Upper-back and neck pain can be relieved through several methods including rest, exercise, hot and cold packs, and medication. According to WebMD, acute upper-back pain can be relieved temporarily by resting in bed for a few days. After a short break, slowly return to regular activities. One way to reduce the pain and swelling of back muscles is to take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
An alternative method of reducing back muscle inflammation, according to WebMD, is to apply a heating pad directly on the muscles. Heat reduces pain symptoms, stiffness and swelling in the upper back. Alternate using a heating pad with cold ice packs for optimal results. Performing stretching exercises is a good long-term solution for strengthening back muscles. Consult with a doctor regarding stretching exercises.
According to HowStuffWorks, there are many different causes of neck pain with various treatment options. Experiencing a "crick" or "kink" in the neck from holding the head in one position for a long time is common. Applying ice to the area provides quick relief. A neck massage is another way to relieve neck muscle spasms. Pain from sprains or injuries to the neck muscles is reduced by taking over-the-counter pain medication. Mild to severe neck pain lasting longer than a week should be checked by a doctor.