A stiff neck can be the result of an injury or strain on the muscles and ligaments of the neck. A neck strain is the result of damage to the tendons and muscles or the ligaments that connect the muscle to the bone. A neck sprain, on the other hand, occurs as a result of the tearing of ligaments. Homeopathic remedies for neck stiffness work by treating the root cause of the problem. The top homeopathic treatments for a stiff neck include Rhus Tox, Cimicifuga, and Arnica.
Neck injuries include sports injuries, repetitive strain injuries, brachial plexus injuries and more. Poor posture is also a major contributing factor towards neck pain.
Homeopathic Medicines for Stiff Neck
Rhus Tox – Natural Treatment for Neck Pain
Rhus Tox is a top listed homeopathic remedy for treating neck pain. It works very effectively to treat general neck stiffness and pain resulting from neck strain, overuse of neck muscle, wear and tear of structures of the neck, repetitive stress on neck muscles, muscles spasm in the neck, injuries to the neck (whiplash injury) and carrying heavy weights on shoulders. There might be marked stiffness in the neck along with a pain in the shoulders. Rhus Tox also helps in cases where a stiff neck results from sleeping wrong. People needing Rhus Tox may feel relief by moving the neck and feel discomfort while at rest. For them, warm applications or a gentle neck massage may help relieve the pain.
Cimicifuga Racemosa – Effective Natural Cure for a Stiff Neck
Cimicifuga Racemosa is prepared from the root of a plant named black cohosh. This plant belongs to natural order Ranunculaceae. Its use is highly suggested when marked stiffness attends neck pain. The neck feels tensed and contracted. The neck is also sore and sensitive to touch. Pressure tends to worsen the symptoms. The motion of the head aggravates the neck pain. These symptoms that tend to result from degeneration or wear and tear in the neck structures are treated well with Cimicifuga.
Arnica – Natural Medicine for Neck Pain from Injury
Arnica is prepared from a plant called ‘Leopard’s Bane.’ This plant belongs to the family Composite. It is highly suitable for neck pain that arises from an injury, fall, and blows or overstraining of the neck muscles. The neck feels sore and bruised and is highly sensitive to pressure. The cervical muscles are often weak in such cases. Arnica helps manage neck pain, soreness and aids recovery from neck injuries and neck strains.
Bryonia Alba – Homeopathic Remedy for Stiff Neck that Worsens from Movement
Homeopathic Medicine Bryonia Alba is prepared from tincture of roots of a plant called Wild Hops of the family Cucurbitaceae. In cases where neck pain or stiffness worsens with movement and touching the neck worsens the pain, this remedy works well to help alleviate pain.
Guaiacum – Homeopathic Medicine for Stiff Neck
Guaiacum offers great help in cases of a stiff neck. In a majority of the cases needing Guaiacum, stiffness from the nape of neck extends towards the shoulders and scapulae. In some cases, the stiffness may extend down to the lower back. Stiffness worsens from cold. Neck pain is present on both the left and right side and extends to the head.
Lachnanthes – Natural Homeopathic Medicine for Wry Neck
Lachnanthes is a homeopathic remedy prepared from a plant named ‘Spirit Weed’ of the natural order Hemodoracae. As a remedy, it effectively treats a stiff neck. It also works well in cases where the neck gets drawn to one side- Wry Neck (also at times referred to as Torticollis). The pain and stiffness are felt from the neck and in the whole head, and bending the head backward worsens the pain.
Kalmia – Effective Natural Medicine for Neck Pain Extending Down the Arms
Homeopathic medicine Kalmia is prepared from the fresh leaves of a plant named ‘Mountain Laurel.’ This plant belongs to natural order Ericaceae. Kalmia is well indicated for neck pain that extends down the arms. The pain also extends to the fingers, particularly to the fourth and little finger. Sensations such as weakness, prickling, and tingling in the arms may be felt. The neck muscles feel sore and tender to the touch, and the pain worsens from neck movement. Neck pain worsening at night is also indicative of Kalmia.
Gelsemium – Effective Homeopathic Medicine for Neck Pain with Headache
Gelsemium is a natural remedy prepared from the bark of the root of a plant called ‘Yellow Jasmine.’ The natural order of this plant is Loganiaceae. Gelsemium remains highly effective for cases of a stiff neck with a headache. Muscular pains in the neck are marked, and the neck and shoulders feel sore. The neck may be sensitive to pressure, and a contracted feeling is present. Some people also experience dizziness.
Paris Quadrifolia – Natural Treatment for Stiff Neck with Numbness of Fingers
Paris Quadrifolia is prepared from a plant called ‘One Berry.’ The natural order of this plant is Trilliaceae. Use of Paris Quadrifolia is highly recommended for neck pain attended with numbness of fingers. The neck feels painful, stiff and swollen, and the person feels as if there is a heavy load on the head. These symptoms extend across the shoulders and fingers. Exertion tends to worsen the complaints, while rest offers relief.
Hypericum – Homeopathic Medicine for Stiff Neck due to Whiplash Injury
Hypericum is a plant remedy prepared from a fresh plant called ‘St. John’s Wort.’ It belongs to family Hypericacea. Hypericum yields wonderful results in neck pain that results from whiplash injury. The key features that indicate its use are – intense pain in the neck with extreme tenderness. Neck and upper limbs are also sensitive to touch, and the slightest movement of arm or neck intensifies pain.
Causes of Stiff Neck
Stiff Neck due to Sports Injuries
During an intense physical activity, the muscles and ligaments in the back, neck, and shoulders can get strained or sprained. This is more likely in cases of jerky movements (as in tennis), if it is a new activity, or if the player stretches an arm too far. Sportspersons who are involved in contact sports like football are also vulnerable.
Stiff Neck due to Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus is a complex network of nerves responsible for sending signals from the spinal cord to the hand, arm, and shoulder. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves get compressed, stretched, or torn apart. A minor injury of the brachial plexus can cause an electric-shock-like feeling in the arm, a burning sensation shooting down the arm or weakness and numbness. These sensations often begin near the shoulder and can aggravate neck pain.
Whiplash Injury Leading to a Stiff Neck
A whiplash injury occurs on the soft tissues of the neck. It can cause pain and stiffness in the neck as well as the shoulder and arm. Headaches following a whiplash injury are also common. Such an injury is usually noted in cases of high-impact road accidents or an impact that leads to a forceful, sudden movement of the neck and head. The severity of such an injury can vary from slight stiffness and tenderness to restricted movement or temporary loss of sensation.
Repetitive Strain Injury and Stiff Neck
Repetitive movements of muscles can lead to pain in the surrounding muscles, tendons, and nerves. This condition is known as a repetitive strain injury. These usually occur due to repeated movements performed on a regular basis like during exercise, lifting objects, improper support on the arm, sitting in one position for too long, overuse of a hand, etc. It is also commonly known as a work-related upper limb disorder. It can cause long-term damage to the muscles and tendons if not treated on time.
An RSI mostly affects the upper body parts like the wrists, hands, shoulder, elbows, forearms and the neck.
The main symptoms of an RSI include throbbing, pain, tenderness, and cramps.
When the muscles of the neck contract involuntarily, it leads to a neck spasm. Neck spasms can cause stiffness and pain in the neck.
Some of the most common causes of neck spasms are prolonged or repetitive movements of the neck, using a computer or laptop for an extended period, turning awkwardly while sleeping, putting excessive weight on one shoulder or balancing a phone without using hands.
A Stiff Neck as a Result of Poor Posture
Posture directly affects the working of the neck and spine muscles. The most common cause of a stiff neck is straining of the neck muscles. There is a thin muscle known as the levator scapula muscle (found at the back and side of the neck) that connects the top of the cervical spine to the upper part of the shoulder. Two cervical nerves – C3 and C4 control this muscle and it is responsible for a wide range of neck movements like tilting the head or rotating it from side to side.
A poor posture, like slouching or hunching, over a period of time impacts the cervical curve and pulls the spine out of alignment.
The most common postures that lead to a stiff neck include excessive use of handheld devices like mobiles, tablets, laptops and more, which make a person tilt the head forward. This strains the muscles connecting the head and the neck.
Using pillows that are too thin or too high can also lead to stiffness since the neck is in one position and not well-supported.
The Link Between Stress and a Stiff Neck
Stress and anxiety lead to increased inflammation and tension in the muscles. The shoulder muscles tend to react to physical as well as emotional tension, leading to a strain on the neck. Stress causes the muscles to contract and tighten in an attempt to protect the body, and so a stiff neck often follows an episode of stress, fatigue or anxiety.
A general lack of rest and relaxation, consistently poor sleep, increased inflammation due to a sedentary lifestyle, bad habits like smoking and a poor diet can also contribute to the condition.
General Wear and Tear
With age, almost all joints and muscles tend to weaken. Similarly, the neck joint also begins to wear down with age. Cervical problems, osteoarthritis, and other degenerative conditions can cause stiffness in the neck.