1. Seek Medical Care
See a doctor. Or go to a hospital emergency room if:
- Pain occurs after an injury or accident.
- Neck pain radiates down the arms and legs.
- Pain is accompanied by headaches, numbness, tingling, or weakness.
2. Relieve Muscle Tension
- Apply dry or moist heat to the area.
3. Treat Pain
- Give pain medication, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
4. Prevent Unnecessary Neck Strain
- When the person is lying down, place a small pillow under the nape of the neck to align head and neck.
5. Follow Up
- Treatment may include a cervical collar, muscle relaxants, exercises, or physical therapy.