A plethora of things can cause neck pain, and a wide variety of neck pain treatments are available. Many cases of minor neck pain can be fixed by correcting posture or avoiding holding certain body positions for a long period of time. Other causes of neck pain may be from serious injuries and medical problems that require extensive medical treatment, surgery, or pain killers to help deal with chronic pain. Often, neck pain may not even be caused by an injury or problem with the neck and is instead associated with an injury to another part of the body, such as the back. To fully treat neck pain, both the underlying cause and the actual pain must usually be addressed.
One of the most widely utilized neck pain treatments is the use of pain killers. Often, people who experience minor neck pain may take nonprescription anti-inflammatory medications to alleviate their pain. In other cases, a doctor may prescribe a stronger medication for more severe pain.
Some studies show that acupuncture can be an effective way to reduce or eliminate neck pain, especially neck pain from whiplash. Acupuncture is generally used as a last resort after more conventional methods of treatment have failed. Depending on the health of a person and what medications he or she is taking, sometimes acupuncture is combined with herbal medications to provide greater relief. These neck pain treatments are somewhat invasive or may have undesirable side effects, so caution should be exercised when considering acupuncture for neck pain relief, herbal neck pain treatments, or both.
Chiropractic neck manipulation is another alternative form of neck pain treatment. It remains a popular form of pain relief, even though clinical studies do not prove its effectiveness. While many people find relief with chiropractic neck manipulation, this is a potentially dangerous neck pain treatment.
Maintaining proper posture and avoiding maintaining awkward, unsupported positions can go a long way toward avoiding neck injury and aggravating existing neck injuries. Sometimes neck pain is even caused by stress and other emotional issues, and addressing these psychological issues can be among one of the most effective neck pain treatments. Exercising and relaxing the neck muscles can often reduce the likelihood of injuring the neck, make it easier to maintain good posture, and help deal with tension that has built itself up in the neck.
Some injuries and conditions, such as whiplash and disc herniation, may require surgery to fully eliminate the neck pain. Sometimes doctors elect to physically remove bones or discs from the neck to remove stress or even to add an artificial disc. Other neck pain treatments involving surgery include attempting to stabilize the spine to avoid possible complications from a neck bone fracture or eliminating spinal cord pressure to avoid existing undesirable issues.