Try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others), naproxen sodium (Aleve), and acetaminophen (Tylenol and others). Use ice for the first 48 to 72 hours, then use heat after that. Heat can be applied with hot showers, hot compresses, or a heating pad. Make sure you don't fall asleep with a heating pad or ice pack in place to avoid injury to your skin.
If the pain is due to muscle spasm or nerve impingement, your doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant or tricyclic antidepressant and, possibly, a stronger pain reliever than you were taking at home. Tendinitis: Inflammation in the tissue that attaches muscle to bone and controls movement is another contributing factor to neck pain. Neck pain may be mild and may not interfere much with your activities or daily life, or it can be severe and cause disability. If neck pain involves nerves, such as a muscle spasm that pinches a nerve or a herniated disc that presses on a nerve, you may feel numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm, hand, or anywhere else.
If the pain is due to muscle spasm or a pinched nerve, your provider may prescribe a stronger muscle relaxant or pain reliever. If neck pain involves nerve compression, you may feel numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm or hand. If you have neck pain that continues for more than a week, is severe, or is accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention right away. The neck is particularly vulnerable to injury, especially in falls, car accidents, and sports, where the muscles and ligaments of the neck are forced to move outside of their normal range.
Talk to your doctor If the pain persists, you don't want to go through life with real pain in your neck. Most neck pain is a combination of poor posture, injury, or general wear and tear as you age. You can treat stiff neck with stretching, over-the-counter pain relievers, and heat or ice, as well as maintaining proper posture while using your computer or phone.
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