain. It’s simple: Lift your head up, then tilt your chin down as if you’re making a double chin.

Go Hot and Cold

“Heat loosens your muscles and promotes blood flow, [and] cold narrows your blood vessels, reducing inflammation and swelling,” explains the Cleveland Clinic. So to relieve pain, try alternating between taking a hot shower or using a heating pad on your neck with placing a cold pack or bag of frozen veggies there.

Drink Up

According to the folks at Veritas Spine-Health, a good reason to drink lots of water during the day “is to nourish and hydrate the discs — the spongy structures that lie between the vertebrae in your neck. These discs are made up of mostly water, so staying well hydrated will help keep your discs pliable and strong.”

Rest Easy

Pain can come from the way you sleep. And, per Harvard Medical School, “two sleeping positions are easiest on the neck: on your side or on your back.” To help ease things even more, try using either a feather pillow or one with memory foam as both conform to the shape and contour of your neck, which fosters proper spine alignment and reduces strain.

Don't Stress

“Stress and tension can contribute to neck pain,” say the experts at Maryland Pain & Wellness Center. “So incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine can be highly beneficial. Activities such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga and mindfulness can help relax both the body and mind, relieving muscle tension and reducing pain.”