Common treatment options for neck pain
When treating axial neck pain, one must differentiate between a muscle/soft tissue injury versus bone/joint-related injury. Soft tissue injury may include whiplash injury, muscle strain, or myofascial pain. In these cases, conservative strategies are emphasized. Postural correction while sitting, at work, or in bed is recommended. Physical therapy working on strength and dynamic exercise has been helpful for neck pain, to some degree. Manual therapy can be beneficial.
Nonetheless, in a study involving whiplash injury sufferers, those who sought medical and/or alternative treatment had a longer recovery time. This may suggest that treatment may enable behaviors or perception of disability.
For mild-to-moderate neck pain, acetaminophen and nonsteroidal antiinflammatories may be administered. For management of facet-mediated pain, medial nerve branch blocks or steroid joint injections can be performed. Radiofrequency neurotomy can be performed for more sustained relief. Epidural injections can be performed for radicular pain. For chronic pain, cognitive behavioral therapy has proven to be beneficial.