You have been diagnosed with neck pain. Your symptoms may be caused by muscle strains or spasms, arthritis in your spine, a bulging disc, or narrowed openings for your spinal nerves or spinal cord.
You can use one or more of these methods to help reduce neck pain:
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- Apply heat or ice to the painful area. Use ice for the first 48 to 72 hours, then use heat.
- Apply heat using warm showers, hot compresses, or a heating pad.
- To prevent injuring your skin, do not fall asleep with a heating pad or ice bag in place.
- Have a partner gently massage the sore or painful areas.
- Try sleeping on a firm mattress with a pillow that supports your neck. You may want to get a special neck pillow. You can find them at some pharmacies or retail stores.
Ask your health care provider about using a soft neck collar to relieve discomfort.
- Only use the collar for 2 to 4 days at most.
- Using a collar for longer can make your neck muscles weaker. Take it off from time to time to allow the muscles to get stronger.
Acupuncture also may help relieve neck pain.