What medications help treat neck pain?

Akash Bajaj, MD

Neck pain is one of the main symptoms of cervical disc disease, in which discs between vertebrae become herniated or deteriorate, sometimes pinching nerves.

Several different drugs, from pain relievers to anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids, can help ease your neck pain while you heal. Depending on the extent of your neck pain and the type of cervical disc disease, you can either take medications alone or use them together with physical therapy or other treatments.

Pain medications: Your doctor may prescribe prescription strength medication that can manage your pain. Opioid analgesics are sometimes used briefly to treat acute neck pain. Muscle relaxants, tramadol (Ultram) or tricyclic antidepressant medications used for pain also may be prescribed. Nerve pain medications may also be helpful for mitigating these symptoms on a biochemical level. These typically are taken chronically and require a buildup period of 2-4 weeks

Injections of medication: Injections of medications may help relieve neck pain. Your doctor may inject corticosteroid medications near the nerve roots, into the small facet joints in the bones of the cervical spine, or into the muscles in your neck to help with pain. Numbing medications, such as lidocaine, also can be injected to relieve your neck pain.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.