Once you have visited your doctor, you will come up with a treatment plan once you’ve completed tests and examinations. Treatments your doctor might recommend include the following:
RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
It’s common for neck pain to recover just by taking it easy for a little while, perhaps only a couple of day could make all the difference. You should try not get involve with activities that will strain your neck muscles, joints, or ligaments. Use icepacks or frozen packs of vegetables wrapped in a tea towel and apply to the area as an anti-inflammatory and reduce swelling and pain. Consider using compression by wrapping and elastic bandage over the injured area to reduce blood flow and limit swelling. The last form of RICE is elevation, which could be considered difficult when it comes to your neck. Try to prop your head up and raise the injured area above the heart in order to reduce swelling.
Your doctor may provide stronger narcotic-containing drugs such as oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Roxicodone) for moderate or severe pain, or Codeine for lesser pains. These are much stronger than those found over-the-counter but only for severe pain. Over-the-counter drugs are usually enough to help reduce pain in your neck. You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) along with, or without, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve).
You can use a padded neck collar or splint, and a cast or sling for shoulder pains to stop moving the afflicted area. This can help the pain from getting worse and give your neck muscles time to heal. Make sure to follow your doctor’s instruction once the instruments of immobilization are removed, your neck could still be tender and it’s important not to strain it further. It’s recommended to rest and limit the use of your neck during the process of healing.
Physical therapy and exercise
A physical therapist will provide a customized plan for your healing and treatment schedule. You will learn some stretching and strengthening exercises to do every day in order to relieve the neck pain and try to prevent further problems in the future.
If your pain is very severe you might be admitted to the hospital for some further tests to determine the cause. You might be recommended to have a surgery if the cause of your neck pain is herniated disk, where the disk protrudes outwards, in your spine. You could also have surgery if there are other problems and pressures on your spinal cord or nerve roots.