Treatment for a neck problem or injury may include first aid measures, physical therapy, manipulative therapy (such as chiropractic or osteopathic), medicine, and in some cases surgery.

Neck injuries can be serious and can affect your ability to walk, stand normally, and move with ease. This is because neck injuries may result in damage to the spinal cord, which connects your brain to the rest of your body.

Very few patients require surgery to relieve neck pain. For most patients, a combination of rest, medication, and physical therapy will relieve neck pain. Surgery may be necessary to reduce pressure on the spinal cord or a nerve root when pain is caused by a herniated disk or bony narrowing of the spinal canal. Surgery may also be required following an injury to stabilize the neck and minimize the possibility of paralysis, such as when a fracture results in instability of the neck.

Acute pain at the base of the skull may well disappear without treatment. For short-term problems, manual treatment (chiropractic or physiotherapy) and pain-relieving medicine are recommended.

Neck fracture treatment depends on the seriousness of the injury. A compression fracture, with the bones pushed into each other, can sometimes be treated by wearing a neck collar for 6 to 8 weeks. A more serious fracture may need traction, surgery, or a rigid frame to keep the neck from moving.

Rest your neck by wearing a soft, supportive collar or small towel rolled and placed under the chin. Do this for relief of muscle pain and loss of motion. Take care to preserve the normal curve of the neck when wearing a support.

Take anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen as directed and approved by your healthcare provider.

The main goal of the third phase of treatment, the maintenance phase, is to minimize recurrence of the problem and to prevent further injury. This often consists of a total body fitness program, designed to maintain body mechanics and increase endurance after the original symptoms have resolved.

Anti-inflammatory painkillers some people find that these work better than paracetamol. They include ibuprofen which you can buy at pharmacies or get on prescription. Other types such as diclofenac, naproxen, or tolfenamic need a prescription. Some people with asthma, high blood pressure, kidney failure, or heart failure may not be able to take anti-inflammatory painkillers.

The treatment of soft tissue neck and shoulder pain includes the use of anti-inflammatory medication (such as Aleve or Motrin) and/or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Pain also may be treated with a local application of moist heat or ice. Local corticosteroid injection is often helpful for arthritis of the shoulder. For both neck and shoulder pain movement exercises may help. For cases in which nerve roots or the spinal cord are involved, surgical procedures may be necessary.

Always wear your seat belt when riding in a car. Avoid riding motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. Do not drink when driving, swimming, or diving.

To treat chronic neck pain, your doctor may prescribe medicine to relax your neck muscles. Or you may get medicines to relieve pain and help you sleep. You might also try massage or yoga to relieve neck stress.Surgery is rarely done to treat neck pain. But it may be done if your pain is caused by a medical problem, such as pressure on the spinal nerve roots, a tumour, or narrowing of the spinal canal.

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