Most cases of neck pain typically last for only a few weeks. Luckily, there are several measures that can alleviate the discomfort. In case it becomes persistent or continuous, a doctor should be seen for further assessment.
What are the causes?
The usual causes of neck pain include the following:
- Neck is locked in an awkward position while sleeping
- Pinched nerve
- Poor posture such as being seated at a desk for prolonged periods
- Neck injuries such as whiplash during a vehicular accident or falls
Measures to manage neck pain
Some measures that can manage neck pain include the following:
- Provide the individual with pain medications such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. Another option is to apply an ibuprofen-based gel on the neck.
- Apply an ice pack or warm compress on the neck
- Utilize a low, firm pillow
- Perform neck exercises
Some measures that must be avoided include wearing a neck collar since it is better to keep the neck mobile unless instructed by the doctor not to do so.
When to consult a doctor
A doctor must be consulted if the following are present:
- The pain or rigidity does not seem to settle even after a few weeks.
- Pain medications such as ibuprofen or paracetamol are not effective
- Individual is worried about the pain
- If there are other symptoms present such as a cold arm or “pins and needles” sensation
- When sleeping, ensure that the head is the same height as the entire body.
- Choose a firm mattress
- Make it a habit to sit upright by rolling the shoulders gently back and bring the neck back
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on neck pain is for learning purposes only. Learn more about the possible causes of neck pain by taking a standard first aid course with Red Deer First Aid.