Remember to never place ice or heat directly on your skin. Use a barrier, such as a towel, to protect your skin from a burn. How long you use ice as a treatment can depend on the painful area but generally up to 15 minutes leaving a few hours between treatments.
You should stop treating the area with ice or heat and seek advice from a medical professional if you notice an increase in redness, discolouration or blistering of the skin.
If you have any issues with circulation or sensation, you shouldn’t use ice or heat as a treatment for neck pain.
It’s easy to start worrying about all the possible things that could be wrong, but research has shown that most neck pain settles with time.
Keeping as active as possible helps you to cope better and get back to your usual activities more quickly.
It’s recommended you stay at or return to work as quickly as possible during your recovery. This is important and usually the best way to get better. You don’t need to be pain and symptom-free to return to work.
You should speak to your employer to see if you need any workplace adjustments.
Help and support
Following this advice, you should see gradual improvements over time.
You should see the biggest change in your symptoms within the first couple of weeks. Most problems should have improved within 6 weeks.
If your neck problem hasn’t improved within 6 weeks of following this advice, it’s a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional about your symptoms.