Neck pain is a common complaint. Neck muscles can be strained from poor posture — whether it's leaning over your computer or hunching over your workbench. Osteoarthritis also is a common cause of neck pain.
Alternate heat and cold. Reduce inflammation by applying cold, such as an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel, for up to 20 minutes several times a day. Or alternate the cold treatment with heat. Try taking a warm shower or using a heating pad on the low setting.
Home exercises. Begin daily gentle stretching, including neck rolls and shoulder rolls, once the worst of your pain has subsided. Gently tilt, bend and rotate your neck. Warm your neck and back with a heating pad or in the shower or bath before doing these exercises. Your doctor or a physical therapist can instruct you in doing these exercises.
Rarely, neck pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem. Seek medical care if your neck pain is accompanied by numbness or loss of strength in your arms or hands or if you have shooting pain into your shoulder or down your arm...
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