By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Neck tightness can be frustrating, irritating and it can really slow you down.

The classic pain in the neck has plagued people for years but with the growing use of computers and cellphones the problem has gotten worse.

Depending on the cause of the pain the treatment can vary. If it is caused by a muscle strain, moist heat can be helpful. If the problem is due to nerve irritation caused by an inflamed disc in the neck, we know that ice can help if you apply it to the area three to four times each day – but remember not to apply it directly. It should be wrapped.

If you notice I did not mention any medications or pain pills. Certainly they can help but the fewer times you turn to medications in these cases the better. The other major step is to look at the cause and do what you can to avoid it.

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