How Can I Relieve My Neck Pain?

By Ben Loomis – DSC_9441.jpg, CC BY 2.0,

Stiff neck prevention

Often, with some lifestyle improvements and ergonomic office equipment, you can stop a sore neck. Prevention, like poor posture, can also mean breaking certain bad habits. In addition, the muscles may be improved by daily exercise and making them less likely to be strained or hurt.

Often, it can help reduce neck pain by not smoking or stopping smoking. Quitting can be confusing. In order to build a quit-smoking strategy that is right for you, talk to your doctor.

Create an ergonomic workplace

Many individuals work eight hours per day at a computer desk. As well as other ailments, this may lead to a sore neck. Here are some means of preventing a sore neck at work:

  • Adjust your chair into a comfortable position with your feet flat on the floor and your knees a bit lower than your hips.
  • Use ergonomic posture while sitting, with your back straight and your arms level to the desk.
  • Adjust your computer so that it’s at eye level.
  • Use an ergonomic keyboard and mouse.
  • Stand up to stretch and move every hour.

Limit how long you look at a smartphone

Looking down at your screen continuously pulls on the muscles of your neck and places intense pressure on them. Try any of these tips to-your neck pressure if you have to use your smartphone regularly,:

  • Hold your phone at eye level.
  • Don’t hold your phone between your shoulder and your ear.
  • Use earbuds or headphones.
  • Take a break from your phone hourly.
  • After using your phone, stretch to relax your muscles.

Don’t drive for long periods at a time

Much like sitting all day at your desk, your neck can be hurt by sitting behind the wheel of your car. Here are several tips for avoiding a sore neck if you have to drive for long stretches:

  • Take breaks to stand up and stretch.
  • Set an alarm to remind you to check your posture while driving.
  • Set your seat in a position that provides you the most support and puts you in good posture.
  • Don’t Drive and Email. It’s illegal, unhealthy, and bad for your neck to look up and down the road repetitively from your phone.


A smart way to help avoid having a sore neck is to regularly stop stretching. Includes stretches:

  • Roll your shoulders back and forth.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together several times.
  • Slowly move your ear to your shoulder on each side.
  • Slowly turn your head from side to side.

Change your sleep position

Your neck may also be influenced by the place you sleep in at night. It puts less pressure on your neck to sleep on your side or your back than to sleep on your stomach. You’re causing your neck to strain for long periods of time while you sleep on your stomach and this can cause discomfort and stiffness.

You can purchase a pillow with neck support if you sleep on your side for all or most of the night.

Stiff neck remedies

You can try some treatments to reduce the pain and decrease the stiffness if you have a sore, stiff neck. For prevention, many of these remedies may also be used.

Apply heat or ice

To help alleviate neck pain, apply ice for 20 minutes a couple of times a day. Between adding ice and heat, you can also alternate. It may also help to take a warm bath or shower or use a heating pad.

Take OTC pain relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers like the following can help reduce the pain:

  • ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  • naproxen sodium (Aleve)
  • acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Stretch but avoid sudden movements

Stretching will help to alleviate, and avoid, pain and stiffness in the future. Stretching gently and slowly is necessary. More inflammation, pain, and more severe injury can be caused by sudden movements. Until stretching, add a heating pad or take a warm shower.

Stretches include:

  • Roll your shoulders backward and then forward in a circle.
  • Press your shoulder blades together and hold the position for a few seconds, then repeat.
  • Slowly turn your head from side to side.

Get a massage

Massage by a trained practitioner can help to loosen and stretch your neck and back muscles.

Try acupuncture

Acupuncture means sticking needles into the body ‘s unique pressure points. Although more scientific research is needed to recognize validated benefits, in Eastern medicine, acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years. Only visit a licensed sterile needle practitioner.

Consider chiropractic care

Muscles and joints can be manipulated by a licensed chiropractor to provide pain relief. For others, this type of therapy may be awkward or painful. Your ease can be shared with a doctor.

Limit physical activity

If discomfort and pain in your neck began after doing physical exercise, before the discomfort resolves, you can limit the exercise. However, if you have neck pain, you can avoid heavy lifting and movements that can aggravate your neck muscles.

Reduce stress

Stress can cause the muscles in your neck to tense. Stress reduction can assist in treating and avoiding neck pain and stiffness. In a variety of ways, you can choose to reduce stress, including:

  • listening to music
  • meditation
  • taking a vacation or break, even if it’s just for a few hours away from the office or a stressful environment
  • doing something you enjoy

Exercise regularly

To avoid injury, exercise will help strengthen the muscles. In order to alleviate and avoid neck discomfort, exercise will also enable you to strengthen your posture. It’s also a perfect way to alleviate the tension that your sore neck could be creating.

Adjust your sleep environment

It can help alleviate a sore neck by changing your sleep environment. Ways to change the atmosphere of your sleep include:

  • getting a firmer mattress
  • using a neck pillow
  • sleeping only on your back or side
  • relaxing before going to sleep
  • wearing a mouth guard if you’re grinding your teeth at night

When to see a doctor

You can see the doctor if the neck pain interferes with your normal everyday activities. Other reasons you should seek medical attention are:

  • pain started after an injury or car collision
  • pain that spreads down your arms or legs
  • weakness in your arms, hands, or legs
  • headache alongside pain

These additional signs, including a herniated disk, pinched nerve, bulging disk, or arthritis, may be a sign of a more severe injury to your spine.

Are You Looking for Relief From Neck Pain? 

Pace Physical Therapy in San Jose, California specializes in non-surgical neck pain relief and recovery therapies.  We pride ourselves on offering the best possible physical therapy available and going above and beyond for our patients. Our highly experienced physical therapist will work with you to improve your function and relieve your pain. We start by assessing the body as a whole. Oftentimes the cause of pain or an injury extends far beyond just the body part or muscle hurting. Without taking a comprehensive look at your entire self, we would be doing you a disservice in fully helping you heal and preventing future limitations. We then move on to fixing your areas of limitation.  Not all diagnoses are created equal. One person with neck pain may have completely different limitations than the next person. Your recovery program needs to be specific to what YOUR body needs and not just the typical exercise program that you can find online. Just because your pain decreases or you can walk longer doesn’t mean that it is enough to get you functioning at the level you want to be. While this often signifies the end of care at your typical PT clinic we don’t stop providing guidance until we help you successfully meet every goal you set for yourself with us on day one. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!