Muscular Neck Pain


Many muscles attach to the neck and provide support to the head as well as enabling us to move in a variety of directions. Pain is often felt in the Trapezius muscles, particularly the upper fibres which run from the base of the head and across to the shoulder.


  • Generalised pain, often an aching sensation across the top of the shoulder/s
  • Often pain at end of range movements e.g. turning the head or tilting ear across to shoulder
  • Does not radiate down the arm or into the hand/fingers
  • Aggravated by prolonged positions e.g. reading


  • Activity modification
  • Ice or heat
  • Pain relief
  • Physiotherapy to include range of movement exercises and strengthening exercises


  • Not appropriate

Exercises to try:

Neck Side Flexions

Neck SF

Neck Side Flexions

Starting in a neutral position

Gently tip your ear across towards your shoulder until you feel a pulling

Hold for a few seconds then return to starting position and repeat


Neck Stretch

Neck Stretch

Armpit Stretch

Begin by turning your neck to look over one shoulder

Then gently rotate your head to look further to the floor until you feel a stretch

Hold for 30 seconds then relax and repeat


Neck Lifts

Neck Lifts

Neck Lift

Lying on your bed with one pillow

Lift your head gently from the pillow 2 inches

Hold for a few seconds, then relax and repeat

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