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What should you do at first to relieve pain from a herniated disk or degenerative disk disease?

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Take it easy, and avoid any activities (such as sports or heavy lifting) that worsen your neck pain. You can also use ice the first 24 to 48 hours to ease swelling and pain. Wrap the cold source in a towel first to protect your skin, and leave it on for about 20 minutes at a time. After this period, apply heat to the area to help relax sore and stiffened muscles.

You can also do simple stretching exercises to keep your neck flexible and reduce stiffness.

SOURCES:

JAMA: “Aminotransferase elevations in healthy adults receiving 4 grams of acetaminophen daily: a randomized controlled trial.”

FDA: "Safety concerns associated with over-the-counter drug products containing analgesic/antipyretic active ingredients for internal use."

K. Daniel Riew, MD, Mildred B. Simon Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, professor of neurologic surgery, and director of the Orthopaedic Spine Institute, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Surgical management of cervical radiculopathy,” “Cervical Radiculopathy.”

Spine: “Complications and mortality associated with cervical spine surgery for degenerative disease in the United States.”

News release, FDA.

Cedars-Sinai: “Herniated or Ruptured Disk.”

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on December 24, 2018

SOURCES:

JAMA: “Aminotransferase elevations in healthy adults receiving 4 grams of acetaminophen daily: a randomized controlled trial.”

FDA: "Safety concerns associated with over-the-counter drug products containing analgesic/antipyretic active ingredients for internal use."

K. Daniel Riew, MD, Mildred B. Simon Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, professor of neurologic surgery, and director of the Orthopaedic Spine Institute, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Surgical management of cervical radiculopathy,” “Cervical Radiculopathy.”

Spine: “Complications and mortality associated with cervical spine surgery for degenerative disease in the United States.”

News release, FDA.

Cedars-Sinai: “Herniated or Ruptured Disk.”

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on December 24, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What medications can relieve pain from a herniated disk or degenerative disk disease?

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