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First Aid & Emergencies

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Shoulder and Neck Pain Treatment

1. When to Seek Immediate Medical Care

See a doctor or go to a hospital emergency room if:

  • Pain is from a severe blow or injury
  • Neck pain radiates down the arms and legs
  • Headaches, numbness, tingling, or weakness occur with pain
  • The person has a stiff neck with fever, vomiting, and sensitivity to light

 

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2. Ease Muscle Spasms

  • Apply dry or moist heat.

3. Reduce Swelling

  • If the area is inflamed, apply ice for 20 minutes 4 to 8 times a day.

4. Relieve Pain

  • Give pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn).

 

5. Rest

  • The affected area should not be used for a day or two.
  • Normal activities should be gradually resumed.

6. Follow Up

  • The person should see a doctor if pain doesn't get better or worsens.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on October 12, 2013

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