Acute neck pain is one of those injuries that you just cannot ignore – I know, I've tried! I see cases of acute neck pain fairly frequently, and a pattern that I have noticed is that nobody really knows what to do when, all of a sudden, they've got an 8/10 pain in their neck and can't move it. This blog will be my definitive guide as to what to do in cases of acute neck pain.
First, do no-HARM. no-HARM stands for no-Heat, no-Alcohol (or caffeine), no-Running (or other exercise), and no-Massage. All of these things cause inflammation and will make the pain WORSE.
Gentle Stretching. Stretch your neck gently. Any aggressive stretching will produce the same sorts of results as massage, and just make matters worse. Try this stretch. It's gentle, simple, and you can do it anywhere.
Get it treated ASAP. Acute neck pain rarely just spontaneously resolves itself – it is going to need some clinical help. Needling is the current best standard for resolving acute neck pain, so my advice is to call your nearest sports acupuncturist!*
If you can do just those 3 things, your acute neck pain has a much higher chance of resolving quickly.
For more information on neck pain, email me directly via the contact page. For specific information on an injury you have, or for treatment, contact one of my clinics directly. You can find that information here.
*Trinh K, Graham N, Irnich D, Cameron ID, Forget M. Acupuncture for neck disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016(5):Cd004870
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Dr Mitch Clark