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
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).
- 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.
- The person may need an X-ray or CT scan depending on the symptoms or an MRI to determine whether the person has a herniated disc or other nerve compression.