All sprains or strains, no matter where they are located in the body, are treated in a similar manner. Neck sprains, like other sprains, will usually heal gradually, given time and appropriate treatment. You may have to wear a soft collar around your neck to help support the head and relieve pressure on the ligaments so they have time to heal.
Pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen can help reduce the pain and any swelling. Muscle relaxants can help ease spasms. You can apply an ice pack for 15 to 30 minutes at a time, several times a day for the first 2 or 3 days after the injury. This will help reduce inflammation and discomfort. Although heat, particularly moist heat, can help loosen cramped muscles, it should not be applied too quickly.
Other treatments may be helpful as your injury starts to improve. These treatments should not be started, however, without the supervision of your doctor. They include:
Massaging the tender area
Cervical (neck) traction
Aerobic and isometric exercise
Most symptoms of neck sprain will go away in 4 to 6 weeks. However, severe injuries may take longer to heal completely.