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Cervical pain or neck pain is the feeling of discomfort in the region of the neck, including the muscles, nerves, vertebrae, joints and the discs between the vertebrae. Cervical pain can arise anywhere in the neck, from the base of the head to the top of the shoulders and can even radiate to the upper back or arms. It is very common, particularly in people above age 50. Cervical pain usually gets better within a few days and is rarely a cause for concern. If the symptoms persist for longer than three months, it is said to be chronic neck pain.

The most common causes of neck pain include twisting of neck while sleeping in an awkward position, bad posture, tension, an injury such as muscle strain, rheumatoid arthritis and wear and tear in the cervical bones as a normal part of ageing. Some rare medical problems associated with cervical pain are ruptured disc, cancer, infection of the spine, inflammatory diseases such as meningitis, spinal stenosis, fractures of the spine, osteoporosis and conditions such as fibromyalgia. The conventional treatments for cervical pain include use of pain killers, hot or cold compress, neck exercises and sleeping on a low, firm pillow.

Homeopathy is a holistic mode of treatment that aims to treat the whole individual rather then just symptomatic management. Homeopathic doctors also consider the physical and mental characteristics of the person along with their tendency to suffer from certain conditions to prescribe a unique remedy that suits the patient well. Some of the homeopathy medicines that are used for the treatment of cervical pain include aconitum napellus, belladonna, cimicifuga racemosa, conium maculatum, gelsemium sempervirens, guajacum officinale, hypericum perforatum, juglans cinerea and rhus toxicodendron.

(Read more: Home remedies for neck pain)

  1. Homeopathic medicines for cervical pain
  2. Dietry and lifestyle changes for cervical pain patients as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for cervical pain
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatment for cervical pain
  5. Takeaway

Homeopathic doctors recommend the following remedies to treat cervical pain:

  • Aconitum Napellus
    Common Name:
    Monkshood
    Symptoms: Aconite is typically given to individuals who have an extreme fear of death and of the future. Such people display the following symptoms:

Symptoms worsen in the evening and in cold and dry weather, on lying on the affected side, and from music. Symptoms improve in open air.

  • Belladonna
    Common Name:
    Deadly nightshade
    Symptoms: Individuals who respond to this remedy tend to live in their own world and have a constant desire to escape. They experience the following symptoms:

Symptoms worsen in the afternoon, on lying down or on touching the affected area. Symptoms improve when the patient sits in a semi-erect position.

  • Cimicifuga Racemosa
    Common Name:
    Black snake-root
    Symptoms: This remedy works well for depressed individuals who keep on talking constantly. The following symptoms can be treated with cimicifuga racemosa:

    • Violent delirium with tremors
    • Cervical spine area sensitive to touch
    • Pulsating headache on stressing too much 
    • Stiffness and spasms in neck
    • Intense pain in eyes
    • Rheumatic pain in neck muscles like from an electric shock

Symptoms worsen in cold weather, in the morning, and during periods in women. All complaints subside when the patient eats or applies warmth to the affected area.

  • Conium Maculatum
    Common Name:
    Poison hemlock
    Symptoms: Poison hemlock works for those who are fearful and do not like to be left alone. The following symptoms indicate a need for this remedy:

    • Weak memory
    • Pain between shoulders
    • Mental and physical weakness
    • Vertigo, especially on turning one's head sideways or when lying down in bed 
    • Sensitiveness to light and watery eyes

Symptoms worsen with exertion, on lying down, and before and during menstruation. Symptoms improve in the dark, on applying pressure on the affected area and on letting one's limbs hang down.

  • Gelsemium Sempervirens
    Common Name:
    Yellow jasmine
    Symptoms: Patients who benefit from this remedy have some of the following symptoms:

    • Extreme pain in neck
    • Dizziness and drowsiness
    • Vertigo
    • Muscular weakness
    • A sensation of heaviness in the head
    • Lack of muscular coordination
    • Blurred vision
    • A feeling as if one's muscles are bruised
    • A dull ache in the lower back that travels upward

Symptoms aggravate in humid and damp weather such as before a thunderstorm, on smoking, and on thinking of the disease. Symptoms are relieved in open air, on stooping, and after profuse urination.

  • Guajacum Officinale
    Common Name:
    Resin of lignum vitae
    Symptoms: Guajacum is frequently used for addressing the following symptoms:

    • Pain from head to neck
    • Stitching pain between the shoulder blades and the back of the head
    • Stiff neck
    • Gouty and rheumatic pain in head and face that extends to the neck
    • Aching in the nape of the neck

Symptoms worsen in cold and rainy weather and on touching the affected area. All complaints improve with external pressure.

  • Hypericum Perforatum
    Common Name:
    St. John’s-wort
    Symptoms: Hypericum is administered to individuals who report: 

    • Feelings as if they are being lifted in air or their head is elongated
    • Aching in the right side of face
    • A sensation of heaviness in the head 
    • Nausea
    • Shooting pain in shoulders
    • Pain in nape of neck
    • Jerking and twitching of neck muscles
    • Crawling sensation in hands and feet

Symptoms worsen in damp and cold environment, and on touching the affected area. Symptoms improve on bending one's head backwards.

  • Juglans Cinerea
    Common Name:
    Butternut
    Symptoms: The following symptoms are presented by individuals who benefit from this remedy:

    • Sharp pain in the upper neck and back of the head
    • Bitter taste in mouth and throat
    • Stiff neck
    • Feeling of head being enlarged
    • Pain under sternum (breastbone)
    • Pain between scapulae (shoulder blades)

Symptoms worsen with walking and get better with exercise, and on waking up in the morning.

  • Rhus Toxicodendron
    Common Name:
    Poison-ivy
    Symptoms: Rhus is administered to restless individuals who often have suicidal thoughts. It helps treat the following symptoms:

    • Inability to concentrate or think clearly
    • Vertigo
    • Swelling in face
    • Heaviness in head
    • Cracking of jaws when chewing
    • Pain between shoulders while swallowing food
    • Pain and stiffness in the nape of neck

Symptoms worsen in cold and rainy weather, while sleeping or resting, and when lying on the back or right side. Symptoms are relieved on stretching out arms, changing positions, rubbing, and warm applications.

Considering that homeopathic remedies are given in minute doses, homeopathic doctors suggest the following lifestyle modifications to their patients to ensure that they get optimal benefit from the treatment:  

Do’s:

Don’ts: 

  • Avoid beverages such as coffee, tea, beer made with medicinal substances and all kinds of punch.
  • Highly spicy food, ice-creams, medicinal herbs, onions, celery, garlic, stale cheese and meat must also be avoided.
  • Do not consume foods that are too salty or sweet.
  • Avoid using strong-scented perfumes, talc or other perfumed body products.
  • Avoid sitting in the same posture for a long duration.
  • Avoid woollen clothing and artificial temperature controlling sources such as air conditioning or heaters. 

Homeopathic medicines provide symptomatic relief for patients with cervical pain. There are a few studies that show that these remedies do have therapeutic benefits and are more than just placebos. 

A case study including 10 patients with cervical spondylitis indicated that homeopathy is helpful in relieving neck pain, neck stiffness, vertigo, referred symptoms of tingling/numbness and restricted neck movement associated with the condition.

These medicines not only manage the pain but also address the underlying cause so that the condition does not recur. This is done by triggering and strengthening the immune system to heal the body as well as restore the overall health of the patient. Furthermore, these medicines are safe to use in people of all ages as they are prepared from natural sources.

In a case study, a 65-year-old female with right-sided neck pain due to rheumatism was treated successfully with homeopathic medicines. In another case study, a 45-year-old female who had pain from her neck down caused due to depression and fibromyalgia was treated for her symptoms with a homeopathic remedy, calcarea carbonica. The women started to get relief from the pain within three months of the treatment.

Homeopathic medicines are made from natural substances that are highly diluted before use. Thus, they are safe and do not show any side effects. There are no known reports on drug interactions between conventional and homeopathic medicines. So homeopathic remedies can be taken as an add on treatment for cervical pain.

However, it is important to consult a certified homeopathic practitioner for selecting the correct remedy. Not every remedy works the same for everyone.

Cervical pain or neck pain is the sensation of discomfort in the neck area. It is a common complaint, primarily observed in the elderly. In rare cases, neck pain can be due to a more serious problem like fibromyalgia, ruptured disc or infections of the spine.

Homeopathic treatment aims to get to the root of such diseases in each patient by studying their physical, intellectual and mental characteristics. Homeopathic remedies are made from natural substances and are hence regarded as safe and effective. The right remedy not only reduces the neck pain but also helps keep the pain from recurring. 

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References

  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Neck pain
  2. Nidirect [Internet]. Government of Northern Ireland; Neck pain and stiff neck
  3. [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006. 2010 Aug 24 Neck pain: Overview.
  4. Health on the Net Foundation. Neck pain. Australia; [internet]
  5. Versus Arthritis. Neck pain. UK; [internet]
  6. William Boericke. Homoeopathic Materia Medica. Kessinger Publishing: Médi-T 1999, Volume 1
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