Q:

How do I get rid of a muscle spasm in my neck?

A:

Neck spasms often respond to treatment with nonprescription pain relievers, but a health care provider sometimes recommends prescription medications, including muscle relaxants, to help relieve the pain, according to MedlinePlus. If the provider suspects the pain is due to nerve damage, he may recommend the patient see a neurosurgeon or a neurologist.

MedlinePlus indicates that neck pain is often traced to lifestyle choices. Individuals who work for hours with their head bent forward at a desk, have poor posture while watching television or sleep in an uncomfortable position are likely to suffer neck problems.

Heat, ice and gentle stretching exercises can help to prevent neck spasms, according to WebMD. Apply heat with a heating pad or cold therapy with an ice pack for 15-minute intervals every two to three hours. Gentle stretching exercises that keep the neck moving are effective at preventing more pain. Massaging the area or the use of nonprescription pain relief cream is also helpful for relieving the strain.

Many people who suffer neck spasms benefit from lifestyle changes, notes WebMD. Regular exercise that includes the neck helps to reduce the chances of injury. Taking steps to reduce stress in all areas of life makes a spasm less likely. Smokers who stop using tobacco improve the ability of their body to heal.

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