July 20, 2024

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Know Your Treatment Options for Neck Pain

Neck Pain | Hanes Total Health Care Center | Chillicothe, OH

Neck pain is a common problem with various causes; it can often be traced to injury or specific health problems, and home and work routines can also be culprits. A stiff and painful neck can interfere with your everyday activities and make it hard to get a good night’s sleep. While there are various self–care tips for Las Vegas neck pain, stiffness, or mobility issues, medical evaluation is important to rule out injuries and infections. Read on to explore your treatment options for neck pain.

Self-care tips

Your doctor can recommend self-care measures if you have mild neck pain that does not result from trauma. For example, a short rest period can help alleviate your neck pain. Avoid strenuous activities and movements that worsen your pain, but some movement is necessary to prevent your neck from becoming stiffer. Applying heat or ice can also help reduce swelling and pain; heat helps relax muscles and encourage blood flow and healing nutrients to the injured area. Experts recommend applying ice or heat for 1 to 20 minutes with at least a two-hour break to give the skin time to recover.

Medications

Over-the-counter pain relievers help reduce general pain and inflammation; they are typically used as the first life of treatment for neck pain. These medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter pain reliever; although it can reduce pain, it has no anti-inflammatory properties. Follow the instructions on the bottle when taking over-the-counter pain relievers. If OTC painkillers don’t relieve your pain, your doctor may prescribe stronger painkillers such as muscle relaxants, prescription-strength NSAIDs, or opioids on a short-term basis. Read the instructions carefully and follow your doctor’s advice to avoid serious complications.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is often part of many treatment plans for persistent neck pain. Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist if you need help regaining strength, flexibility, and mobility after an injury. Physical therapy can also help you manage chronic neck pain; your therapist can assign helpful exercises to train your neck muscles. The structure and length of a physical therapy program vary depending on your condition. You may need multiple weekly sessions with a trained therapist, but eventually, you can continue these exercises at home.

Alternative treatments

Many people have reported benefiting from alternative or complementary treatments despite having less rigorous scientific backing. Massage therapy is one example; a massage reduces muscle tension and spasms, reducing pain and promoting relaxation. You can self-massage, or a willing friend or partner may offer to massage your neck. Other people also prefer when a massage is performed by a trained professional.

Acupuncture can also help treat neck pain; this approach involves placing needles into specific points on the skin. When treating neck pain, the acupuncturist places the needles in the neck and elsewhere on your body to trigger your body’s natural pain relievers. Alternative treatments offer a welcoming alternative for people who experience serious side effects from medication.

If you have persistent neck pain, book an appointment with your doctor at McNulty Spine for treatment to alleviate pain and improve your quality of life.