4 exercises for neck pain relief you can do right now

During the lockdown, our screen time has skyrocketed. If you’ve been glued to your phone, working from a makeshift home office, or playing games, you might be feeling the effects in your neck. Bad posture can be one of the causes of neck stiffness or pain, but there are plenty of ways to prevent pain worsening.


Like general back pain, various types of neck pain are a common experience for many of us. A study found that 22% to 70% of people will experience neck pain in their lifetime, with 10% to 20% of people experiencing neck problems at any given time.


In this post, we’ll be sharing some exercises for neck pain relief, including some remedies at home that will create healthy movement habits.


What causes neck pain?


Neck pain can be caused by a number of things including traumatic injuries, posture, or movement.


A forceful impact can cause a traumatic event like whiplash, where the ligaments can be strained from the excessive movement.


Disc injuries can also create neck pain. This type of neck pain will typically be very painful, sending pain down your arm and possibly leading to weakness or pins and needles.


As mentioned earlier, bad posture for prolonged periods can also lead to neck pain. Sitting with rounded shoulders or sleeping at an odd angle can compress the facet joints of the neck. The upper ribs can also lead to neck pain, with scalene muscles tightening or becoming overactive.


Exercises for neck pain relief


Movement is key to helping relieve neck pain. Sometimes neck pain can settle on its own, but if it is causing constant or regular pain or impacting your daily activities then get in touch to book an appointment with us. Sports massage and osteopathy treatment can be used to resolve neck and shoulder pain through corrective manual therapy.

Cervicothoracic junction mobilisation exercise

This cervicothoracic junction mobilisation exercise targets the thoracic spine and improves mobility in that area. It is ideal for pain relief from shoulder pain, subacromial impingement, rotator cuff tendinopathy/tear, bicep tendinopathy, thoracic outlet syndrome/ neurological pain, frozen shoulder, rounded shoulders, posture, upper rib pain, and acromial clavicular joint pain.




Sit with good posture. Interlock the fingers behind the neck and keep the elbows fixed and facing forward. Begin the draw circles in a clockwise direction – imagine a pencil nib on the end of each elbow. Repeat in an anti-clockwise direction. Next, repeat the process drawing a ‘figure 8’ shape.


We recommend one round of 15 to 20 repetitions. Repeat whenever you feel neck pain.


Scalene stretch for neck and shoulder pain

This is a simple stretch to help with relief from neck and shoulder pain




Sit with good posture. Place one hand on the crown of the head and tilt the ear down to the shoulder, providing gentle pressure to the movement with the hand. Ensure to keep the eyes and nose facing forward throughout. Hold until you feel the stretch release, breathing normally, repeat 2-3 times then return to head to the centre. Repeat on the opposite side.


We recommend 4 repetitions, holding the stretch gently until it eases which could take anything from 5 seconds to 90 seconds. Increase the stretch once it releases.


Seated thoracic rotation exercise

These seated thoracic rotations help mobilise your mid-back to ease muscle tension that builds in the back, neck and shoulders from sitting for too long. This exercise is perfect for office workers or those working from home who want an easy way to improve mobility. Also suitable for seniors.




Sit with a straight spine and arms crossed as shown in the video. Keep the pelvis still as you twist the upper torso to the right, rotating at the waist. Breathe normally as you move.


Return to the centre and repeat to the left-hand side. Perform this movement with some momentum.


We recommend one round of 15 to 20 repetitions. Repeat whenever you feel neck pain.


Wall walk exercise

This simple wall walk exercise is helpful in finding relief from neck and shoulder pain. It teaches correct shoulder mechanics and movement by learning how to move the humerus and scapula independently.




Stand tall with a straight spine and core engaged. Set the shoulder blade back and down. Walk the hand up the wall, keeping the shoulder blade set. Don’t allow your shoulder to hunch as you perform the movement. Reverse the motion to return to start position. Relax and repeat.


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