PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

Should you apply cold or heat if you have cervical disc disease?

ANSWER

People often face the hot/cold conundrum: Which one should you use? Generally, the recommendation is to use ice for the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury to ease swelling, followed by heat to loosen muscles and improve stiffness. But with cervical disc disease, neither heat nor cold well go deep enough to relieve the inflammation, so use whichever feels best. Whatever you choose, keep it on for about 20 minutes. Leave it off for at least 40 minutes. Wrap the ice or heat source in a towel. Never put it directly against your skin.

SOURCES: 

American Physical Therapy Association: "What you Need to Know About Neck Pain." 

Nadler, SF. , 2004.  The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association

K. Daniel Riew, MD, Mildred B. Simon Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine. 

Ylinen, J. et al. , 2003.  Journal of the American Medical Association

Anthony Delitto, PhD, PT, FAPTA, professor and chairman, department of physical therapy, University of Pittsburgh. 

UptoDate.com: "Cervical Strain."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on August 12, 2017

SOURCES: 

American Physical Therapy Association: "What you Need to Know About Neck Pain." 

Nadler, SF. , 2004.  The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association

K. Daniel Riew, MD, Mildred B. Simon Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine. 

Ylinen, J. et al. , 2003.  Journal of the American Medical Association

Anthony Delitto, PhD, PT, FAPTA, professor and chairman, department of physical therapy, University of Pittsburgh. 

UptoDate.com: "Cervical Strain."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on August 12, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

Can stretching help with cervical disc disease?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

"ALEXA, ASK WEBMD"

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.