Neck pain may be caused by a number of musculoskeletal conditions including muscle strains, herniated discs, degenerative joint disease, and pinched nerves. Many times, neck pain goes away without any intervention. When the pain does not resolve itself, there are several non-surgical treatment options to help. Non-surgical treatments may be prescribed by orthopedic specialists for a period of time up to 3-6 months. If symptoms do not resolve, surgery may be revisited as an option for the patient.
Over the Counter (OTC) Pain Relievers
- Topical creams or gels that are rubbed on the neck (ex. BENGAY, Icy Hot, Arthricare)
- Acetaminophen -Tylenol
- Anti-inflammatory drugs - ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen sodium (Aleve)
Prescription Pain Medications
- Muscle relaxants - treats pain and spasms
- Narcotic pain relievers - treats short-term pain
- Antidepressants - treats long-lasting pain
When physical therapy (PT) is prescribed you will be evaluated by a physical therapist who will determine the best plan of care for your diagnosis and symptoms. 8-12 visits of physical therapy are typically prescribed for neck pain. PT treatment may include the following:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): This is a machine that stimulates your muscles through variable intensities of electrical current. TENS helps reduce muscle spasms, and it may increase your body's production of endorphins.
- Traction: Stretching and mobility with the help of your physical therapist to help you move easier and with less pain. Heat and muscle relaxants are often used to make traction more effective
- Scapular Stabilizers/Re-education
Need to see a specialist today?
Visit an OrthoNeuro+NOW Orthopedic Urgent Care Center. No Appointment necessary. Walk-ins welcome or call ahead to let us know you are coming.
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