When neck pain needs immediate medical treatment
People should never take a risk with a severe neck injury, if they have any doubts they should see a doctor immediately. However, the severe neck injury was caused they need to see a doctor straightaway, especially if there are shooting pains, numbness, or tingling sensations in either arms or legs. If any of those symptoms get worse then you have to go to the doctor.
Neck pain treatment options
There are various treatment options aimed at effectively deal with neck pain. Some of these are actually self-care remedies that may reduce the times you need to go and see a doctor.
Best to keep moving
In the past, most medical professionals would have recommended bed rest to deal with neck pain. However, these days the importance of moving as much as possible is stressed. If you do not have a pinched nerve, ruptured or fractured disc then it is best to keep on moving.
People who use neck support collars could well be wasting their time and money as there is no evidence that such supports work at all.
Neck exercises for reducing pain
Specific exercises are known to reduce neck pain, though it is not known whether it is specific movements or just generally moving about that acts to relieve the pain. Though if you do the exercises and feel less pain you may not be bothered by why that is.
A range of exercises may be suggested by your doctor or your psychotherapist that may involve tilting your head or rolling your neck. These exercises can either be done lying down or sitting up depending on whether or not you are in pain.
Using heat or ice packs
Sometimes your neck pain can be reduced by the use of heat or ice packs. It tends to be ice packs which are used first, as these can reduce swelling and inflammation. That can be really helpful for short-term illnesses or conditions like whiplash.
The best time to use a heat pack is after a couple of days if the swelling has already gone down. The heat will relax muscles and reduce stress in your neck.
Support for neck during sleep
For some people, neck pain is worse after they have slept. This can be reduced by having some kind of neck support when they are sleeping. Having a pillow that supports your neck is really important so it needs to be at the right height and the best angle to support your neck.
You can be helped further by sleeping on a firm mattress and sleeping on your side or back, as sleeping on your stomach puts too much strain on your neck.
Some doctors advice you use relaxation techniques as well as stress management.