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5 Physio Tips on How to Help Reduce My Neck Pain – Part 3

Estimated Read time: 4 minutes

Please note: Our articles are not designed to replace medical advice. If you have an injury we highly recommend seeing a qualified health professional. To book an appointment with Tim, or one of The Online Physiotherapy team, please visit our Physio clinic page. We have specialists for each major area of the body, ensuring you receive the best treatment for your injury.

💡 ‘The Executive Summary’

ANYTHING”, I hear people cry!

Neck pain can be such a debilitating disorder that most people will try anything to make it better. The short answer is that there are plenty of things you can do to help. Heat+, avoiding overloading it through carrying items, head down activities or poor sitting and ensure gentle, frequent stretching with a focus on reducing stressors where possible.

The more expansive answer is that we would love to encourage you to take every step possible to avoid getting to that place – see this blog on ways to help prevent neck pain – not what you want to hear right now if you’re in pain, so let’s move quickly on to the meat of how to reduce your neck pain!

Introduction: "I can help reduce my neck pain?"

Everyone knows that having pain in the neck can feel like the world is a difficult place to be in and you’re really not sure where to lie your head! I want to reassure you that there is help at hand, both in this blog, but also in the expertise of our Physiotherapists who want to give you specific advice to bring you out of your pain cycle.

If you haven’t done so already, we would recommend reading through Part 1 of the Trilogy on Neck Pain. We cover a lot of ground on the who, what, and why of neck pain. This gives a firm foundation into neck pain.


To gain access to the full secret sauce, we have a FREE PDF titled ‘Your 60 Second Physio Guide To Help Reduce Your Neck Pain‘. You can access that here. Here is a slice of that information down below!

5 Physio Tips To Reduce Your Neck Pain

Please note:
  • Do remember that this is general advice at only a foundational advice, so if you’re in a lot of pain, you would do well to speak to one of our Physiotherapists to gain a personalised programme to be specific to your needs and symptoms.
  • You will notice that there is some overlap with the prevention of neck pain. This is because the triggers that cause neck pain are often the very aspects that we continue to perpetuate in. Head back to this blog to find out more about the causes.

1. Rest! Your neck is overworked – give it a break.

Any head down activities, such as playing with kids, grandkids, household chores, gardening or studying can simply overload the already tight neck muscles. This can cause sharp pain in your neck and knock you for 6 all of a sudden – not what the doctor ordered thank you very much(!)

Break activities into parts if you need to do them and reduce/avoid upper body weights at the gym to avoid aggravating your neck muscles.

There is a fine balance to strike between complete rest, and not overloading the neck. We would recommend following this advice below to get the best results.

2. Heat – and a lot of it!

Apply heat regularly! Hot water bottle, tiger balm, heat patches, deep heat lotion, wheat bag, or a heat massager – choose your weapon of choice specific for if you’re at home or on the move. Your neck muscles respond well to heat.

Heat helps increase blood circulation in the area that is painful or stiff. Heat therapy has been known to increase flexibility and reduce muscle tightness by warming up the muscles and surrounding soft tissues. For people with chronic neck pain and stiffness, applying heat therapy can be a relatively inexpensive and convenient way to get some relief.

3. Gentle stretching of the neck – whilst lying on your back

The neck muscles being overloaded are often the major cause of neck pain. Now this is again, most commonly a secondary issue to something else such as, desk ergonomics, poor pillow/mattress, overloading through poor lifting technique, poor sleep, or other factors.

That all being said, to reduce pain in the neck it is best to do it whilst lying on your back for those with severe pain, or doing it while sitting /standing is ‘too much’. This is because gravity is not at play if doing it whilst lying on your back.

My recommended neck stretch is to do side flexion to stretch your trapezius (the muscle that connects your neck to your shoulder) – as pictured to the left. This exercise can be completed in lying, sitting, or standing – just not standing on your head!

Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and repeat 3 times. Complete every hour or two if possible.

4. Identify stressors in your life – and reduce where possible!

A difficult task to do but imperative if this is one of the triggers of your neck pain. Some stressors may be in your ‘circle of influence’ (thank you Stephen Covey for writing one of the best books I have ever read on what we can and cannot influence). This is crucial to acknowledge, as what we cannot influence, we need to let go of, and move on. That we can, we take every practical step to reduce it’s power on us.

This could be seeking out a CBT therapist, practising meditation, deep breathing, tai chai, family/marriage/personal counselling – all depending upon which is most appropriate for your stressor.

If you need help in getting started with counselling, or need guidance on other areas of your mental health, we would recommend our friends at My Online Therapy.

5. Book a Physio session to identify your problem, and get you out of pain fast!

The strategies above are all very general, and non-specific to your injury or way of life. I am confident that they will help you gain some element of relief, and for some that will be all that you need – but for others there needs to be a more tailored approach, giving you our secret sauce. If this is you, book in today, for same-day appointments.

We have seen hundreds of people with neck pain, from acute to chronic and not one has not gotten better.

We’ve got you covered. Book in today!

💡 In Conclusion

There are many different ways in which you can take steps to reduce your neck pain. Some would turn to pain relief. I feel that this is a bit drastic to take straight away as other non-medicinal methods such as heat, gentle stretching can really alleviate your symptoms.
If you’re somebody who needs that pressure applied, you can also give this video a go to assist with muscle relaxation, or purchase this self massager with heat application, which we would recommend is used in conjunction with a stretching and strengthening programme.

If you are unsure if you need Physiotherapy, or if Online Physiotherapy can assist you with your neck pain, then we are currently offering a free 15-minute screening call, in which you can book in on the link.  Or, if you need urgent Physio advice and attention then book in below.

Any questions, or thoughts on this blog, we would LOVE to hear from you. Send us a message here.

If you are in pain, or have an injury book yourself in below to start your recovery today!

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Terms and conditions: This cannot be applied with any other offer. This discount is non-transferable and solely for your appointment booking. This is a time limited offer.

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