About Neck Hammock

By Anthony Dugarte, M.D., C.S.C.S
Updated on: Mar 17, 2020

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What is The Neck Hammock?

The Neck Hammock is a head sling device designed to relieve neck pain.

More than half of US adults experience some form of muscle or bone pain, while about 14% of these individuals report neck pain.

Fortunately, cases often resolve on their own though many can experience related symptoms for years. Your neck pain may vary regarding the duration, severity, and the underlying cause of your symptoms.

With so much variability, finding a solution can be challenging.

Conservatively, traditional management often includes bracing, stretching and strengthening physical therapy, or over the counter pain medications. More serious cases may even require invasive measures like steroid injections or even surgery.

The Neck Hammock claims to offer another option. According to their site, you can stretch your neck muscles with daily use of their portable sling.

In this article, we’ll help you answer this question by reviewing the available scientific support for the Neck Hammock.

How Does the Neck Hammock Work?

The Neck Hammock works through the principle of cervical traction.

Whereas compressive forces (gravity, for example) bring your vertebrae together, traction works in the opposite direction to promote space between them.

According to their site, this method will:

  • Relax and stretch neck muscles
  • Promote blood flow
  • Release pinched nerves
  • Reduce bulging discs
  • Alleviate pressure

The Neck Hammock claims that you can experience these benefits in 10-minutes or less by following a few simple steps:

  1. Secure strap loop around a doorknob, in the door jamb, or around a pole or post.
  2. Pull the strap tight and attach the bungee strap
  3. Wrap the hammock around the base of your head, close your eyes, and relax.

There are a few things to note when your head is in the hammock. First, it should rest 2-4 inches off the ground. The higher it is off the ground, the greater the stretch.

Next, the Neck Hammock suggests “listening” to your body. If your neck is uncomfortable, move your body closer to the door to reduce the tension. If your pain increases or you get a headache, discontinue use.

Lastly, start at 10-minutes and work your way up. For the most relief, you may require 2-3 15-minute sessions daily.

Is There Any Scientific Support?

Though portable slings like the Neck Hammock seem to be gaining popularity, the idea of cervical traction is not a new one. This method of pain relief has been well-studied, though direct comparisons are challenging as there are so many forms of tractions.

Nonetheless, we’ll highlight some studies to help you determine if there is any merit to the Neck Hammock’s claims.

A 1995 review of 3 trials concluded that study designs were too poor to form a valid recommendation for the use of cervical traction.

These findings were corroborated in a 2006 review that included 10 trials. Only one was considered to be of high quality. Thus they found support for the use of traction was inconclusive as many of the available studies had research design flaws.

A recent review of 5 randomized studies, cervical traction significantly improved pain in the short and intermediate-term in patients with inflamed cervical nerves.

Another study compared a portable head sling that applied traction through 10-12lbs of added resistance.

Patients with arthritis that were randomized to treatment with the traction device and physical therapy experienced a greater improvement in pain when compared to those that had physical therapy alone. These findings were not statistically significant, however.

Despite mixed results, traction is a popular means of treating various sources of neck pain. In a 2017 survey of physical therapists, more than ¾ of those who responded reported regularly using this method of treatment.

The true benefits remain unclear, though the Neck Hammock may be advantageous when used in conjunction with the other available forms of pain relief.

Is the Neck Hammock Safe?

The Neck Hammock is an FDA approved medical device and is generally safe to use. This does not mean that it is ideal for everyone, however.

Though adverse events were previously reported in just 2% of those receiving cervical traction, the risk may be greater in certain individuals.

Use can be dangerous for children or in those with more serious sources of neck pain like spinal instability, infection, arthritis, or neck tumors.

Also, traction is not intended to replace other methods of management like exercise, postural education, or joint mobilization, but rather to supplement these interventions.

As the source of your neck pain can be related to a serious underlying medical condition, you should work with a doctor to identify the cause before taking treatment measures into your own hands.

The Neck Hammock Cost

The Neck Hammock retails for $79.99, though it is currently available for $49.99 through their site, as well as at Amazon. You’ll save on shipping with the latter as it is prime eligible.

According to the Neck Hammock website, they’ll back your purchase with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

If you’re unsatisfied, simply email support at service@neckhammock.com and provide your order number within 30-days.

Next, you will be emailed a free UPS shipping label. Re-package your Neck Hammock and leave your return shipment at any UPS drop-off location.

Neck Hammock

Buy Neck Hammock from Amazon:

Neck Hammock costs $49.99 on Amazon, with free shipping.

$49.99 from Amazon

Available Alternatives

Cervical traction is not a recent phenomenon. Thus, there are many similarly designed portable slings available for purchase.

You can compare the different products at sites like Amazon.

Though some of the designs differ, traction devices most similar to the Neck Hammock seem to range from $20 - $50.

An even more cost-effective option would be using a towel you have lying around the house. Follow these easy steps to transform an ordinary towel into a cervical traction device.

The Bottom Line

While support for the Neck Hammock is mixed, the upside is achieving neck pain relief with a relatively inexpensive and simple treatment option.

Over 800 users rate the Neck Hammock 4-stars at Amazon. Nearly 60% of reviews were 5-star; happy customers report immediate relief or success where other treatment options failed.

Multiple users that were unhappy with the product reported the buckle breaking causing the stretched bungee strap to “slingshot” directly into their eye/face.

Though this seems to be a rare occurrence, it is another potential cause of harm. The use of the sling may also pose a risk in those with more serious sources of neck pain.

Make sure you work with a doctor to first identify the cause of your symptoms to determine if the Neck Hammock is a safe and effective management option.

Customer Reviews

Start your review of Neck Hammock:
  • 24 Customer Reviews
  • 83% Recommend This Product
4.3 out of 5
5 star: 75% 4 star: 8% 3 star: 4% 2 star: 0% 1 star: 12%

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  • Rip off

    • By Anatole Hudson,
    • Western Australia,
    • Mar 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    "Dodgey Bros Inc." I ordered mine in January. It said February delivery. Mid-March, still no show. I sent emails and received no replies. Dodgey Indiegogo website. Don't waste your money getting ripped off by these crooks. I couldn't put a minus 5 on the review so had two put 1.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Very disappointed

    • By Stephanie L.,
    • San Diego, CA,
    • Feb 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I am very disappointed in this company. I paid for this product in December and could not wait to get this since I have been in physical therapy for my neck. I waited for three weeks and still they never shipped this out to me. Then I sent an email requesting my money back. They sent me two emails that said they refunded my money and that was over a week ago. I called my bank yesterday and they told me the refund was never made. I am now going to have to file a fraudulent case against them with my bank. All this for 59.00 bucks. Don't waste your time or money. I guess I am going to have to send out a tweet on this company to people to see if that works to get my money. Very sad because I have never had to write a review before.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Really disappointed with them

    • By Kellie C.,
    • Hometown, UT,
    • Mar 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered two of these back in December 2018 and I paid $99.98 via PayPal. I contacted them in January and they said I would get them by the end of January. It is now March 2019 and I still have not received them. I have filled a complaint through PayPal and I've requested a refund. I hope I get it. There have been several people on Facebook with the same issue. Don't order from them, it's a scam.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Not even close to all the hype.

    • By Rich W.,
    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Feb 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    At BEST, consider using it for trapezoidal/rhomboid issues. Do NOT use with severe degenerative cervical disease.

    A sub-therapeutic level of cervical traction, but "eh." NOT, in my opinion, worth $60, and a three-month wait. Although easy to use, and perhaps with added weight might get enough therapeutic stretch. Save your pennies!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Feels amazing

    Overall Experience:

    The first time I used this, it felt amazing! I often get tension headaches, and this has helped reduce them. The only issue I have is that after I use it I feel extremely nauseous. I’ve tried to research if this is common, but I can’t find any info.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • There’s a difference...

    • By Cory C.,
    • Chicago, IL,
    • Sep 27, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was very skeptical about buying this but decided why not. It came today, and I find myself wanting to sleep with my head in it. I am not sure about my neck, but the tension in my shoulders has dissipated. I think it should be given a chance. As an experimenter, I can say one day has swayed me. I’m excited to see what using it one day a month will bring.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • Amazing hammock!

    Overall Experience:

    I recently beat stage 3 breast cancer and had multiple procedures done. This hammock was a lifesaver! You just lay there for 10 minutes and relax and let it do its work! My spine felt so much better afterward. It got rid of my migraine and just made my day so much easier! Such a great invention! I’ve been telling all of my friends and family about it.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • Love this

    • By Taylor,
    • California,
    • Feb 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    My husband (who has the worst posture) always has neck pain. And it never goes away. This has been a lifesaver. Not only is his pain subsiding, he's been standing up so much straighter, which is also causing him much less pain.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • Kudos!

    Overall Experience:

    I personally use the Neck Hammock and it really feels great and it does relieve my neck from pain and from overall stress throughout a day's desk job. You should try this out for an awesome and relaxing experience too! Kudos to you and your team, Steve!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • Simply amazing!

    Overall Experience:

    I was one of the first 300 backers of this product when it was on Kickstarter. I’m a chronic migraine sufferer, and when I saw The Neck Hammock, I knew it was something I wanted to try. Here is the review I wrote minutes after using it for the first time:

    I used it for the first time today and WOW! Confusing as heck to set up with the included instructions. I had to go to their Facebook page to look at the updated pamphlet. I’ve had a horrid headache for two days now. I’ve taken Tylenol four times in the past two days trying to alleviate the pain. While trying to set this dang thing up, I kept thinking "this thing is overrated if I can’t even set it up right!" Fast forward to 10 minutes after I first laid in it, and I’m 100% a believer! My headache is all but gone! I will be telling other chronic headache sufferers about this miracle product!

    At this point, I’ve had my Neck Hammock for a few months and still love it just as much as I did the first time I laid in it. I use it frequently and feel that it makes a huge difference in the frequency and severity of my headaches because it decompresses the muscles in my neck that get so tight.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • Simple at home relief

    • By Alana Jones,
    • Kentucky,
    • May 2, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I spend a significant amount of time in my car for work. At the end of a long week coupled with hectic schedules with three kids, The Neck Hammock is a life saver. I now look forward to my at home cervical traction sessions for relaxation and relief. My father-in-law recently visited. He mentioned he felt a migraine coming on. Rather than medication immediately, I recommended him try The Neck Hammock knowing he had some increased tension and stress, and it helped him to ward off his migraine. The Neck Hammock is simple and well designed and a tool I love having at my convenience.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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