Neck Pain Exercise

Simple exercises

Neck tilt

Tilt your head down to rest your chin on your chest. Gently tense your neck muscles and hold for 5 seconds. Return to a neutral position and repeat 5 times.

Neck stretch

Keeping the rest of the body straight, push your chin forward so your throat is stretched. Gently tense your neck muscles and hold for 5 seconds. Return your head to the centre and push it backwards, keeping your chin up. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

Neck tilt (side to side)

Tilt your head down towards your shoulder, leading with your ear. Gently tense your neck muscles and hold for 5 seconds. Return your head to centre and repeat on the opposite side. Repeat 5 times on each side.

Neck turn

Turn your head towards one side, keeping your chin at the same height and moving within comfortable limits. Gently tense your neck muscles and hold for 5 seconds. Return your head to the centre and repeat on the opposite side. Repeat 5 times on each side.

Summary

  • Neck pain is common but most cases aren’t caused by a serious problem.
  • Most cases of neck pain get better on their own within a few weeks.
  • Stay active. Bed rest for more than a couple of days makes it harder to get going. Gradually increase your normal activities and do regular exercise.
  • Take painkillers if needed so you can stay active.
  • Your pain should ease within 2 weeks and you should recover over approximately a 4–6 week period.
  • You should use the suggested exercises for at least 6–8 weeks to help prevent symptoms returning.
  • If you have severe neck pain or weakness in your arms/hands, contact your doctor.