Try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others), naproxen sodium (Aleve), and acetaminophen (Tylenol and others). Ice can help reduce inflammation and swelling by decreasing blood flow to an area. Heat does the opposite, stimulating blood flow. 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. When you bend forward with the head posture forward, additional strain is put on your spine. 1 Maintaining good posture throughout the day keeps the head naturally balanced in the cervical spine and can reduce pain.
A headrest can help keep the cervical spine in a neutral position, so consider buying an office chair with one and using it. Keep the back of your head comfortably supported on the headrest with your ears above your shoulders. Also make sure to use the headrest on your recliner and in your car when you can. If you work on a computer screen, make sure that your eye level is at the same level as the upper third of the computer monitor.
Also, consider a standing desk, as standing takes us to a more natural position and discourages us from hunching forward. See your doctor to see if your chronic neck pain could be better managed with physical therapy. Improving neck strength and flexibility can help better support the cervical spine and reduce pain. Some evidence suggests that physical therapy may have even more benefits when combined with other treatments, such as aerobic activity.
2 Gua sha generally involves a trained professional using a spoon to apply short strokes to the skin of the sore area. Gua sha comes from traditional Chinese medicine and is applied to areas of the body where blood circulation is thought to be stagnant and blocks energy (called “qi”). While there is no scientific evidence for qi, some people have reported that gua sha relieves neck pain. A small study found that gua sha relieves neck pain more than heat therapy,3 but not all studies agree and more research is needed, 4 There are free videos and apps online to help you get started with mindful meditation.
While mindful meditation doesn't work for everyone, some people have reported benefits, 5 This site is for educational purposes only; no information is intended or implied to replace professional medical advice. The information is produced and reviewed by more than 200 medical professionals with the goal of providing reliable and unique information for people with painful health conditions. This site is for educational purposes only; it is not intended or implied that any information replaces professional medical advice. Neck pain can often arise from muscle tension or injury, but certain medical conditions also have neck pain as a side effect.
Acupuncture involves inserting needles into specific pressure points on the body to relieve stress, tension, and pain. Pain can occur on both sides of the neck and may be related to simple muscle strain or more serious conditions, such as nerve damage or spinal injury. Even without a clearly diagnosed cause, current treatments can effectively relieve neck pain and help you learn to prevent it from coming back. For neck pain that lasts longer than a couple of weeks or is accompanied by other worrying symptoms, such as fever, chills, or nausea, have a doctor check it.
If neck pain persists, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications, such as prescription NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, or opioids, for the short term. Most of the time, a stiff neck with mild pain can be treated at home with ice, over-the-counter pain relievers, and mild stretching. If neck stiffness and pain started after doing physical activity, you should limit that activity until the stiffness resolves. If your neck pain is severe, lasts for weeks or months, drastically limits your ability to move your head, radiates to your shoulders, or feels worse in the morning, consider seeing a doctor.
We all know what it's like to have a neck pain, whether it's helping a friend move furniture to their new home or simply waking up one day with a stiff neck. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen, are usually tried first for neck pain. Chronic neck pain can be extremely frustrating and treatment plans can be complicated and apparently yield little or no results. In general, you should limit heavy lifting and activities that can aggravate your neck muscles every time you have neck pain.
Over-the-counter pain relievers include a class of medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Maintaining strong daily hydration can prevent further degeneration of the cervical discs, which can reduce the pain of. . .