More and more people are turning to natural and alternative treatments to manage their symptoms of pain. One type of pain that is often experienced is neck pain. Are you one of the many people who live with neck pain? Have you ever wondered, "What treatment options are there managing the pain you feel in your neck?" Craniosacral therapy is one option you may consider using. But, before you do, a little research is always a good idea.

Craniosacral Therapy for Neck Pain

Did you know that 20% to 70% of people will experience neck pain at some point in their life that that makes it challenging to complete day-to-day activities? Taking pain medications can be useful, but it is not always something that is desirable because of potential side effects. Craniosacral therapy can work as a preventative measure and treatment option for neck pain.

How Craniosacral Therapy Works for Neck Pain

Secondary conditions or injuries often cause neck pain. It can also be caused by small misalignments in the skull structure and cerebrospinal fluid restrictions or blockages. This is where craniosacral therapy can be helpful and beneficial. According to this one study on the impact craniosacral treatment can have on neck pain, there are four ways it works for neck pain:

  1. Reduction: Reduction in intrafascial muscle cells

  2. Minimized: Minimised muscles tension

  3. Increased: Increased response of the parasympathetic nervous system

  4. Higher levels: Higher levels of vagal tones

Is it Effective?

When it comes to deciphering how effective craniosacral therapy is for neck pain there have has not been many studies conducted on the matter. What this means is that more studies and trials are recommended. The good news? The one study on craniosacral therapy and is effective for neck pain showed promising findings. Let's find out more about that study and its conclusions.

Findings Of Craniosacral Therapy and Effectiveness

The one study conducted had two different groups in their research. The first group received eight weeks of weekly treatments of craniosacral therapy. The second group received sham treatments over the course of eight weeks. This is what the study found through the process of the research that was conducted:

  1. Long term effects: The study also did a follow up on at the 20-week marker of the study. 77.8% of the participants in the craniosacral therapy group continued to positive management of their neck pain versus only 51.9 percent of the sham participants.

  2. 20% pain reduction: The group of participants who received craniosacral therapy experienced a 20% decrease in neck pain. This level of pain reduction was reported by 74.1% of the group. Or the group that received sham therapy - only 40.7% of the group reported experiencing any changes in decreased levels of neck pain.

  3. 50% pain reduction: By week eight, a 50% pain decrease was experienced by 44.4% of the participants in the craniosacral group, whereas only 14.8% of the participants in the sham group reported a 50% drop in neck pain levels.

How Many Treatments will I Need?

The number of treatments that you will need will depend on many aspects including:

  • Severity of pain

  • Reason for neck pain

  • Overall health and wellness

  • Responsiveness to treatment

You may find that after one session you experience progress and a reduction in the level of pain that you feel. Like the study, eight sessions is what is typically suggested. However, you may find yourself needing more or less number of sessions. One great action you can take when trying to understand how many sessions of craniosacral therapy you will need is to talk to the practitioner who is serving and treating you. Together, you can create and formulate the best treatment for meeting your short-term and long term needs for managing neck pain.

3 Alternative Treatment Options

If you live with neck pain, some people have more significant progress with different treatments compared to others. Other times using other therapies in conjunction and simultaneously can yield positive results. If you do choose to go this route of using more than one therapy at a time, just make sure all the practitioners and doctors know what you are you using to help with managing your neck pain. That being said, here is a list of three other therapies and alternative treatments that may help you with managing neck pain:

  1. Acupuncture

  2. Massage

  3. Hypnotherapy

What will it Cost?

The cost of craniosacral therapy for neck pain will depend greatly on where you live, the number of sessions, and packages and discounts that you may qualify for.

Average cost per session: The average price per session in the country is $70-$170.

Average total cost: $700 on the low end and $1,700 on the high end.

Want more information about craniosacral therapy and its costs, read: How Much Does Craniosacral Therapy Cost?

References :

Haller, H., Lauche, R., Cramer, H., Rampp, T., Saha, F. J., Ostermann, T., & Dobos, G. (2016). Craniosacral Therapy for the Treatment of Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Sham-controlled Trial. The Clinical journal of pain, 32(5), 441-9. Retrieved March 12, 2019, from

Sinnott, P. L., Dally, S. K., Trafton, J., Goulet, J. L., & Wagner, T. H. (2017). Trends in diagnosis of painful neck and back conditions, 2002 to 2011. Medicine, 96(20), e6691.Retrieved March 12, 2019, from