Lupus neck pain is usually caused by the muscles becoming inflamed. It may also be caused by fibromyalgia, as this condition is commonly associated with lupus. In fact, fibromyalgia affects about 30% of patients with lupus.

Lupus neck pain may also be due to cortisone medications. These can weaken the bones of the spine, leading to fractures in the vertebrae. According to, a rare complication called transverse myelitis may also be associated with lupus neck pain as well as back pain. Transverse myelitis is caused by inflammation along the spinal cord.


Lupus and Neck Pain Treatment


There are a variety of medications available for the treatment of lupus neck pain or back pain. However, if you can avoid using pain medicines than you should, as many are addictive, carry heavy risks, and may have potential side effects. Some ways to stop lupus neck pain without using medication are:

Heat and/or cold treatments: These treatments can be very helpful in treating joint or muscle pain. Moist heat is better at soothing joints better than dry heat. Cold applications should only be used when muscles are strained, twisted, or injured and only in the first 36 hours after an injury.

Behavioral techniques: Behavioral techniques can be an effective tool in pain management because they direct the mind’s attention away from pain and relieve stress.  Examples of these techniques include Tai Chi, yoga, meditation, focused breathing, and self-hypnosis.

Alternative treatments: Alternative treatments include practices such as acupuncture, acupressure, biofeedback, and chiropractic adjustments. These types of practices should be discussed with your doctor beforehand, however.

Anti-inflammatory medicines are often used to treat lupus neck pain and other types of pain brought about by lupus. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most commonly used for lupus pain. Aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen are examples of these. Planquenil is another drug often used by lupus patients. It helps to prevent flares and can be used for pain if NSAIDs are not helpful.

Corticosteroids, such as Prednisone or Sterapred may also be used to treat lupus neck pain. These are the best to use for treating pain caused by lupus myositis, which is a condition caused by the inflammation of the skeletal muscles. They may also be used to treat other conditions which cause pain, such as severe lupus arthritis.  If you try these methods and your lupus neck pain continues, then talk to your doctor about other possible solutions.