Topical Medications for Neck Pain: How Do They Work?

topical medication, upper cervical

Neck pain is quite a common health problem in the United States. In fact, it's estimated that up to 70% of Americans will experience neck pain at some point in their lives. Some people have chronic neck pain and can't seem to get rid of it, no matter what they do. If this sounds like you, then this article might be a good resource to check out! We'll discuss topical drugs for neck pain, their effectiveness, and how an upper cervical chiropractor can help you achieve lasting relief.

What's A Topical Medication?

A topical medication are applied on the skin to relieve pain or reduce swelling. They come in various formulations  They can be used to treat many different conditions, including pain, inflammation, and skin conditions. Topical medications are available in many forms, such as ointments, patches, or lotions. The medication can be applied topically (directly to the skin) or taken orally (by mouth).

How Do Topical Drugs Work for Neck Pain Relief

It's important to know how topical drugs work for neck pain relief before deciding whether or not they are right for you. Topical drugs work by entering the bloodstream through the skin and traveling to the site of injury or inflammation, where they can help relieve some of your symptoms. They may take up to one hour or longer to be effective. These medications are typically applied to the skin using a small pad, cream, gel, liquid spray, or bandage containing an active ingredient called hydrocortisone—a type of steroid that reduces swelling and inflammation in nearby tissues.Some manufacturers recommend applying this medication at least twice daily for maximum effectiveness; however, it is best practice not to apply more than one inch beyond the area where you have pain if possible.The most common forms of topical drugs include: 

  • Creams/ointments
  • Gels/liquids/sprays

Other Methods to Relieve Neck Pain

Below are some of the non-pharmaceutical forms of neck pain relief you can try:


Exercise can help strengthen muscles and reduce tension, which may, in turn, reduce the pain of neck spasms.

Relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation

Even if you don't believe in them, many people find that they help relieve stress and, therefore, their overall pain levels.

Massage therapy

Whether it’s self-massage or professional treatment — massage has been shown to be pretty effective at reducing both acute and chronic muscle tension in the upper back and shoulders, even when other treatments have failed to do so.

topical medication, upper cervical

Heat or Ice Packs

Heat packs (such as ice packs) or cold packs are often recommended by doctors for treating muscle spasms associated with whiplash injuries because cold helps relax muscles while heat soothes soreness after exercise or physical activity; however, it's important not to use heat/ice packs too often because this could cause more damage than good over time!

Upper Cervical Chiropractic

While over-the-counter topical creams and patches may provide temporary relief from neck pain, the best way to relieve pain is to address the cause of the pain. You can do this with upper cervical chiropractic care. Cervical chiropractors are trained professionals who have been specifically educated to diagnose and treat spinal problems like neck pain caused by misalignment in the atlas and axis bone. They often recommend care plans that focus on reducing stress on joints while improving mobility so they can function properly again.

If you’re looking for a natural, non-invasive way to relieve neck pain, then it might be time to consider upper cervical chiropractic care. It is safe to use on its own or with the other forms and approaches to neck pain relief that was discussed in this blog. You can easily find a credible upper cervical chiropractic clinic in your area by using our Find-a-Doctor tool for the complete list of chiropractors in the United States! So what are you waiting for? Set your appointment with one now!


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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.