Nowadays, a lot of people complain of neck pain. The neck muscles can be overextended or twisted from poor posture. The neck can be strained from simple everyday activities such as bending over the computer or work desk. Neck pain can also happen because of osteoarthritis. However, there are rare cases when neck pain is a symptom of more serious condition. If the neck pain is accompanied by numbness or strength loss in the arms or hands, or a sudden and severe pain in the shoulder or down the arm, immediate medical care should be required.



The symptoms of neck pain are:

  • Muscle tightness
  • Spasms
  • Pain that gets worse when the head is in the same position for a long time
  • Greater pain in the neck when driving or working on the computer
  • Lack of ability to move the head normally
  • Headaches

Usually the neck pain gets better over time with home treatments. However, if the neck pain doesn’t go away it is good to see a doctor. If the neck pain results from injury as from a fall, driving or diving accident, it is recommendable to see the doctor immediately. And, visit the doctor as soon as possible when the neck pain is severe, constant for several days, spreads down the arms or legs, or shows up along with weakness, numbness and headache.



The neck is made up of flexible muscles that support the head and its weight. It is vulnerable so it can easily be a subject of injuries and other conditions that cause pain. The causes for neck pain can be:

  • Muscle strains from overuse or simple things such as reading a book in bed
  • Neck joints worn down with age
  • Compression of the spinal cord nerves
  • Injuries
  • Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis or cancer



Mild and moderate cases of neck pain are cured with home treatments in two or three weeks. When the neck pain is constant and doesn’t go away with self-care, medication, therapy or even surgery may be the treatment option.

A doctor can prescribe medications for the pain, muscle relaxants and tricyclic antidepressants for relief.

The therapies can be:

  • Physical therapy-exercises to strengthen the neck and maintain the right posture
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)-tiny electrical impulses that relieve the pain
  • Traction-gently stretching the neck with weights, pulleys or an air bladder
  • Short-term immobilization-soft collar that supports the neck (shouldn’t be used more than 3 hours at a time)

Another treatment options for neck pain include surgery when the cause for the pain is a nerve compression or steroid injections near the nerve root.


Home remedies

Some home remedies that can help in relieving the neck pain are:

  • Pain relievers
  • Applying cold ice pack on the neck several times a day, or having a hot shower or putting a heating pad can ease the pain
  • Gentle stretching exercises



Most of the neck pain cases occur as a result of poor posture. In order to prevent neck pain, the following simple changes in the everyday life can help:

  • Good posture-keep the shoulders in a straight line and the head centered over the spine
  • Regular brakes-get up and move around especially when working sedentary job for long hours
  • Adjustment of the desk, chair and computer to individual preferences
  • Don’t tuck the phone between the head and the shoulder when talking on the phone
  • Don’t carry heavy things over the shoulders
  • Quit smoking
  • Sleep in a good position