neck spasms pain

8 simple and effective neck spasms treatments

What are neck spasms?

Neck spasms are caused when muscles in your neck contract and cannot be released voluntarily. The muscles become tight, hard and painful. Onset is often sudden, but it can be a chronic problem associated with other medical conditions. Among the causes of neck spasms are:

  • whiplash following an automobile collision
  • poor posture
  • sports injury,
  • straining your neck muscles, such as sleeping in an awkward position or long spells on the computer

There are a number of things you can do to treat neck spasms. Treatment involves correcting the cause and taking steps to ease the pain and provide comfort.


8 Simple and Effective Neck Spasms Treatments

Treat neck muscle spasms as soon as possible. Try to identify what caused your neck muscle spasms – poor posture, carrying heavy loads. When you identify the source, stop doing what it was that aggravated your neck muscle spasms. If you use a computer a lot, do gentle neck exercises every 15 minutes to prevent muscle spasm.


1. Medication

Over-the-counter pain-killers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, (NSAIDS) like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen help relieve pain and reduce inflammation and swelling. Ibuprofen gel can be rubbed on to your neck for direct relief to the area. Read labels and take medications as directed. Consult your doctor.


2. Balms

Medicated balms are available over-the-counter and can give relief for neck muscle spasms. They usually contain mentholwhich raises the body temperature and the heat soothes the muscle considerably. Ibuprofen gel can be rubbed on to your neck for direct pain relief.


3. Rest

Reduce activity for a day or two.  Lying down for short spells allows your muscles to relax – by doing this, you are giving your neck a rest from the job of holding your head up. Contour pillows may provide support and pain relief while you are resting. But be careful – spending long periods in bed may cause your neck muscles to stiffen.

Sleep on a low, firm pillow.  Avoid using too many pillows as this forces your neck to bend unnaturally.


4. Posture

Check your posture.  Bad posture can aggravate the muscle tension and pain, and it may have caused the spasm in the first place.


5. Stretching

Spasms can be caused by over-stretching but gently stretching and moving your neck can help relieve the spasm.


6. Massage

Massages helps relieve pain. It increases blood flow to the damaged area and reduces inflammation. You can massage your neck yourself pressing and kneading the tight muscles. You can also get a massage from a friend, therapist or neck massage tool.


7. Apply Ice

Apply an ice pack, gel pack, or pack of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth to your neck for 20 minutes, every hour, for the first two days after an injury. After that, you can use a heating pad to relieve spasms.


8. Apply Heat

  • You can apply a heat pad directly to your neck or hold a hot water bottle to the affected area. This can help reduce the pain and muscle spasm. Apply for 20 minutes at a time, several times per day.  Do this for 3- 4 days until your muscle spasm is relieved. Take care to avoid burning your skin.
  • Hot baths are also effective.


When to seek medical advice

Consult your doctor if:

  • the pain or spasm doesn’t improve after a week to ten days.
  • you have severe or recurring neck muscle spasms.
  • ordinary painkillers can’t relieve the pain.
  • you’re worried there may be a more serious cause.

The neck spasms treatments listed above are simple yet very effective in bringing you relief from this painful condition.