A neck spasm is sudden tightness and pain in your neck muscles. A spasm may be caused by some activities or repeated movements. For example, you may be more likely to have a neck spasm if you slouch, paint a ceiling, work at a computer, or sleep with your neck twisted. But the cause isn't always clear.
Home treatment includes using heat or ice, taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicines, and avoiding activities that may lead to neck pain. Gentle stretching, or treatments such as massage or manipulation, may also help ease a neck spasm.
For a neck spasm that doesn't get better with home care, your doctor may prescribe medicine. He or she may also suggest exercise or physiotherapy to help strengthen or relax your neck muscles.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: November 29, 2017
Steven J. Atlas, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine
& Joan Rigg, PT, OCS - Physical Therapy
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