Try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others), naproxen sodium (Aleve), and. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen, are usually tried first for neck pain. If neck pain persists, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications, such as prescription NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, or opioids, for the short term. Before taking any medication, read the instructions carefully and follow the doctor's instructions to reduce the risk of serious complications.
It hurts to move your head. Are you sleeping badly, is it stress, or is it the result of climbing that ladder to clean your gutters? Let's get to the bottom of those real pain in the neck. When your neck hurts, you may have trouble moving it, especially to the side. Many people describe this as having a stiff neck.
If neck pain involves nerves, such as a muscle spasm, pinching of 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. A common cause of neck pain is muscle strain or tension. Usually, daily activities are the culprit. These activities include bending over a desk for hours, crouching in place, having poor posture while watching TV or reading, placing your computer monitor too high or too low, sleeping in an uncomfortable position, or jarring twisting and turning your neck while exercising.
You can usually treat mild neck pain at home. Simple posture improvements are a great place to start, sit straight with your shoulders back, drive with your arms on the armrests, and avoid carrying shoulder bags. Take breaks when you're sitting in front of video screens or holding a phone. For pain, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Advil or Tylenol.
And low-level laser therapy can be very effective. Physical therapy can be great for treating or preventing the recurrence of neck pain. Slow range-of-motion exercises, moving your head up and down, side to side from ear to ear, can gently stretch your neck muscles. A good sleeping position is especially important with the head aligned with the body.
You can try to sleep with a special neck pillow. You may want to see a doctor if your symptoms persist for more than a week of self-care, if you have numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm or hand, or if the pain was caused by a fall, blow, or injury. 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. You may be referred to a neurologist if you suspect nerve damage in your neck.
You can help prevent neck pain or prevent it from coming back in many ways. Use relaxation techniques and regular exercise to avoid unwanted stress and tension on your neck muscles. Learn stretching exercises for the neck and upper body, do stretches every day, before and especially after exercise. Adopt good posture, especially if you sit at a desk all day, keep your back supported, adjust the computer monitor at eye level, so you don't have to continuously look up or down.
Talk to your doctor if the pain persists, you don't want to go through life with real pain in your neck. Most causes of neck pain are not life-threatening and resolve with time and treatment. Determining a treatment strategy depends primarily on identifying the location and cause of the pain. Although neck pain can be quite debilitating and painful, nonsurgical treatment can alleviate many symptoms.
Your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce pain or inflammation and muscle relaxants to allow time for healing to occur. Reducing physical activities or wearing a cervical collar can help support the spine, reduce mobility, and decrease pain and irritation. Trigger point injection, including corticosteroids, may temporarily relieve pain. Occasionally, epidural steroids may be recommended.
Conservative treatment options may continue for six to eight weeks. Applying a heat pack to the neck can help relieve pain. You can use a microwave-safe wheat bag, a hot water bottle, or a reusable heating pad; which you can buy at pharmacies and sports stores. An ice pack, or even a bag of frozen peas, can also be helpful.
Often, you can manage short episodes of neck pain yourself with over-the-counter pain relievers and gentle stretches. If you have long-lasting neck pain and stiffness, especially if your sleep is disturbed, you may feel very tired and, as expected, you may start to feel depressed or in a bad mood. If you have pain and stiffness in your neck that came on quickly, possibly during the night, and you have difficulty lifting both arms above your head, this could be a sign of a condition called polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). Discoveries about the effect of stress, anxiety and depression, as well as the importance of exercise, are changing the way doctors think about neck pain.
Symptoms of neck injury include stiff neck, pain in the shoulder or arm, headache,. While avoiding neck pain isn't always possible, you can keep your neck muscles free of tension and stress by creating healthy habits. Even without a clearly diagnosed cause, current treatments can effectively relieve neck pain and help you learn to prevent it from coming back. If the neck pain is not debilitating and was not caused by trauma, the pain can usually be treated with self-care.
The pain is caused by unnatural stretching of the tissues that hold the neck bones in place. Although spondylosis doesn't always cause pain, it can increase your risk of having episodes of neck pain. Research shows that physical therapy is often a better treatment for neck pain than surgery or pain relievers. Originating from the nerves or nerve roots of the cervical spine, neuropathic neck pain can result from conditions such as a herniated disc that exerts pressure against a nearby nerve or other causes of nerve compression.