Best Herbal Treatment & Relief Remedies For Neck And Shoulder Pain
More persons are being affected by neck and shoulder pain. And the fact that factors such as age and gender have little to do with this condition makes it more common. Bad contemporary lifestyle habits like a sedentary lifestyle can also worsen the situation.
Both neck pain and shoulder pain are primarily caused by injuries to the soft tissues in the neck and shoulder regions.
Neck pain and shoulder pain are closely related, in that they can be treated with similar methods. This is unrelated to the fact that the neck and shoulders are connected by nerves since they are proximally located.
Fortunately, neck and shoulder pain can be treated using various methods, including the use of anti-inflammatory medication, analgesics, and maybe antidepressants. While the majority of these mentioned remedies are quite effective, the problem, however, is that they come with adverse side effects.
What is neck and shoulder pain?
While neck pain is marked by a painful feeling around the neck region, shoulder pain is a similar condition that affects the muscles and ligaments of the shoulder.
Causes of neck and shoulder pain
Neck and shoulder pain can arise due to different reasons. While some are harmless, others are actually dangerous. Although the causes of shoulder pain may be different from the causes of neck pain, injury to the ligaments, tendons, or muscles around the neck and shoulder is the major cause of neck and shoulder pain.
Other causes of neck and shoulder pain include:
- Degenerative disorders
- Poor sleeping or sitting posture
- Strain in the muscles
- Heart attacks
- Broken collarbone
- Bursitis, or inflammation of the bursa in the shoulder
- Gallbladder disease
Signs and symptoms of neck and shoulder pain
The following are common signs of neck and shoulder pain
- Pain around the neck and/or shoulder, ultimately leading to a stiff neck or shoulder
- Numbness around the arm
- Discoloration of the skin
Natural remedies for neck and shoulder pain
- Olive oil.
Essential oils like olive oil can be used as natural remedies for neck pain and shoulder pain. Olive oil helps in stimulating blood flow and thereby, reduces any swelling and stiffness. Topical application of warm olive oil on the shoulders and neck is a natural method of treating this condition.
- Lavender oil.
Like olive oil, lavender oil can help in relaxing the stressed muscles of the shoulder and neck. The soothing effect of lavender oil will be helpful by dripping some drops of the oil into a hot bath and soaking in it. Alternatively, you can mix lavender oil with olive oil and warm the mixture, then, apply the mixture on the shoulder.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can benefit people suffering from neck and shoulder pain. This is mostly because of the presence of curcumin in turmeric, which is the source of the spice’s many medicinal properties. You can use this spice for this purpose by mixing it with warm milk and honey to drink, or by mixing it with coconut oil to apply topically on the affected area. It is important to note, however, that turmeric has blood-thinning properties and may adversely interfere with anticoagulants.
- Alfalfa Tea
Drinking alfalfa tea promotes blood circulation in the body which is important for reducing swellings. You can prepare alfalfa tea by adding dried alfalfa leaves to boiled water and straining afterward.
Garlic is more than a kitchen ingredient. This herbal plant has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Ginger is used in the treatment of several anti-inflammatory conditions. So its use as a remedy for neck and shoulder pain should be a no-brainer. Moreover, ginger helps to promote blood circulation in the body. For this purpose, drink two to three cups of ginger tea each day. To make ginger tea, simply add a tablespoon of crushed ginger to boiling water and filter.
- Apple cider vinegar.
Like most other remedies on this list, apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the swelling associated with neck and shoulder pain. You can drink a glass of warm water mixed with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and honey two times daily for seven days. Alternatively, you can soak yourself in a warm bath of water with 2 cups of apple cider vinegar added.
- Hot compress.
Another natural method of relieving shoulder and neck pain is by applying a hot compress. This method involves applying a hot water bag (filled with hot water) on the shoulder and the neck for about 15 minutes several times each day.
- Take a hot shower
Taking a shower of hot water will also help to relieve the pain in the muscles.
- Cold compress
Neck and shoulder pain can be as a result of inflammation of the soft tissues in the neck and shoulder. Using a cold compress is a natural remedy that can soothe the inflammation. You can try this method by applying the cold compress to the affected area for about 20 minutes three or four times daily.
- Epsom salts
Epsom salts are made of magnesium and sulfur. Magnesium helps the body by promoting blood circulation while sulfur also plays a role in relaxing strained muscles. Soaking yourself in a bath of warm or hot water with 2 cups of Epsom salt for about 25 minutes three times each week is a good way of reducing the symptoms of neck and shoulder pain.
Lime can be of great benefit in treating neck and shoulder pain, and even help in preventing them. For instance, one of the common causes of neck pain and shoulder pain is arthritis, which can be combated by using a mixture of lime and honey. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory effect of lime also plays a big part.
This list wouldn’t be complete without exercise. Exercises such as stretching the neck can help to reduce stiffness in the neck. Another beneficial exercise is nodding the head back and forth, and side to side, several times a day.
Gently massaging the shoulders and/or neck can help to reduce the tension in these regions. Moreover, massaging also helps to improve blood flow and aid in reducing stiffness in the neck and shoulders. Visit a professional massage therapist to get your shoulder and neck massaged. A word of caution though: you should not massage areas that cause pain.
- Blackstrap molasses.
While there are limited studies on the use of blackstrap molasses as a cure for neck and shoulder pain, the presence of magnesium in the liquid can be beneficial. You can mix blackstrap molasses with apple cider vinegar, honey, and ground ginger in water and drink every day.
- Black sesame.
Black sesame seeds are also helpful in curing neck and shoulder pain. To benefit from the pain-relieving property of black sesame soak some of the seeds in water for a minimum of 10 hours, then, consume with water.
- Coconut oil.
Coconut oil is a common home remedy for neck and shoulder pain. This is due to the fact that coconut oil possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help to relieve some of the symptoms of the conditions. You can sprinkle some coconut oil on your meals or apply it topically on the shoulders and neck.
Yoga postures such as tadasana (the standing mountain pose) or bhujangasana (cobra pose) can help in bringing relief to neck pain.
Naturopathic methods like acupuncture can be used in treating neck and shoulder pain. Acupuncture helps by promoting blood circulation which lowers the risk of inflammation.
- Devil’s claw
Native to Southern Africa, the devil’s claw has analgesic properties that can benefit people having neck pain. Several studies have discovered that neck pain can be reduced by taking this herb over several months.
- St John’s Wort
The anti-inflammatory properties of St. John’s Wort are quite helpful in the treatment of neck and shoulder pain. However, due to the fact that the herb interacts with several drugs, it can cause adverse effects. So it is recommended that you take this remedy after consultation with a doctor.
Compression treatment involves the application of equal pressure on an area so as to reduce swelling. You can reduce the swelling associated with shoulder pain by using a compression wrap around the affected shoulder. This wrap should remain for a number of days until there is some noticeable improvement in the symptoms. It is noteworthy to mention that the wrap should not be too tight which can prevent proper blood circulation, thereby, aggravating the condition.
In Traditional Chinese medicine, kudzu is used in the treatment of many health problems, including neck pain. According to research, kudzu can help in reducing inflammation in the neck region. This herb can be consumed in various forms such as in powdered form, or as a pill. Diabetics and women suffering from estrogen-sensitive cancers like breast cancer are advised to stay away from the kudzu.
- Cayenne pepper
Hot peppers like cayenne pepper have pain-relieving properties that can be used in treating problems like muscle pain. The presence of capsaicin in cayenne pepper is responsible for the pepper’s many medicinal properties. Apply a mixture of cayenne pepper, aloe vera gel and olive oil to the shoulders and neck to bring relief.
Mint has a cooling effect that can bring relief to the painful feeling in the neck and shoulder. Get some mint leaves and crush them to form a mushy paste, then, apply the crushed leaves on the neck and shoulders.
Given all the natural remedies listed herein, you should immediately visit your doctor when the symptoms of the neck and shoulder pain seem not to be improving.