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In this age of technology, with most of us staring at our computer screens and looking down at our phones all day long, neck pain is a commonly reported problem. [1]

5 Ways to Ease Neck Pain: Neck pain causes and treatments

Neck pain is often caused by poor posture or by injuries sustained during a fall or whiplash.

Any abnormalities, inflammation, or injury in your neck muscles, tendons, bones, or ligaments can cause neck pain or stiffness.

Pain in the neck is often not a cause for concern and can heal on its own. However, in some cases, it might indicate a severe injury, chronic bad posture, or illness and require a doctor’s supervision. [2]

From exercises you can do at home to getting physical therapy, here are five ways to relieve your neck pain. [3]

5 Ways to Ease Neck Pain

#1. Good Posture

Research shows that bad posture can significantly increase your risk of developing neck pain. [4]

If you think your posture is causing problems, avoid sitting or standing in one position for too long; get up and move around often.

When using your phone for a call, avoid cradling it between your neck and shoulder. Since the head is heavy, leaning forward and hanging your head when using a phone could also cause muscle strain and stiffness in the neck, so hold your phone high to avoid that position.

Similarly, when using a tablet, ensure it’s at a 45° angle and not lying flat on your lap to avoid bending your head forward. And when using a computer, position your monitor at eye level so that you are not bending your neck down.

Shortsighted individuals also tend to lean their heads forward to see better. Get your eyesight checked, and if you already wear glasses, ensure that your prescription is up to date.

#2. Neck Exercises

Neck exercises can help you manage and relieve neck and shoulder pain by working critical muscles in your upper back and shoulders.

Stretching exercises will loosen tight muscles and reduce muscle soreness, whereas strengthening exercises will support the neck and promote good posture. [5]

You can find many tutorials for these neck pain relief exercises online and do them at home. However, if your neck strain symptoms worsen, you must contact your healthcare provider.

A good massage can also relieve neck pain and stiffness by improving blood circulation, relaxing the muscles, and reducing muscle tension.

#3. Physical Therapy

Visiting a physical therapist if your neck pain is not subsiding is the best course of action. Research shows physical therapy as a promising treatment to relieve cases of neck pain – even working better than surgery or pain medication at times. [6]

Your physical therapist will find the root cause of the problem through a clinical assessment and tailor a treatment program per your needs to speed up your recovery and help you return to your everyday lifestyle.

This program will also include exercises and treatments you can do at home to improve posture, motion, flexibility, and strength.

#4. Medication

Many oral and topical pain relief products relieve neck pain instantly. Over-the-counter medications include pain relievers like Tylenol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen.

These medications should only be used as directed, as overdose can cause serious side effects.

In case over-the-counter drugs do not help, it is best to contact your healthcare provider so they can prescribe you stronger medication or assess your condition again.

#5. Medical Procedures

If you have severe prolonged neck pain accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Your healthcare provider will perform tests to determine if you need any treatments.

In rare cases, you might need medical procedures like steroid injections to relieve pain or cervical radiculopathy surgery to treat spinal cord or nerve root compression. [6]


In many cases, your neck pain will go away if you practice good posture, exercise, and take adequate rest.

However, you must consult your doctor if your neck pain isn’t improving with treatments at home so that they can determine if there is a more significant cause for your pain and help you eliminate it on time.

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[1] Kazeminasab S, Nejadghaderi SA, Amiri P, et al. Neck pain: global epidemiology, trends and risk factors. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2022;23(1):26. Published 2022 Jan 3. doi:10.1186/s12891-021-04957-4
[2] Neck pain: Overview:
[3] Physical Therapy and Rehab Center: p >br> [4] Mahmoud NF, Hassan KA, Abdelmajeed SF, Moustafa IM, Silva AG. The Relationship Between Forward Head Posture and Neck Pain: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2019;12(4):562-577. doi:10.1007/s12178-019-09594-y
[5] Healthy Lifestyle Guide to stretches:
[6] Hurwitz EL, Carragee EJ, van der Velde G, et al. Treatment of Neck Pain: Noninvasive Interventions: Results of the Bone and Joint Decade 2000–2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders. Eur Spine J. 2008;17(Suppl 1):123-152. doi:10.1007/s00586-008-0631-z
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Robert G. Silverman, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS

Dr. Robert G. Silverman is a chiropractic doctor, clinical nutritionist, and author of 'Inside-Out Health: A Revolutionary Approach to