Stretches for Neck Pain

Stretching is a Good Way to Relieve Neck Pain.

Your neck is a complicated and sensitive part of your body. Much like your back, it contains many parts that must come together to ensure it functions properly and keeps you safe and healthy. Whenever something goes wrong, you may experience loads of pain, not just in your neck but in your shoulders, back, and arms. This pain can be excruciating and often debilitating. It may begin as mild and annoying pain at first before developing into chronic pain that drastically impacts your quality of life.

Neck pain can occur for a host of different reasons, whether it’s because of an injury, sleeping in a weird position, or poor posture. However, as with every other part of your body, neck exercises can strengthen your neck muscles and improve flexibility. They can reduce chronic neck pain, as well. There are even stretches for neck pain that you can do on your own to help reduce your pain. Regardless of the cause of your pain, these neck stretches can stretch your neck muscles to relieve tension.

At Texas Partners Healthcare Group, we understand that neck pain is no joke. It can affect your personal and professional lives. Today, we are going to be providing you with some stretches for neck pain you can do from the comfort of your home. These stretches not only relieve pain, but they also strengthen the muscles in your neck. If your pain persists, however, contact our Frisco pain management clinic to learn about the pain management treatment options we offer.

Causes of Neck Pain

Before we get into some stretches for neck pain, we should first cover the common neck pain causes. As we said, neck pain can occur for many different reasons. Something as simple as sleeping in the wrong position can lead to pain. Some of these causes include:

  • Injuries
  • Poor posture
  • Sleeping with your neck in the wrong position
  • Whiplash suffered in a car accident
  • Lifting heavy objects improperly
  • Overuse, which leads to neck strain and muscle tension
  • Looking down at a computer that is not at the right height
  • Looking down for prolonged periods
  • Pinched nerve
  • Arthritis
  • Herniated discs


There are countless ways to experience neck pain. Some are as trivial as sleeping poorly, while others are more severe, like car accidents. Either way, neck pain often varies, but there are common neck pain symptoms, such as:

If your neck pain persists, you may struggle to sleep, as well as accomplish regular daily activities. Fortunately for those who suffer from chronic neck pain, there are countless neck pain exercises, such as stretches for neck pain, that can help alleviate pain.

Stretches for Neck Pain

Those who suffer from neck pain may feel as though their options are limited. However, there are many things you can do on your own to help relieve neck pain. Stretching is a common and effective way to reduce your pain. Some useful stretches for neck pain include:

Shoulder Roll

  • Best done while standing up.
  • Raise your shoulders straight up.
  • Then move them in a circle going forward ten times.
  • Relax and return to your starting position.
  • Bring your shoulders back up.
  • Then move them in a circle ten times again, but backward instead.
  • Repeat

Forward/Backward Tilt

You can do this stretch standing or sitting. It is crucial to keep your movements slow and steady.

  • Begin with your head over your shoulders and your back straight.
  • Next, slowly lower your chin into your chest, tucking it. Hold in this position for 15-30 seconds.
  • Relax and slowly return to your starting position.
  • Then you will tilt your chin towards the sky, bringing the base of your skull toward your back. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds.
  • Relax and return to your starting position.
  • Repeat several times.

Chin Tucks

You can do these stretches sitting or standing.

  • Sit or stand upright with your back straight, facing forward.
  • Place your finger on your chin.
  • Then without removing your finger, pull your chin and head straight backward, as if you were pushing your chin into your neck.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds, if possible.
  • Slowly bring your chin back to the starting position with your finger still in place.
  • Repeat

Side Tilt

You should do this stretch while standing with your feet hip-width apart and your shoulders squarely at your sides.

  • Begin by standing upright with your back straight and face looking forward.
  • Next, gently tilt your head to either your right or left shoulder. Try to touch that shoulder with your ear.
  • Stop when you feel the stretch. Do not raise your shoulder.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Then repeat the stretch on the opposite side.
  • You can even press your fingertips lightly on the side of your head to add an extra stretch.
  • Repeat.

Side Rotation

You can complete this stretch sitting or standing.

  • Begin by standing upright with your back straight and face looking forward.
  • Slowly turn your head to one side until you feel a stretch in the side of your neck and your shoulder. Hold for 15-30 seconds.
  • Then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the step on the other side.

Levator Stretch

This neck pain exercise stretches the levator scapulae muscle in your neck. The purpose of this muscle is to help the neck flex laterally. It is best to do this while sitting.

  • Begin with both arms to your sides.
  • Drop one shoulder towards the floor to rotate the shoulder blade downward, which lengthens the levator scapula. Keep your back still.
  • Without moving your body, rotate your head down towards the opposite shoulder that you just dropped at about 45 degrees.
  • Tilt your chin down until you feel the stretch.
  • To increase the stretch, place your hand (on the same side) on the back of your head to gently pull your chin further into your shoulder.
  • Hold for 10-15 seconds.
  • Repeat.

Behind the Back Neck Stretch

You will need to be standing to complete this stretch.

  • Begin with your feet hip-distance apart with your arms to your sides.
  • Reach both your arms behind your back.
  • Grab one wrist with the other hand and gently pull that arm straight.
  • Pull it away from you slightly.
  • To increase the stretch, lower your ear towards the shoulder of the hand holding the wrist.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Return to starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

Stretching has proven to be an effective way to relieve pain in various problems areas in your body. It has proven on countless occasions to relieve neck pain. However, if your pain persists even after you have completed these stretches for neck pain, you still have options. Contact the Frisco pain management clinic at Texas Partners Healthcare Group to learn what your options are.