What to do if a sore neck: how to treat at home, when to go to the doctor

The neck consists of vertebrae that extend from your neck to your upper torso. Between the vertebrae there are special plates to absorb the pressure. Bones, ligaments and muscles located in the neck — working in order to support the head and move. Any abnormalities, trauma, or inflammation of the cervical spine leads to pain.

how to get rid of sharp neck pain

What do we do, if it hurts your neck? In fact, from time to time it happens to everybody. Often this is due to stress or poor posture. Sometimes the pain can be the result of injuries from a fall or playing sports.

Most often you get rid of your neck pain might be a few days at home, without additional tools, if it's small enough, it goes away from you. Sometimes it may be a warning of serious injury, illness, immediate professional medical examination. If the pain in the cervical spine is strong, persists for more than seven accompanied by other symptoms, consult a doctor immediately.

Causes of pain in the neck

When you hurt your neck? This may be due to several reasons.

Muscle tension, stretch

Most often this is due to:

  • the bad posture;
  • staying too long at the table;
  • poor posture while sleeping;
  • damage to the neck during exercise.


The neck is especially vulnerable to falls, car accidents, sports, other activities, during which the muscles are forced to go beyond the usual range of motion. When fracture of the cervical vertebrae, the probability that the spine was injured.

Heart attack

Neck pain can be a symptom of heart attack. However, it is usually in such cases, it appears together with other symptoms, such as:

  • shortness of breath;
  • sweating;
  • weakness;
  • vomiting;
  • pain in the arms or jaw.

If you notice several of these symptoms, call an Ambulance immediately.

how to get rid of acute neck pain exercises


Meningitis is an inflammation of the thin sheath, spinal cord, brain. In many cases, patients with meningitis, and fever, headache, acknowledge the discomfort, stagnation of the neck. This is a very dangerous disease that can cause death. If you say, meningitis symptoms, immediately consult a doctor.

Other reasons

  • Rheumatoid arthritis causes discomfort, swelling of the joints, bone spurs. The development of arthritis in the neck are severe pain.
  • The osteoporosis weakens the bone tissue, fractures. The biggest risk is usually exposed, on all fours, but often suffer from neck.
  • Fibromyalgia is a condition which causes muscle pain in the body, especially the neck and shoulders.
  • Age degeneration of the intervertebral disc. This condition is also called osteoarthritis is narrowing of the space between ceruicis vertebrae, which increases the load on the neck pain.
  • As a result, the damage of intervertebral disc can begin to definitely talk, which increases the load on the spine, nerve endings, which may interfere.
  • Spina of stenosis occurs when the spine narrows causing pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots exiting the vertebrae. This may be the result of the prolonged inflammation caused by arthritis, other diseases.

In rare cases, the neck pain may occur as a result of:

  • congenital abnormalities;
  • the infection;
  • abscess;
  • tumor;
  • cancer of the spine.

When to see a doctor

If the symptoms persist for more than a week, consult your specialist. Also need to go to the hospital if any of the following symptoms:

  • severe pain in the neck without reason;
  • tumor;
  • fever;
  • headache;
  • swollen lymph nodes;
  • weakness;
  • vomiting;
  • problems with swallowing, breathing;
  • nausea;
  • numbness;
  • ringing in the ears;
  • pain that spreads to the arms or the legs;
  • is that you can't move the arm;
  • the inability to touch the chin to the chest;
  • disorder in the urine or stool retention.

Also, consult a doctor immediately if the pain was the result of a or collision.

How to treat neck pain

First, the doctor checks the physical condition, medical history. Be prepared to talk about the nuances of manifesting symptoms. It is also worth to mention all medications in the recent past. Any information about the existing injuries, even if you think that this is irrelevant, the problem would be useful.

The method of treatment depends on the diagnosis. In addition to the general examination, analysis of medical records, the doctor may order additional tests:

  • blood tests;
  • x-rays;
  • computed tomography;
  • MRI scan;
  • electromyography, which allows you to check the health of the muscles and their controlling nerve endings;
  • lumbar or spinal puncture.

Depending on test results your doctor, contact the appropriate specialist. Treatment may include the following:

  • calor justo;
  • Physical therapy and stretching;
  • painkillers;
  • corticosteroid injection;
  • muscle relaxants;
  • neck brace;
  • tractus traction of the spine;
  • antibiotics (if infection);
  • hospital treatment (meningitis, heart attack);
  • surgery (rarely used).

Alternative treatment:

  • acupuncture;
  • chiropractic;
  • massage;
  • transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

Any treatment, make sure that the appeal submitted to a certified professional.

the exercises first

How to get rid of neck pain at home

If the pain is minor, try the following treatment methods:

  • The first few days cold compresses to apply to the damaged region. After that, use hot compresses or a hot shower;
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, paracetamol;
  • For a few days, refrain from sports, lifting weights, and activities which increases the pain. Decreases the symptoms gradually return to your normal activity level;
  • Every day exercises for the neck. Slowly pull the back of the head from right to left, from top to bottom;
  • Follow the car;
  • During a conversation not to pinch the phone between the neck and the shoulder;
  • Change your body position. Do not sit or stand too long without moving;
  • A light massage of the neck;
  • While sleeping, use a special pillow for the neck;
  • Don't wear a neck brace without consulting a specialist. Incorrect use may exacerbate the symptoms.

Stretching will help you forget the pain

During operation, try to keep the monitor at eye level, sit up straight, keep your back straight, don't recurvus, don't hang your head too low. While driving or surfing on the Internet, try to give myself a little rest to the neck vertebrae didn't go too far.

The key is to get rid of the pain— the drill proper stretching. The following exercises for the back and the neck can do the work while driving:

  • 10 circular movement of the shoulders back;
  • 10 times longer blades together;
  • I held my head, so push back your chair, and hold this position for 30 seconds;
  • Tilt your head as close to the shoulders, 10 times each side.

Be careful in your dreams

If you are often concerned about pain in the cervical spine, carefully apply to what circumstances, in what position to sleep. Try to sleep only on your side or back — don't sleep on your stomach.

If you sleep on your stomach, turn your head to one side or the other and neck freezes for a couple of hours in an uncomfortable position. This dream can have a negative impact on the lower back, as you are not in the stomach "falls".

When the minor pain with exercises, follow these guidelines:

  • Apply to the injured area is cold or warm compress. The first 48-72 hours, use ice, you can go to the warm compresses. Do not use the compress during sleep, as this may cause injury.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, paracetamol;
  • Longer, but to eliminate those movements which increase the pain. This will help reduce the symptoms of inflammation.
  • A light massage of the neck.
  • Try sleeping on a firm mattress without a pillow or a special pillow for the neck.
  • Ask your doctor that you need the competition. Don't wear the brace too long, it can weaken the muscles.

9 yoga exercises for neck

Yoga is also a good way to get rid of the pain.

1. Hands on the chest

I'm comfortable on the floor or in a chair, back straight, relaxed shoulders, neck extended. Pull the right hand, so that she was shoulder height, bring the left. Turn your head, look over my right shoulder. This pose allows you to stretch the muscles of the neck, and then back to the shoulder. Hold this position for 8-10 breaths, and then repeat the same with the left hand.

the second workout

2. Does it mean to "thread the needle, the needle"

Get on all fours, knees at an angle relative to the thighs. Extend your left arm forward and slide under. On the ground right shoulder, face. Close your eyes, relax, think, that the stretching of the muscles of the shoulders, arms, upper back and neck. Hold this position for 8-10 breaths, and then repeat the same with the left hand.

3. Hands eagle

Sit or stand in a comfortable position, spine straight, the neck is extended. Extend both arms so that they are shoulder width or shoulder height. Bend your right hand to the head, then slide the left hand under. Bend and wrap the left hand on the right. The ultimate goal is to touch the hand. This may take a while, if you don't, then place the left hand on the right wrist. Take a deep breath. Lower your shoulders, gently pull the hands, the face, and then slowly rotate your head towards your left shoulder. This pose allows you to stretch the muscles of the arms, the shoulders, the upper back and neck. Hold this position for at least 5 breaths (ideally 10). Repeat on the other side.

4. Circular motion of the head

I'm comfortable on the floor or in a chair, back straight, relaxed shoulders, neck extended. Lower your chin to your chest, then slowly lower your head to the right, trying to catch the right ear to the right shoulder. Dip the fingertips of the left hand on the left shoulder and right hand on the left ear. The harder you press your hands to the shoulder, the ear, the more stretch muscles. This practice is a pain in the neck and shoulders. Repeat on the other side.

5. Circular motion of the shoulder

Sit or stand in a comfortable position, keep the straight. Place your fingertips on the shoulder. Bring your elbows towards each other in front of the body to stretch the shoulders, the upper back. Up— to stretch the triceps. The side — to stretch the chest, front of shoulders. Stretch the elbows to each other in the back to stretch the deep muscles of the shoulders, the chest.

6. Stretching Cat

Get on all fours, knees at an angle relative to the thighs. Every breath stop back, eyes directed to the ceiling. Every time you breath, pull your chin to your chest, pull the spine, the back rounded. This exercise helps to stretch the muscles of the neck, chest, shoulders, back, waist. Hold each position for 8-10 air-exhalations.

sixth practice

7. Hand, elbow

Sit or stand in a comfortable position, keep the straight. Raise your right hand, elbow bent, push between the shoulder blades. The left palm, place your right elbow and gently press to enhance the stretching of the muscles. This pose allows you to stretch the muscles of the shoulder, triceps, well, head. Hold the position for 8-10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

8. Hands in the castle behind

Stand straight with the feet shoulder width apart. You pull your hands back soprikosnites hand. Raise your hand as high as possible, until you feel the stretch in the first part of the shoulder. Hold the position for 8-10 breaths.

9. Fish pose, supported by

Sit on the floor, legs pull in front or bend your knees. The place is a little pile of two blankets or a yoga block behind, so when lean back, one between the shoulder blades and the other under my head. Descending back to the blocks, keep your hands relaxed on the side of the fuselage. This pose allows you to stretch the muscles of the neck, chest and the anterior shoulder. Hold the position for 8-10 breaths.