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Wrenching Your Neck Is A, Well, Pain In The Neck. We Can Help.

Illustration for article titled Wrenching Your Neck Is A, Well, Pain In The Neck. We Can Help.
Photo: Jesper Aggergaard (Unsplash)

A funny thing happens when a group of commerce writers and editors get together: When one of us has a problem, all the others step in with product recommendations. It’s very sweet (because we mean well) and also kind of hilarious (because my God, we’re such dorks).

And so it was recently when a pal announced that he had wrenched his neck terribly. Well who among us?!? Actually all among us, which is why I had to invoke Slack Law and dedicate a post to our recommendations for treating a wrenched neck.

First thing’s first: if you can tolerate it (and, um, if you can move enough to get up and grab it from the medicine cabinet), take an NSAID like ibuprofen or naproxen — you want an anti-inflammatory to help ease the, lol sorry, inflammation of a pulled muscle.


Next, it is time for, lol sorry again, A Song of Ice and Fire. Here’s the jam with using heat v. ice, generally speaking: If there’s visible swelling, ice is the way to go (along with an anti-inflammatory) but absent swelling, you can really choose which is most comfortable for you.

If heat is your poison — and, when it comes to a wrenched neck, it’s usually what feels most comforting to me but ymmv — a regular old heating pad will do it but if you frequently experience neck and shoulder discomfort, or if you’re especially keen on the look of a fleece vest, you may want to spring for a heating pad designed to drape casually on yourself.

In a pinch, lol sorry sorry I really can’t help myself, you can always fill a sock with uncooked rice and microwave it.


If icing is more your style, a flexible cold pack is ideal for staying in place to treat neck and shoulder pain.


We here at the Inventory love ointments! So it’s no surprise that we all came in (icy) hot, lol sorry again, with our favorite ointments and ointment-impregnated patches. To level with you, all of these will work! We’re just big ole ointment freaks so things got a little competitive. Here’s what we like:

Icy Hot Patches





Tiger Balm

To round things out, we also had some ideas that didn’t revolve entirely around product recs. Here are the lifestyle choices that our group threw out for treating a wrenched neck — we sure would also love to hear yours down thar in the comments!


“My mom got my sibs and I this neck hammock for Christmas and it’s silly but it also really works.”

“Okay don’t hate me for this but a medium-intensity cardio workout totally reverses a cricked neck.”


“Uh have you guys thought about weed?”

Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person

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