Acetaminophen can also be used in combination with NSAIDs to treat more severe neck pain. Sometimes, stronger pain relievers (such as codeine) are used for a limited time if neck pain interferes with your ability to perform normal activities. Most neck pain only lasts a few weeks. There are things you can do yourself to relieve it, but see a family doctor if it doesn't go away.
Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or use ibuprofen gel on your neck Put cold or warm compresses on your neck Don't wear a neck brace; it's best to keep your neck moving (unless your doctor tells you not to) Don't do anything that could be dangerous because you can't move your neck, for example, driving or cycling No keep your neck in the same position for a long time, for example, when you are sitting at a desk Do not twist your neck when you are in bed. For most types of general neck pain, the advice is to continue your normal daily activities, stay active, and take pain relievers to relieve symptoms. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen often help. It's best to take them before the pain gets much worse, but you shouldn't take them more often than prescribed.
Not only is exercise important for strengthening muscles and keeping fit, but it can also help reduce muscle and joint pain, such as back pain. Acetaminophen is often one of the first-line pharmacological treatments for pain. It can help with neck pain, but don't fall into the misperception that acetaminophen is completely harmless just because it's available without a prescription. Research shows that regular use of acetaminophen can damage the liver, even in people taking the drug at the recommended dose.
To make sure you're using acetaminophen as safely as possible, follow the instructions carefully and don't take more than the label suggests and your doctor recommends. The most common types of mild to moderate neck pain generally respond well to self-care within two to three weeks. If neck pain persists, your doctor may recommend other treatments. When you're worried or stressed, you often tighten these muscles even more, which can lead to neck pain and tension headaches.
A cortisone injection can relieve inflammation and swelling of the neck, and that can help with neck pain. However, because neck pain tends to come and go over several weeks, it's usually not possible to identify spondylosis as a direct cause. The pillow should fill the natural gap between the neck and shoulders; a soft or molded pillow can be useful, or a supportive roll inside the pillow cover can support the neck gap. Exactly how anticonvulsants work in neck pain is unknown, but they are thought to affect how the brain perceives pain.
These medications help relieve neck pain caused by muscle spasms and are best suited for short-term use. There are many different medications available, and which one to use will depend on the source of the neck pain. Acupuncture seems to relieve short-term pain by interfering with signals reaching the brain and causing the release of natural pain relievers, known as endorphins. Although approved by the FDA to treat seizures, antiseizure medications such as gabapentin (Neurontin), carbamazepine (Tegretol) and pregabalin (Lyrica) can help with nerve-related neck pain.
Sometimes pain can be managed with pain relievers and following the advice below (see Preventing Neck Pain and Stiffness). Neck pain is one of the main symptoms of cervical disc disease, in which the discs between the vertebrae herniate or deteriorate, sometimes pinching the nerves. Simple self-help treatments and a day or two rest are usually enough to relieve an episode of neck pain. The pain is caused by unnatural stretching of the tissues that hold the neck bones in place.
Although it can be incredibly uncomfortable, most neck pain is caused by simple muscle strain, and most people recover within a few days. When rest, medication, and physical rehabilitation don't work to improve neck pain, you may be a candidate for neck surgery. A healthy weight can help relieve existing joint pain and prevent the development or worsening of arthritis. .