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All about neck pain causes of neck pain symptoms of neck pain diagnosis of neck pain neck pain relief neck pain prevention and management

What treatment is available for neck pain relief?

Most cases of neck pain disappear without treatment or with the help of mild pain killers. If the pain lasts for a few days or more, your doctor may prescribe other pain killers, or suggest physical therapy such as physiotherapy, chiropractic or osteopathy. It is important to keep mobile and try to continue your normal daily activity even when you are sore. Medications

to relieve neck pain include aspirin, acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen. Stronger pain medications, such as the narcotics codeine and morphine, may be needed in some cases. Other remedies are also available for some conditions, such as over-the-counter muscle pain creams for muscle strain. Most cases of neck pain are due to soft tissue (muscles and ligament) strain and will settle with time. There is usually no need for investigations such as x-rays or scans. If the neck pain has lasted for longer than three months, it is called ‘chronic neck pain’. Chronic neck pain may require more investigation and specialist treatment. If the pain is felt due to muscle spasm or a pinched nerve, your doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant and possibly a more powerful pain reliever. Prescription drugs are not necessarily better than over-the-counter medications. The doctor may prescribe a neck collar or, if there is nerve damage, refer you to a neurologist or neurosurgeon for consultation. If meningitis is suspected, you will be sent to an emergency department for further tests, antibiotics, and hospital admission. If a thyroid condition is considered (due, for example, to a lump in the front of your neck), follow-up care for abnormal blood tests will be needed. Formerly common treatments such as lengthy bed rest or time wearing a neck collar have been replaced by encouragement to return to activity as soon as possible. To that end, physical therapists identify your posture problems and teach you to stretch, strengthen, and use your neck muscles properly. This reduces pain, lets you safely resume the activities you enjoy, and lessens the chance of a painful recurrence. In some cases, surgery is needed to gain relief, but doctors now hesitate to recommend this course unless neck pain is persistent and clearly the result of a damaged disk or another structural problem that responds well to surgical repair.

More information on neck pain

What is neck pain? - Neck pain is pain that occurs anywhere from the bottom of your head to the top of your shoulders.
What causes neck pain? - Common neck pain is from muscle strain or tension. Usually, everyday activities are responsible.
What're the symptoms of neck pain? - Symptoms of neck pain include osteoarthritis, headaches; pain in the shoulder, arm or hand.
How is neck pain diagnosed? - Neck pain is usually diagnosed through a medical history and physical examination.
What's the treatment for neck pain? - Most cases of neck pain disappear without treatment or with the help of mild pain killers.
How to prevent neck pain? - Prevention of neck pain is related to the cause. Avoid slouching or a head-forward posture.
Bone, joint, & muscle disorders

Topics in bone, joint, and muscle disorders

Bone diseases
Bone tumors
Bone cancer
Muscle diseases
Spine (neck and back) disorders
Dupuytren's contracture
Plantar fasciitis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
Septic arthritis (infectious Arthritis)
Psoriatic arthritis
Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis)
Ankylosing spondylitis
Gout (gouty arthritis)

All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005