CategoriesAyurveda Blog

Conservative Treatment for Neck Pain: Medications, Physical Therapy and Exercise

Neck pain can be caused by a number of factors, including muscle strains or ligament strains or a “pinched” nerve or arthritis. Generally, regardless of the cause, pain can be improved with conservative therapy. Neck pain is often classified as “acute” (lasting less than 6 weeks), “sub-acute” (lasting 6 to 12 weeks), or “chronic” (lasting more than 12 weeks). While most episodes of acute pain settle down quickly, some people suffer for long-term pain. This article presents conservative treatment plan for patients suffering from neck pain.

What Causes neck pain?

There are many possible causes of neck pain include:

  • Cervical muscle strain
  • Cervical spondylitis
  • Cervical facet syndrome
  • Cervical discogenic pain
  • Whiplash injury
  • Diffuse skeletal hyperostosis
  • Cervical myofascial pain
  • Cervical spondylotic myelopathy
  • Cervical radiculopathy



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 Modern Medications 

Acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen or naproxen may help soothe mild to moderate neck pain.


This is one of the most common treatments for chronic neck pain. Most physiotherapy schedule for neck pain involve applying treatments to alleviate pain and stiffness enough to begin an exercise program of strengthening and stretching the neck. The specific technique and practices employed in physical therapy, as well as the time span of the treatment plan, can differ from person to person. Even if ache cannot be entirely removed, physical therapy may play a key role in improving neck posture and function for daily movements.

Objectives of Physical Therapy for Neck Pain

  • Alleviate pain and stiffness
  • Improve range of motion of head and neck
  • Evolve dynamic strengthening of the neck and its supporting musculature
  • Evolve strategies to fend off pain from recurring

Methods of Physical Therapy Treatment

There are two common forms of physical therapy:

Passive physical therapy

This therapy involves treatments being applied without effort from the patient. Promiscuous treatment methods are available, like applying heat therapy, ice packs, massage therapy, ultrasound, electrotherapy, and others. The aim of passive physical therapy is to aid alleviate pain and inflammation.

Ice packs

  • Applying ice pack to the painful area can it reduce neck pain.
  • Normally, for acute injuries, ice is advised as the initial treatment, especially if swelling is present.
  • Place an ice pack to the painful area for relieve muscle tightness.

Heat therapy

  • Heat therapy can also help to relieve neck pain.
  • Apply moist heat for little bit of time with a shower, hot bath,
  • You can also apply a heated towel, be careful not to overheat, as this can cause harm.


  • A deep tissue massage can be helpful to alleviate muscle spasms by relieving the build-up of tension
  • There are different types of massage, and people have different preferences about the technique and amount of pressure employed.

Active physical therapy

This therapy involves the moving patient body through exercises and stretches. By improving strength and ductility in the neck, these muscles may become less painful and better able to maintain good posture, which decreases pressure on the cervical spine.

Stretching Exercises 

  • Stretching exercise can help restore and preserve the range of motion with exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles of neck.
  • Range of motion exercises and stretching may help reduce pain from muscle injury.
  • Best way to perform stretching exercises is the muscles are warm, such as after a few minutes of cardiovascular warm-up exercises or after the application of heat therapy.
  • It can be done in the morning to mitigate stiffness and again at night before going to bed.
  • Do not make an effort these exercises if you have a pinched nerve in the neck,

Efficacy of Physical Therapy

Many studies reveal that physical therapy can aid lower spine-related ache, such as in the neck and lower back. Physical therapy’s incredible benefits include reducing neck pain and improving range of motion. Some studies have found even more benefits from physical therapy when combined with other treatment methods, such as aerobic exercise.


Exercises for Neck Pain


  • Neck Rotation Exercise:
  • Gradually look to the right.
  • Hold for a few seconds.
  • Look straight ahead and rest for a few seconds.
  • Do the procedure for 15 to 20 times.
  • After that repeat on opposite side
  • Neck Tilting Exercise:
  • Look straight forward, and then tilt the top of the head to the right, trying to touch your right ear to your right shoulder.
  • Hold for a few seconds, and then get back the head to the center.
  • Repeat the procedure for 10 to 15 times, and then repeat opposite side
  • Neck Bending Exercise:
  • Tilt your head ahead and effort to touch your chin to your neck in nodding manner.
  • Hold for a 5 to 10 seconds, breathe in slowly, and gradually exhale with each exercise. Exhaling with the movement helps relax the muscles.
  • Repeat the procedure for 10 to 15 times.
  • Relax the back and neck muscles with each neck bend.
  • Shoulder Rolls Exercise:
  • In a sitting or standing position, hold your arms at your sides with the elbows bent.
  • Try to squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Roll your shoulders backwards 10 to 15 times, moving in a rhythmic, rowing motion.
  • Proper neck adjustment is significant during this practice.
  • Rest, and then turn over and over your shoulders forward 10 to 15 times.
  • Deep neck flexor strengthening:
  • Lie on your back, and then draw your chin down and inwards while contracting the deep muscles of your neck.
  • Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, and then relax.
  • Repeat the procedure for 15 to 20 times.
  • Chest wall stretches:
  • Stand in a doorway and hold your arms out to your sides with your elbows bent and your palms facing out.
  • Stable your elbows against the door frame, slightly below shoulder level, then lean forward gradually to stretch your chest and shoulder muscles.
  • Hold the stretch for 1 to 3 minutes, and repeat 15 to 20 times.
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