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Neck Pain Relief

Neck pain is one of the commonest complaints which people consult physiotherapists for, varying from intermittently annoying pain to severe and disabling pain and other symptoms. Cervical spine neck pain is likely to derive from the neck joints, ligaments and disc, with the muscles also a potential pain source. Further resources on neck pain can be found at Arthritis Research UK with a symptom checker at


Postural Neck Pain

We are all familiar with postural neck pain as we have all sat for too long in one position, for instance at a computer, and developed neck and upper back ache. Poor sitting posture can lead to back pain and a poor lumbar posture leads automatically to a poor neck and shoulder posture, putting the neck joints, ligaments and muscles under strain. Eventually this leads to pain and over a long period can develop into a pain problem.

Physiotherapists can help with postural neck pain by correcting the posture towards the normal, which will feel very abnormal to you as you have not been in that position for so long. Maintaining a close eye on your posture will develop a better one and help the pain, but it may take three months before your body takes the hint naturally.

Acute Neck Pain

Acute neck pain can develop from an injury, a sudden turn of the head or a person can wake up with a painful and stiff neck (a type of torticollis neck pain). Severe pain can be treated with painkillers, heat and rest, with gentle movement gradually increasing. Physiotherapy is not usually required unless the pain and stiffness does not settle down quickly, a week or so being the average.

Chronic Neck Pain

Chronic neck pain may develop from whiplash injury or from postural neck pain becoming worse with time. Typical management is painkillers, neck exercises for neck pain, pacing activity to prevent overdoing, postural correction and physiotherapy. A physio may be able to advise on pillows for neck pain but getting the best pillow for neck pain is often a matter of experiment.

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