7 Treatments for Chronic or Long-Term Neck Pain

Most chronic or long-term neck pain and discomfort comes from wear and tear, injuries, and overuse — three things no one can avoid if they live long enough.

The pain and discomfort from neck problems vary widely. Common symptoms include: 

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness and reduced range of motion
  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness in the arm, hand, or shoulder
  • Numbness, prickling, and tingling in the forearm, hand, and fingers

Pain specialists typically recommend non-invasive conservative treatments to relieve chronic neck pain. Below is a list of some of the most common.

1. Steroid Injections 

Some of the below treatments take a while to relieve chronic neck pain. Steroid injections can provide relief within hours that can last for weeks or even months.

A simple outpatient procedure that takes a few minutes, a steroid injection can reduce or eliminate chronic neck pain long enough for you to start realizing benefits from physical therapy and other non-drug treatments.

2. Occupational Therapy 

Occupational therapists can help you improve your daily ergonomic awareness at work, out and about, and around the home.

For example, poor posture sitting and standing posture can cause chronic neck pain. Practicing healthy moving and non-moving posture involves maintaining your spine’s three natural curves (neck, mid-back, and lower back). 

3. Physical Therapy

A certified physical therapist can develop a stretching and strengthening routine tailored to your body. Consistent stretching and strengthening can help your body heal faster and keep your neck and spine healthy.

Physical therapists may also recommend therapeutic devices, such as cervical or neck traction devices, to help relieve your neck pain. A neck traction device can ease neck pain related to nerve root irritation by gently stretching the neck.

4. Lifestyle/DIY Remedies

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicines

OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen), and pain relievers like Tylenol (acetaminophen) can be effective pain management for chronic neck pain. 

Always consult with a doctor before using OTC medications and use them as directed.

R & R

Like a sore throat or a pulled hamstring, getting enough rest and sleep can help decrease chronic neck pain. 

Applying cold packs or compresses and warm compresses or heat pads to your neck can be comfortable and relaxing.

With chronic neck pain, which occurs because of damage to the neck’s bones, discs, and joints, this therapy likely won’t provide much, if any, pain relief. It may, however, provide some added comfort and relaxation that can help you rest. 

6. Prescription Medications

Muscle Relaxants 

If your chronic neck pain is making you lose sleep, muscle relaxants may help. Though pain specialists typically prescribe muscle relaxants for acute pain, they can help you rest and sleep better by inducing drowsiness. 

Tricyclic Antidepressants

Your doctor or pain specialist may recommend tricyclic antidepressants, especially if your chronic neck pain is nerve-related. 

Opioid Painkillers

If other treatments don’t work, your pain specialist might recommend the short-term use of prescription painkillers. 

7. Alternative Medicine

Alternative therapies such as chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage may relieve neck pain. If conventional treatments haven’t worked for you, you might want to ask your pain specialist about these therapies. 

Chronic Neck Pain Treatment in Houston, Dallas, and Other TX Locales

Texas Pain Physicians specializes in pain treatment, including chronic neck pain. Our friendly pain specialists will assess your medical history, pain condition, and recovery goals to develop a unique pain treatment plan for you.

Please give us a call today or book your appointment online!