How to Treat Neck Pain

Anything can cause neck pain – you might sleep on your neck in a funny way or spend a lot of time holding the phone on your shoulder. You may not realize how useful your neck is until you can’t move it, like when the guy standing next to you asks a question, and answering it requires three-quarters of a turn of your body.
Neck pain is often caused by fitness activities. This includes poor weightlifting technique, such as turning your head to the side while doing a shoulder press, and poor upper body exercises, such as letting your head hang forward when walking.
If you experience neck pain after a traumatic accident, such as hitting your head with a soccer ball, see your doctor immediately. Also see a doctor if you have persistent or recurring neck pain.

Neck pain of the non-traumatic type usually indicates a tightening of the muscles in your neck, upper back, and/or shoulders. When you press your finger on the area between your shoulder and your neck and there is very little tender or flexibility, your neck muscles are tight. One treatment: Gently tighten your neck muscles. If you feel tightness on the right side of your neck, tilt your head toward your left shoulder and extend your right arm down. Gentle massage is also helpful in releasing tangled neck muscles.
Ice is usually an appropriate treatment for an injury, and is not always the best option for neck pain. If you are rough at first, applying ice may make you more nervous. If your problem is a stiff neck, moist heat in the form of a warm washcloth, shower massage, or whirlpool may be the best solution.