Neck Pain Exercises

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This leaflet has been provided by Arthritis Research UK, the national charity committed to preventing the onset of arthritis, developing a cure for arthritis and transforming the lives of those with arthritis.

 

This leaflet provides simple exercises that may help with neck pain.

  • 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.

Neck tilt

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 tilt (side to side)

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

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.

Neck stretch

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.

Content used with permission from the Arthritis Research UK website: Exercises to manage neck pain. Copyright for this leaflet is with Arthritis Research UK.

Original Author:
Arthritis Research UK
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Arthritis Research UK
Document ID:
29103 (v1)
Last Checked:
25/09/2015
Next Review:
24/09/2018
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