When something or someone is bothering us, we call them “a pain in the neck.” This phrase must have been created by someone who knew that there is little that’s worse than nagging, persistent neck pain. Unless you have had neck pain – or pain in your upper back or shoulders – you never realize how important the neck and upper trunk are to your body and every aspect of movement. For those who suffer from neck pain though, there is a product that may offer some relief from the daily struggle: a neck hammock.
The best neck hammock consists of a sling that goes around the back of your head and a strap system that either attaches to an apparatus or a common household fixture like a door handle or a pole. The neck hammock helps gently pull your head up and away from your spine. Putting your head in traction like this may offer multiple benefits to those who suffer from temporary or chronic neck and upper back and shoulder pain. This position helps releases the pressure that your head puts on your neck and spine and increases blood flow in that area. This can help relieve pain and promote healing.
There are many neck hammocks on the market and this best neck hammock list can help you decide which product is best for you. While these products all work in much the same way, you can differentiate between your choices on a number of levels. The style, design, materials, price point, and accessories that come with each neck hammock vary. Depending on what you are looking for, one of the products on this best neck hammock list is right for you. Here are the best neck hammocks to buy in 2020.
1. The Neck Hammock Portable Cervical Traction Device for Neck Pain Relief and Physical Therapy
This Neck Hammock is the original patented device invented by licensed physical therapist Dr. Steve Sudell Jr. Created to hold your head in traction and gently pull the head away from the neck, the hammock helps release tension on the spinal cord which, in turn, helps relieve neck, upper back, and upper shoulder pain.
You can use the Neck Hammock almost anywhere by wrapping the medical-grade adjustable straps around a pole, post, doorknob, or door jam. Using the product just 10 minutes a day may help not only relieve pain but can decompress the neck joints and cervical discs, as well as provide pain relief through stretching the muscles and oxygenating blood flow. The Neck Hammock is the brand name product on this list; it is among the most expensive too, but if you want the original and one of the best, you have to pay a premium.
2. Bodytechnix Neck Head Hammock Kit for Back & Neck Pain Relief | Neck Stretcher & Cervical Neck Traction Device | Spine Decompression Neck Pillow for Physical Therapy
This neck hammock by Bodytechnix is a full-service relaxation and pain relief kit. The package comes with the neck hammock which is adjustable, ergonomically designed, and can be attached to a variety of places to give you the traction you need. The neck harness is extra soft and padded and can also double as a neck pillow that you can use in bed or on a flight. This kit also comes with some relaxing accessories that you will enjoy. There is a handy carrying case along with an eye mask, earplugs, a massage ball, and a fitness resistance band. This comes with everything you need to stay fit, strong, relaxed, and pain-free at home or on the go.
3. Neck Relief Hammock Portable Head Hammock for Shoulder Neck Pain, Cervical Traction Shoulder Support Back Stretcher with Foldable Hammock Stand
Although it is the most expensive neck hammock on the list, this makes the best neck hammock list because it is the only one that comes with a stand you can use to attach the neck hammock to. This makes it easy to use this neck hammock anywhere. The stand conveniently folds down for storage and transport and is easy to assemble and set up both initially and time and time again. Once you set up the stand, you simply hang the neck hammock from the hook and you are ready to go. BinROC’s neck hammock with stand means you no longer have to compromise position or comfort to use your neck hammock;, you can set this stand up and use it anywhere.
4. Neck Hammock, Neck Stretcher Cervical Traction, Neck Hammock for Neck Pain Traction, Neck Traction with Adjustable Neck Strap
This makes the best neck hammock list because it provides everything you need to stretch out your neck and spine on the go. The material and the craftsmanship of the equipment that comes with this kit is top-notch. It has strong carabiner clips and plastic hooks, an elastic band with good tension, and durable adjustable straps. The neck harness is comfortable and the whole thing comes with a nice bag for easy transport as well as an eye mask and a door hanger safety sign.. This is a no muss, no fuss kit that is a good value for the price and will meet all your neck hammock needs.
5. Fronnor Neck Traction Hammock for Neck Pain Relief, Head Hammock with Durable Elastic Safety Cords & Adjustable Straps, Cervical Traction Device Neck Stretcher for Muscle Relaxation & Physical Therapy
This is a high-quality neck hammock that will be durable and long-lasting. The head harness is larger and fuller than many of the other neck hammocks on this list and is made from 100% cotton and memory impact foam. It is supportive and comfortable and, especially for people with larger heads, will have no problem giving you the support you need. The ergonomic design also affords users the utmost comfort. This is one of the lowest priced neck hammocks on this list and, although you do not get some of the accessories you receive with other, more expensive kits, this is a great value for the quality.
6. TROPRO Neck Cervical Traction Device for Neck Shoulder Pain Relief and Physical Therapy, Portable Neck Support Stretcher, Relaxation Sling with Eye Mask and Carry Pouch
This neck hammock comes from TROPRO, a company that fully stands behind their products. This is a well-made, quality hammock but if there ever are any problems, TOPRP will be there to help. They offer 24-hour customer service as well as a lifetime warranty. If anything ever goes wrong with this product, the company will replace it. The other nice feature of this neck hammock is the memory foam in the head harness. Some head harnesses will dig into your scalp or behind your ears with too much use. The memory foam inside this harness will be very comfortable and let you hang for as long and as often as you need to.
7. Horatii Breathable Velvet Cervical Neck Traction Device, Neck Stretcher with Durable Reinforced Elastic Safety Cords & Adjustable Straps for Neck Back Pain Relief
The two best elements of this Cosy Life neck hammock are its comfort and style. On the style front, this is one good-looking piece of equipment. The head harness has brown velvet on the inside and each pad is trimmed with black. While most of the products on this list are the standard black and gray, this one stands out as one of the best looking. In the comfort front, in addition to the feel of velvet against your skin, there is also a major design element that adds to the comfort level. Ear cutouts on either side of the harness allow your skin and your ears to breathe. Having your head and ears get sweaty during a hanging session is a common problem, and this design allows for maximum airflow to prevent discomfort.
8. VOKKA Neck Traction Hammock for Neck Pain Relief, Head Hammock with Durable Elastic Safety Cords & Adjustable Straps, Cervical Traction Device/Stretcher for Muscle Relaxation & Physical Therapy
Strong, safe, and comfortable are the three things that this VOKKA neck hammock stakes its name on. Three features differentiate the VOKKA hammock from other, similar products on the market. One is that the head harness is ergonomically designed and has adjustable pads so you can find the ideal comfort configuration for you. Secondly, instead of one elastic cord holding your head up, this product has four cords making it stronger and more stable. The third thing that sets this apart from competitors is that it has a reinforced nylon strap and an additional safety band so you don’t have to worry about the equipment snapping and the user getting injured.
9. Bonsai Wellness Cervical Traction Hammock for Neck and Head-Chiropractic Alignment Stretching Device for Neck Shoulder and Back Pain Portable Physical Therapy Relief for Headaches Migraine and Stress
This neck hammock does not look like a piece of medical equipment like many of the pieces on this list. The black exterior’s attractive quilted pattern says relaxing spa rather than sterile rehab. The product is also versatile. The strap’s custom hooking system has connectors that easily adapt to not only a door frame or a rail but a door jamb as well. Because of the looks and functionality of this neck hammock, you can feel totally comfortable using it anywhere.
10. JCWJ Neck Head Hammock Traction Massager Cervical Tools Posture Pain Relief Relaxation with Free Eye Mask
This is another simple and straightforward kit that is very good value for the money. Even though this is another of the lowest price pieces of equipment on this list, it includes everything you need to use effectively or to give as a gift. In addition to the pieces for the neck hammock – which includes the harness as well as the straps, band, and hooks – you also get a nice black drawstring bag to store the hammock or pack it for travel. An included soft eye mask will help you rest and relax while the hammock takes the strain off your neck and spine. This is everything you need for under $30–a great deal.
11. A&R Premium Hammock for Neck Pain – Cervical Neck Traction Device for Pain Relief – Neck Stretcher for Shoulder, Muscle & Head Discomfort – Adjustable Portable Neck Sling for Physical Therapy + Free eBook
If you are planning on taking your neck hammock on the road with you for personal or business travel, this is a great product to choose. It’s a sensational and durable kit and will look good and travel well. In addition to the lightweight neck hammock, you also get a travel bag, an instruction card with clear pictures, a sleep mask, and even a door hanger that says, “Please don’t disturb relief is in session.” It is a great package that not only makes a very good travel neck hammock kit but is an excellent gift that anyone who suffers from neck or neck-related pain will cherish.
12. TOPIDEX Head Hammock – Cervical Traction Device Neck Pain and Tension Relief – Includes Massage Roller Ball for Deep Tissue Massage, Sleep Mask and Travel-Friendly Drawstring Storage Bag
With its thick padding, sturdy straps, strong hooks, and convenient travel bag, what else would you want from this neck hammock kit? You may not know it now but the answer is an essential oil massage ball! This addition to the set is an amazing extra that complements the relief and relaxation elements of a neck hammock perfectly. With its white grip, you can roll this healing blue ball across the tension-filled areas of your body and massage away all the muscle stiffness. It is perfect for your neck and shoulders especially when you can’t be in the hammock. You can also put essential oil in the ball to be released as you roll and to add to your healing and good feelings.
How Do I Properly Use a Neck Hammock?
Like any piece of fitness or medical equipment, safety should be a top concern when using your neck hammock. Below are some general, suggested ways to set up and use your neck hammock. They are simply some best practices, but you should always follow the instructions that come with your specific equipment and consult your physician or physical therapist before using this type of product.
How to set up your neck hammock
There are two main anchors you use to set up your neck hammock. You can use a doorknob or some type of rail or post, like the one you may find on a bed headboard. Some neck hammocks may come with different types of straps and equipment that allow for other anchors to be used, but these are the two most common.
On a doorknob use the long strap
With many neck hammocks, you can create an arch from either side of the harness with the provided straps or bands and hang that over a door handle. Some models have a single connector strap that has a loop to put over the handle.
For the most secure results, if possible, hook the hammock to the handle on the opposite side of the door where you plan to lay. Also, make sure you lock the door if you can to prevent someone from coming through or the door from popping open.
On a Railing/Bed Frame
On any type of post, you want to take the loop (or create a loop), pass it over the post, and thread the rest of the straps or harness through the loop, underneath the post. This will create a secure knot around the post that will tighten and stay secured as you put more tension on the harness.
How to use your neck hammock:
Once you have properly and securely fastened your neck hammock to a stable anchor, here are a few tips on how to best use the equipment.
Start by hanging for 5 minutes, especially the first few times if you have never used a neck hammock before. Just like stretching any part of your body, if you do too much, too fast, you can end up hurting your body more than helping.
Once you (pardon the pun) get the hang of it, you can work your way up toward longer hang times. Most neck hammocks suggest that you use their products for 10 to 20-minute hanging sessions.
When hanging your neck hammock from a door, headboard, post, or hook, you want the harness to be approximately 4 inches off the floor. A good way to judge this is by making your hands into fists. Depending on your hand size, 4 inches will be somewhere between 1 and 2 fist lengths.
To get the angle right on the head harness, you will want to lay down with your head approximately 12 to 18 inches away from the door, railing, headboard, etc., where you hook the harness.
NOTE: Although the product is called a neck hammock, the harness is meant to hold the back of your head. Make sure the harness sits over the base of your skull and firmly on the back to upper back of your head.
How Do I Know if I Neck Hammock Makes Sense for Me?
If you are a person who experiences bouts of occasional neck, upper back or shoulder pain, chronic pain, or any condition such as headaches or loss of sleep due to spinal compression or other neck-related issues, a neck hammock may be right for you. Like any type of home physical therapy equipment, it is always recommended that you talk to your physician or physical therapist before using this type of device. If you are interested in finding out if the benefits of a neck hammock will be right for your specific problem, here are a few of the main issues a neck hammock may be able to help alleviate.
For many people, long hours behind the wheel of a vehicle or hunched over a computer can cause neck and upper back discomfort or even chronic pain. Using a neck hammock can relieve the tension after you spend a long day hunched over in the same position.
One of the biggest causes of neck and upper back pain is poor posture. If the way you stand or sit is affecting your spine, a neck hammock, along with other exercises and physical therapy tools can be a great way to both ease the pain caused by your poor posture and start taking steps to correct the core issue.
Sleeping the wrong way can cause neck pain and neck pain can also make it hard for you to fall or stay asleep. Improving the blood flow and taking pressure off your neck may make sleep easier or help lessen pain after sleeping on your neck the wrong way.
Chronic neck and shoulder pain
For people who suffer from chronic pain, a few neck hammock sessions throughout the day may relieve some of that pain and allow you a few hours that follow where the pain subsides to a manageable level or even goes away.
Headaches, migraines, and other such pain may be a result of excess pressure on the top of your spine. To help stop these headaches from happening or treat them when they start to present, a neck hammock may be a good, non-pharmaceutical treatment option.
If you or a loved one suffers from a severe condition related to spine and neck issues, you should first speak to your physician or physical therapist and get their informed medical opinion on whether a neck hammock is advisable for alleviating symptoms.