Conservative, non-surgical treatments are the first course of action in almost all cases of back and neck pain. About 80% of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives and only a small percentage will need surgery.
Most back and neck pain responds well to home care. Some of the most common self-care treatments are listed here.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers taken on a regular schedule may be all that you need to cure your back or neck pain.
- Alternating heat and cold packs can reduce inflammation. Wrap ice in a towel for up to 20 minutes several times a day. For heat, use a heating pad on low or take a warm shower. Heat can relax sore muscles but may increase inflammation, so use with caution.
- Gentle stretches may help relax muscles. Stretch your back and neck gently as far as your pain will allow.