If you have a musculoskeletal injury such as back or neck strain or
carpal tunnel syndrome, try home treatment for a few
days when you first notice symptoms. These steps are usually helpful in
relieving discomfort caused by stress and overuse. Home treatment includes:
Resting the painful area and avoiding or modifying activities
that make your pain or discomfort worse. Return to some daily activities as
soon as possible to help maintain flexibility and general well-being. Be aware
of any tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain that may indicate an
Using ice to reduce pain and inflammation. Place an
ice pack or cold pack over the painful area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time,
as often as once an hour. This will help decrease any pain, muscle spasm, or
swelling. You can try heat, or alternating heat and ice, after about 3 days or when there is no swelling.
Using nonprescription pain relievers.
Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) can help relieve pain.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),
including aspirin (such as Bayer), ibuprofen (such as Advil), or naproxen (such as Aleve), can also help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
People younger than age 20 should not take aspirin
because of the risk of Reye syndrome (a central nervous system complication
in children). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Doing gentle stretching exercises to keep flexible and prevent
stiffness. These exercises include:
Examining your workstation setup and workstation tools. Apply the
ergonomics to make sure your workstation and tools fit
you and the activity you are doing. Then try making changes that will limit any
Keeping good health habits. Exercise regularly (including
aerobic, muscle strengthening, and flexibility
exercises), eat a balanced diet, don't smoke, get
enough sleep, and lose weight if needed. If possible, reduce stress and tension
at work and at home.
Home activities may contribute to workplace injury. For
example, doing an activity at home that requires the same repetitive movements
as at work may not allow your body time to recover. Also, driving long
distances to and from work may contribute to workplace injury. Using special
seat covers for added comfort (such as those made of wool or beads),
carpooling, or using public transportation may help reduce this added
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this