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Neck Strain (cont.)

Neck Strain Home Remedies

If your pain is not severe and you do not have any new numbness, weakness, or other symptoms of nerve failure, mild neck strain can be safely treated at home.

  • If pain is moderate, bed rest may be necessary. A cervical collar may be beneficial.
  • It is helpful to place a small pillow under the nape of your neck to provide proper neutral positioning.
  • Dry or moist heat applied to the area often provides relief from pain caused by muscle spasm. However, it has not been shown to speed the healing process.
  • Pain control with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), is frequently helpful. An opioid, such as codeine, may be added if needed but will need to be prescribed by your doctor. Muscle relaxants are often used also. They are also available by prescription only.
  • You should guard against neck extension because this will make the pain worse. You should stay active and perform your daily work as tolerated, unless this involves heavy physical labor. Contact your doctor for recommendations.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/20/2014

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