Consider this: The reason why sleeping in an awkward position, slouching or stress always has you cracking your neck to release tension is because the area is not resilient. Instead of popping over-the-counter meds to relieve pain and inflammation, use exercise for a more permanent solution and strengthen the area. Try the lying face down plate exercise for neck resistance.
Step 1: Lie on your stomach on a flat bench with your shoulders off the bench. Hold a weighted plate at the back of your head.
Step 2: Slowly lower the head (breathe in) and raise it up (breathe out) to form semi-circles. If you are a beginner, you can leave out the weighted plate. Slow and steady is the key as sudden jerks can cause more pain.
This is a strength training exercise that tightens the tissues and fibers at the neck. Even though pregnancy is a reason for neck pain, expectant mothers should not try this exercise and instead opt for stretches. You can also soothe the pain with lavender oil or an analgesic balm prepared with coconut oil, beeswax, peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil. The isolation exercise targets all the stiff areas to give you full range of motion.