Try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others), naproxen sodium (Aleve), and acetaminophen (Tylenol and others). 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. 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.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) are building blocks in the treatment of cervical disc disease because they reduce both pain and inflammation. Like acetaminophen, many NSAIDs are available without a prescription, but they should also be taken with care. NSAIDs can have some serious side effects, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers, and kidney damage, especially when used for long periods of time.
NSAIDs have also been linked to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. In contrast, chronic neck pain is a condition in which neck pain lasts longer than three months. If this prolonged neck pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as weakness, numbness, and difficulty walking, it may indicate a much more serious underlying condition. Less common causes of long-lasting neck pain include tumors, severe muscle strains, and severe damage to the ligaments that connect bones to each other.
Fractures and cracks in the bones of the neck can also cause chronic neck pain, especially if the bones are not properly positioned or heal improperly. The two most common areas that cause chronic neck pain are facet joints and discs. Folk remedies can often serve as the best means to control chronic neck pain. If pain persists for three months or more, more aggressive treatments may be required.
Studies have shown that doing strength and resistance exercises with light weights or light resistance bands can significantly improve chronic neck pain. Under the guidance of a certified physical therapist, maintaining a consistent level of activity, a stretching regimen, and a strengthening routine for the neck and spine can improve overall blood flow to the spine, keep it healthy, and aid your body in ongoing efforts to heal. Interventions, such as injections of pain relievers into affected joints or nerves, are sometimes an option to relieve neck pain. The most typical neck injuries that cause pain are strains of the muscles and tendons of the neck, and sprains of the ligaments that connect the seven vertebrae that make up the cervical spine (also known as the neck).
Exactly how anticonvulsants work in neck pain is unknown, but they are thought to affect how the brain perceives pain. While pain relievers, physical therapy, neck traction, and, as a last resort, surgery, can help relieve neck pain due to cervical disc disease, there are also home remedies you can use to help relieve pain and speed up the healing process. Studies have shown that chronic pain can have an impact on a person's mental health; up to 85 percent of patients with chronic pain are affected by severe depression. A chiropractor can help reduce neck pain by using chiropractic neck adjustments, called cervical manipulation.
Staying still for more than a day or two can actually be harmful because it can decondition the muscles that support the neck and, in fact, increase neck pain in the long term. With new strategies to focus more on the positives, you may be able to better follow the treatment plan for neck pain. Chronic neck pain can be extremely frustrating and treatment plans can be complicated and apparently yield little or no results. Most physical therapy treatments for neck pain involve an exercise program that strengthens and stretches the neck to reduce pain and stiffness.
Some people find relief after acupuncture treatment, although others require a few sessions to feel less neck pain. Research Shows Steroid Injection Relieves Short-Term Neck Pain, Although Its Effectiveness For Chronic Pain Is Unclear. 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. 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.