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 or legs.
- Pain is accompanied by headaches, numbness, tingling, visual changes, nausea or weakness.
2. Relieve Muscle Tension
- Immediately after an injury, it's helpful to apply ice to the site of the pain. Later, some people find relief by applying 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.