How do you treat neck pain in children?

Although minor bruises and bumps are not uncommon in the early years, the feeling of having neck pain when you’re a kid is a bit alarming.

Many things can trigger the neck to hurt in young children, and it’s important to determine the root of the problem for choosing the most effective way to treat it.

Neck pain is typically short-lived and resolves in one or two days with no treatment. However, there are times when neck pain can be persistent and may affect the child’s life quality, including social activities and schooling.

The neck muscles are strained, and muscle strains could be caused by rough playing or watching down for long periods, for example, while using the phone or on a computer.

You must listen to your child when they talk about their symptoms to determine and treat the root of the neck pain.


Treatment for neck pain in children depends on the causes. In the short run, home remedies can aid the child in getting relief.

Home remedies

Simple home remedies may assist in treating slight to moderate neck pains for children.

Within the first couple of days, ice may help decrease swelling as well as swelling. Wrap an ice cube or bag of ice cubes inside the towel and place the wrap to the neck of the child to be used for twenty minutes at the same time.

If neck pain continues to persist after a few days, the heat could assist. For heat therapy, put the warm compress or an electric heating pad onto the neck of your child for about 10 mins.

A relaxing bath can aid in relaxing tight muscles and ease the pain.

A child can find relief from stretching their necks throughout the day or having an enjoyable massage.

Some over-the-counter (OTC) medicines include formulas that are suitable for children. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines ( NSAIDs) include Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil), which can help in relieving pain.

Make sure you follow the directions on the label. Also, avoid giving your children adult strength versions of these medicines unless your doctor has recommended it.

Lifestyle Changes in lifestyle

Specific lifestyle changes can help reduce neck discomfort.

Children who use smartphones or other electronic devices for prolonged periods The following adjustments can aid in repositioning the neck and lessen the pain:

  • lying on the back and looking at the phone to ease tension on the neck
  • ensuring that the phone is at eye level while standing or sitting to ensure the neck and back straight
  • frequent breaks from screens to relieve stress on the neck and allow eyes to relax.

Stretching can help. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests trying these exercises for three minutes every day:

  • connecting the chin to the shoulders to
  • by putting your ear on each shoulder
  • Moving the head forward and moving the head backward

The child should complete these exercises slowly and never put any pressure on them. If practices cause discomfort, it is not recommended to continue.

A few children might also require to alter their sleeping positions. The changes could include:

  • sleeping on their backs or side, instead of on their front
  • lying on their backs with a pillow in between their knees
  • resting on the neck of a small, flat one instead of a big one

The most common causes for neck discomfort in children

The possible reasons for neck discomfort in kids could be:

Poor posture can cause neck pain, particularly in children in one position for a long time, like working on the computer, using smartphones, or even watching TV.

The long hours spent staring at a phone or studying or even reading a book could cause neck pain.

Any movement that requires tilting the head back and forward places pressure on the neck.

As researchers at the Trusted Source note, experiencing muscular-skeletal pains as a child could indicate that the child could be experiencing similar issues later on in adulthood.

If the child isn’t treated, they might experience chronic pain, which can last until adulthood.

Physical physical

Physical activities, like sport or rough playing, are a common cause of minor injuries for children.

A head injury, falling, or making odd movements during exercising could be enough to cause a slight neck strain. A physician should be able to examine any neck pain that develops following a severe injury.

Incorrectly sleeping

A child could sleep in an unnatural position, which creates discomfort in their necks and shoulders or back due to the strain on their muscles.

The pain can be temporary, but it could cause significant issues with daily things. The child might have trouble moving their head and moving from one to the next and might not perform simple tasks like wearing the backpack or sitting down to read.

Swollen lymph nodes

The lymph nodes increase due to superficial infections like the cold or influenza and strep throat. Swelling lymph nodes can trigger discomfort on either side of the neck. Usually, they are in the area between the ears and the jawline.

OTC painkillers can ease symptoms associated with a commonly occurring cold, flu. For those who have infections that don’t improve over time, it’s best to visit a doctor and ask for antibiotics or a different treatment.


A stiff neck can be an indication of a more severe infection. If your child is suffering from a high fever and cannot move their necks with no pain, it could be an indication of meningitis.

Meningitis is a life-threatening condition when a person fails to seek medical treatment. Other symptoms of meningitis are:

  • Rashes
  • issues with eating

A child who experiences sharp neck pain and a high fever need to see an emergency physician.

Lyme disease

  Lyme Disease can cause neck discomfort. Parents of children who live in regions with Lyme disease is commonplace should be sure to check their children’s necks for ticks or indications of a bite by a tick like a rash, inflammation, or redness.

Children with Lyme disease might also experience swollen lymph nodes, stiff joints, and muscles and feel extremely weak. If you suspect that your child has Lyme disease should speak to their doctor.

Other causes

The most common causes of neck pain for children include:

  • Traumatic injuries caused by a fall or an accident
  • cancer
  • Childhood

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