Reasons for Neck Pain

By Ehren Allen, Certified Manual Therapist/Physical Therapist

Common Reasons for Neck Pain


Their are many c0mmon reasons for neck pain.  The location of the pain is in the center (base) of the neck. Furthermore, the pain can travel down to the:

  • left and/or right shoulder
  • left and/or right shoulder blade
  • fingertips
Woman stretching neck at desk

taking a break and a moment to stretch with head tilted to the side

Also, some people experience headaches and numbness from the neck’s base.  Moreover, the different types of neck pain, can vary from person to person.

Common Reasons for Neck Pain

There are multiple reasons why someone may have neck pain throughout their daily activities. Pain may occur from the following:

  • poor posture
  • poor sleeping position
  • stagnant position for prolonged periods
  • environmental factors (i.e., desk job, transportation)
  • traumatic events (i.e., sport or car accidents)

However, completing the proper neck stretches and treatment procedures can help you.  Physical therapy is a great first step in your road to recovery from neck pain.

To learn more about where your neck pain begins, watch this video where neck pain begins

5 Easy Stretches for Neck Pain

The following exercises listed below are common stretches that will help relieve pain. For each stretch, hold for about 5 seconds. If, for some reason, these exercises are very painful to complete, talk to your primary doctor immediately.

Head Retraction

Head Retraction Exercise for neck pain

Image of head retraction exercise

While sitting or standing with good posture, slowly pull your head backward. Your chin should be tucked down as if you were intentionally making a double chin.

Shoulder Shrugs

Shoulder Shrugs Exercise

Image of shoulder shrug exercise

Shoulder Shrug Exercise

Image of shoulder shrug exercise

Sitting with proper posture, lift your shoulders towards your ears, and then have them descend.

Pectoral Stretch

Image of pectoral stretch for neck pain

Image of pectoral stretch

While standing, move your shoulders back towards your shoulder blades. They should be touching one another. The pectoral stretch helps with improving posture.

Neck Flexion (Sitting Down)

Neck Flexion Exercise for neck pain

Image of neck flexion exercise

Move your head down as much as possible with keeping your chin down. Then, slightly move your head toward the left and then right. After completing this exercise a few times, rest by bringing your head to a level position.


Side Bending Exercise for neck pain

Image of side bending exercise

First, make sure you are looking straight forward with good posture. Next, bend your neck sideways to where you feel the neck pain. Make sure you are not rotating your head left from right, directly back and forth.

Treatment to Relieve Neck Pain

There are multiple ways you can help treat your neck pain. First, the best sleeping position to relieve the pain is on your back because the spine stays neutral. Furthermore, having a pillow (rounded memory foam or feather) under the neck while sleeping on your back is the best and safest way to sleep when experiencing pain. Second, put heat or ice on the area of the neck where you’re experiencing pain. Also, sometimes a warm or hot shower may help relieve any tension in the neck as well.

If you have tried all of these tips and are still experiencing severe neck pain, please contact your primary care doctor or a physical therapist immediately.

Prevention for Neck Pain

Listed below are reminders that can help you prevent pain throughout your daily routine.

  1. Sleep in the best position (on your back) with a pillow supporting your neck.
  2. Stand and/or sit with good posture.
  3. Complete the 5 easy stretches throughout your work day.
  4. Avoid carrying heavy objects on your shoulders.
  5. Hydrate.

Please watch our Video Neck Stretches For The Office

Physical Therapy for Neck Pain

If you have persistent neck tightness or pain, physical therapy can be a helpful option. A physical therapist will evaluate the neck’s health and the surrounding area to determine any movement issues. Our team has the expertise and technological advances to get you back to your ideal level of function.  We also have the Fast Track Program to get you into Physical Therapy within 24 hours!

Related Article: Common Neck Injuries and Low Back Pain.

Book an Appointment with The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Today!

JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with less phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.

You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if that is your preference.

New To JOI: You now can make and cancel follow-up appointments for your JOI Physician through the JOI Portal.

To make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.

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