Neck Pain Treatments That Don't Involve Pills

If you struggle with neck pain, you may frequently swallow pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or naproxen, to keep the pain under control. These treatments do often work, but they can also cause some side effects, and they are not appropriate for patients with certain health conditions, such as liver disease or stomach ulcers. If you can't take pain pills or prefer not to take them for neck pain, that does not mean you have to just sit there and suffer. Here are some other neck pain treatment options to consider.

Chiropractic adjustments

Chiropractors are well known for their ability to treat back pain. However, the spine extends up into the neck, too, and having a chiropractor adjust that part of your spine can help alleviate neck pain. Patients often assume this will only work if their neck pain is directly caused by a spinal misalignment, but that's not the case. If your neck pain is due to a strained muscle, your chiropractor can adjust your neck in a way that takes the pressure off that muscle. If your pain is due to a certain ligament, the chiropractor will adjust with the goal of easing tension in that ligament. Most patients benefit from regular adjustments once or twice a month.

Peppermint essential oil

There are a few essential oils that are helpful for topical pain relief, such as neck pain. But peppermint oil is perhaps the best choice because it works in a few different ways. It directly helps cool and ease tension within the muscles. Plus, its scent is very relaxing, and when you inhale the peppermint oil aromas, your stress levels will decrease. Most people, when their stress levels are lower, immediately relax the tension in their shoulders and neck, which helps lower the level of neck pain you're experiencing.

Corticosteroid injections

If you know that your neck pain is caused by a herniated disc or a ligament strain, then you may want to talk to your doctor about corticosteroid injections. This is an injection that can be made directly into the affected tissues in your neck. It helps bring down the level of inflammation, allowing the affected tissues to heal. A corticosteroid shot typically remains effective for up to three months. Some patients only need one shot, and others need repeated shots for ongoing relief.

Neck pain does not always need to be treated with pills. Talk to your doctor to learn more about the above treatment options.