Neck pain or a stiff neck are extremely common can affect your life in so many different ways. Whether it be sharp neck pain, dull muscular aches, headache, or an inability to fully move your head, a sore neck can be very frustrating yet it’s simple to fix in the majority of cases. There are many causes of neck pain. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your neck pain so that appropriate treatment can be directed at the cause.
Common Neck Pain Causes
- Neck Joint Injuries
- Muscle-related Injuries
- Bone-related Injuries
- Disc-related Injuries
- Systemic Diseases
The most common types of mild to moderate neck pain usually respond well to self-care within two or three weeks. If neck pain persists, your doctor might recommend other treatments.
Your doctor might prescribe stronger pain medicine than what you can get over-the-counter, as well as muscle relaxants and tricyclic antidepressants for pain relief.
- Physical therapy. A physical therapist can teach you correct posture, alignment and neck-strengthening exercises, and can use heat, ice, electrical stimulation and other measures to help ease your pain and prevent a recurrence.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Electrodes placed on your skin near the painful areas deliver tiny electrical impulses that may relieve pain.
- Traction. Traction uses weights, pulleys or an air bladder to gently stretch your neck. This therapy, under supervision of a medical professional and physical therapist, may provide relief of some neck pain, especially pain related to nerve root irritation.
- Short-term immobilization. A soft collar that supports your neck may help relieve pain by taking pressure off the structures in your neck. However, if used for more than three hours at a time or for more than one to two weeks, a collar might do more harm than good.