Involuntary, often painful, movement of the neck muscles is called a neck spasm. Relief can normally be accomplished through self-treatment, using topical creams or balms, over-the-counter pain relievers, a heating pad or hot water bottle, or massage. The pain generally fades fairly quickly once the neck muscles begin to relax.
However, you might find that your symptoms do not respond to simple home remedies. If you fail to achieve neck spasm relief after a day or two of self-treatment, visit your doctor for diagnosis. More often than not, a neck spasm is the result of prolonged poor posture while sitting at your desk or driving. Sometimes, the diagnosis is much more complex, and you will need to work with your doctor to develop a neck pain relief treatment program. The potential causes of a neck spasm include:
- Strained muscle
- Muscle tension
- Whiplash or other cervical spine injury
- Herniated disc
- Viral infection
If your symptoms are caused by a herniated disc or another condition affecting the cervical spine, your doctor will likely suggest a conservative course of treatment that might include physical therapy, exercise, rest, or behavior modification. If chronic neck pain persists after weeks or months of conservative treatment, your doctor might suggest surgery as an option for neck spasm relief.
If surgery is suggested, consider the gentle, endoscopic alternatives offered by Laser Spine Institute (LSI). The surgeons at LSI perform minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that can help you rediscover a life without pain. Contact LSI to learn more about back and neck pain relief options, or for a free review of your CT scan or MRI.