At-home treatments for neck pain include applying heat or ice, stretching and exercises, over-the-counter pain medications and reducing other harmful factors that can exacerbate the neck pain, according to WebMD. Neck pain can be treated at home, even if professional medical treatment is being sought in conjunction with home treatment.
While applying heat or ice to the affected neck area does not guarantee results, it does not have any known drawbacks and can help to relieve pain and distress in the area. To apply heat, the sufferer can use a heating pad for about 15 to 20 minutes on a low or medium setting every 2 to 3 hours. If the patient does not own a heating pad or desires a different method, a warm shower can be taken. To apply ice, use an ice pack every 2 to 3 hours for 10 to 15 minutes each application.
Slowly getting back to a daily routine can help to keep the neck and other muscles strong. However, certain activities, like lifting and contact sports should be avoided to prevent further pain and injury. Neck stretching movements and exercises can help to relieve strain in the neck area, preventing stiffness and keeping the ligaments and muscles flexible. A gentle massage can also increase blood flow to the area, increasing the healing process. However, if massaging the neck area causes pain, it should be avoided.
Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, can help to relieve pain.
Reducing stress, practicing relaxation exercises, participating in daily exercise and avoiding other health hazards like smoking, can help to alleviate neck pain and prevent further issues.