ease neck spasm

Neck muscle spasm can come from an acute injury, such as a whiplash injury in a car accident.  It can also be seen in repetitive motion injuries of the neck, such as having to strain to see a computer screen all day long.

Not only does this cause chronic neck pain but it can lead to muscle spasm and an inability to move the neck from side to side.

Ease Neck Muscle Spasm – Treatments for Spasm

The treatment used for muscle spasm depends on when the injury occurred.  In the beginning stages of an injury, the neck hurts and the muscles are in pain but they are not yet in spasm.  In such cases, the best treatment is to relieve the inflammation of the muscles so that they don’t go into spasm.

The best treatment in the early stages of a muscle strain includes the following:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS)

This includes over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (which is marketed as Motrin and Advil) and naproxen sodium (which is marketed as Aleve and Naprosyn).

They not only treat the pain of a muscle injury but they also ease the inflammation of the muscles so they don’t go into spasm. Acetaminophen (marketed as Paracetamol and Tylenol) can be used for the pain in the neck but, as it does nothing for muscle inflammation, it is not a good medication to use in the prevention of muscle spasm.

NSAIDs are much better for muscle strains than acetaminophen, particularly for this reason.

Always consult a doctor before taking any medication.


Ice Application

In the beginning stages of an injury (within 48 hours), the muscles are only inflamed but are not yet in spasm. This is when ice should be applied to the injured neck muscles.  Ice can be applied in the form of a conventional ice pack you buy online or at the drug store or pharmacy, as a bag of ice you get from your freezer, or as a bag of frozen vegetables you get from the freezer.

Put the ice or other frozen substance on the painful muscles for thirty minutes, using a cloth between the ice and your skin so that you don’t freeze the skin.  You can take off the ice pack after 30 minutes before allowing about a 30 minute warm up period before applying the ice again.  This can be done around the clock for about 2 days following an acute injury to the neck.

Once the muscles have gone into spasm, the ice no longer is effective as a single agent for the treatment of muscle spasm and can actually make the muscle spasm worse.  In such cases, heat is the best treatment.


Heat Application

You can use a neck and shoulder heating pad you buy online.  Most come with a cover but, if yours doesn’t, use a cloth or towel between the heating pad and the skin so you don’t burn the skin.

Plug in the heating pad, set it to low, and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes. After thirty minutes, stretch your neck gently while it cools down.  You can then apply the heating pad again for an additional 30 minutes.  You can do this indefinitely until your muscle spasm eases and you can move your neck around comfortably.

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