A pain in the neck really is just that: a pain the neck. Nearly everyone experiences it at one point or another. Whether you wake up one morning with a stiff neck or turn your head and feel a pang – neck pain is no fun.
Fortunately there are ways to treat your neck at home that can help bring you relief. Below are some suggestions from Spine Health.
- Applying ice or cold packs. The cold helps reduce inflammation in the area, which in turn allows it to heal. The ice or cold pack should be applied in twenty-minute intervals during the initial 24 hours.
- Applying heat. The heat helps bring nutrient-rich blood flow to the area to stimulate a healing response. Some people prefer moist heat, such as from a hot bath or shower. Others find more relief from applying continuous low level heat from a heat wrap (such as brand name Thermacare, or store brand heat wraps)
- Over-the-counter medications. Taking anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen (e.g. Advil) or naproxen (e.g. Aleve), will reduce the inflammation, which in turn will help reduce the pain. One can also take pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol), which reduces the perception of pain.
- Massage. A gentle massage will to stimulate blood flow in the area, which helps it heal.
If the pain persists after a week, schedule an appointment with your doctor to have your neck examined.