Crick in the Neck Causing Discomfort? Try These Remedies!

Updated on December 20th, 2019
how to get rid of a crick in your neck

Have you ever had the feeling that you are unable to turn your neck to one side? The neck muscles feel stiff, and your range of motion reduces. A crick in your neck is the reason for this stiffness. Everyone has experienced it at some point in life. The most common causes for cricks in the neck(1) are wrong sleeping positions, heavy work, strain from a workout, and an inappropriate height of the pillow.

A crick in the neck is not painful, but it does cause significant discomfort. The good news is that you can treat it using simple remedies, such as performing certain stretches and consuming certain foods.

How to get rid of a Crick in your Neck?

CURE 1: Stretches to Relieve Crick in the Neck

Stretches are the easiest, the cheapest, and the best treatment for a crick in the neck. Here are a few that you can try at home.

1. Behind the Back Neck Stretch

Why Does it Work?

Behind the back neck, stretch is one of the best stretches to relieve a crick in the neck since it works on the sides of the neck. It is a deep stretch that can relieve muscle tension in the sides of the neck.

How to Do it?

Start with your arms by your side and feet hip-width apart. Bring both your arms to your back and hold the wrist of your left arm with your right hand. Gently pull your arms away from yourself. While doing this, bend your head towards the right by bringing the right ear closer to the shoulder. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then bend your head towards the left. Hold again for 30 seconds.

How Often to Do it?

You can repeat this stretch once every one or two hours till you get relief from the crick in your neck.

[ Read: Natural Remedies to Relieve Neck Pain ]

2. Neck Rotation

Neck Rotation

Why Does it Work?

Neck rotation is another simple stretch that offers great relief from a crick in the neck. It works on the muscles on the sides of the neck and relieves stiffness.

How to Do it?

Start by looking straight with your shoulders relaxed. Now turn your head to the left while maintaining the same eye level. You should experience a gentle stretch on the right side of your neck. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Now repeat the same by turning your head to the right side. Hold for 30 seconds again.

How Often to Do it?

You can repeat this stretch as often as you prefer.

3. Lateral Neck Flexion

neck stretching

Why Does it Work?

Lateral neck flexion stretch works on your shoulders as well as your neck muscles. A crick in the neck limits the range of motion of your neck – a lateral neck flexion stretch loosens the muscles on the sides of the neck and improves mobility.

How to Do it?

Start by sitting upright with your shoulders pulled back and downwards. Now bend your neck laterally and bring your ears close to your shoulders on the left side. After holding this position for 15 seconds, return to the starting position. Now repeat on the right side.

How Often to Do it?

You can do this stretch once every four hours.

[ Read: Natural Remedies for Sore Muscles ]

CURE 2: Foods

While the stretches help in treating the crick once it occurs, certain food items can help prevent as well as manage the cricks.

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Why Does it Work?

Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent anti-inflammatory agents. The crick in the neck is often accompanied with some swelling and inflammation. Consuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can help in reducing the inflammation(2). Foods high in these fatty acids are fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and soybeans.

How to Use it?

You can make fatty fish a part of your lunch or dinner. You can also consume walnuts as a snack. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts can also be added to salads for an added crunch. You can also make chia seed pudding for dessert.

How Much to Use?

You need to consume around 250 to 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids every day to satisfy your daily requirements. Aim for 500 mg if you are trying to boost the anti-inflammatory response of the body.

2. Antioxidants and Fibre


Why Does it Work?

Foods that are high in fiber and antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables play a part in reducing the oxidative stress on the body and in reducing inflammation. When you consume more antioxidants and fibers, the level of CRPs or C-Reactive proteins in your diet decreases(3). This protein is an indicator of the inflammation.

How to Use it?

Make sure you have a side of vegetables in all three major meals of the day. Steaming them or having them raw is the best way to consume vegetables since it requires zero fat. You should also try to consume more salads. You can add fruits to smoothies or consume them as a whole.

How Much to Use?

You can make fruits and vegetables a part of all your meals as well as snacks. The more you have, the better it is.

3. Calcium and Vitamin D

Why Does it Work?

Calcium plays a crucial role in maintaining good bone health(4). When the bones in your neck are healthy, it will be able to handle the stress better, thus reducing the chances of the development of a crick in the neck.

Vitamin D plays a part in the absorption of calcium. It is not just enough to consume calcium-rich foods; you also need to consume foods high in vitamin D.

How to Use it?

Try to add beans, sardines, salmon, milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. to your diet as these are rich in calcium. Egg yolks, liver, fortified dairy, etc. are some of the best sources of vitamin D.

How Much to Use?

Aim to consume around 1000 to 1500 mg of calcium and 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D every day.

Getting rid of a crick in your neck is a problem with simple solutions. Try to include the foods mentioned above in your daily diet to prevent the occurrence of the cricks. When you do end up with a crick, try the stretches to get some relief.

[ Read: Best Foods for Inflammation ]


1. What is a crick in the neck?

The feeling of stiffness around the lower neck and shoulder blades is called a crick in the neck.

2. How to get a crick out of your neck?

You can try the stretches in addition to increasing the consumption of the foods mentioned above to get rid of the crick in your neck.

3. How long does a crick in the neck last?

Cricks in the neck usually last around two to three days. It will last for a shorter duration if you do the stretches mentioned above.

4. How to sleep with a crick in your neck?

Sleeping with a crick in your neck can be painful. Make sure to use a pillow that is neither too high nor too low. Also, try to keep your spine straight when you are sleeping.

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