preventing neck pain

In 2016, 30.8 million working days were lost due to musculoskeletal problems* including back pain, neck pain and upper limb problems. Neck pain is often the result of issues stemming from the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the cervical spine.

Strains leading to muscle spasms are often a symptom of an underlying problem, for example, arthritis, spinal stenosis or disc degeneration. Triggers from this trauma can arise regularly, sometimes for no apparent reason. Whether your neck pain is caused by a bad night’s sleep or from a chronic condition, here are some tips for preventing neck pain.

Stay Active

It is important to keep moving to prevent muscles from stiffening up. 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week which includes neck movements will go a long way in relieving neck pain. This could include walking, yoga or Pilates. Strengthening exercises are very effective for relieving neck pain, and your osteopath will be able to advise you on which ones would be most suitable for you.

Repositioning Technology

Constantly staring downwards at your mobile phone or tablet is not good for your neck. The longer you do this, the more stress is placed on your neck. It is therefore recommended that your mobile phones and computer monitor are positioned at eye level to minimise neck pain.

Purchasing a handsfree set or headset can also help with reducing how long you need to look down for.

Maintain Excellent Posture

Remembering to sit and stand correctly is important for excellent posture. Try to avoid hunching over and adjust your seat and screen heights if you work in an office environment. When standing, keep your feet shoulder width apart, hold your shoulders back and allow your arms to hang naturally. Prolonged postures and holding too much tension in your neck when sitting at a computer is strongly associated with neck pain – your best posture is your next posture!

Exercises for Neck Pain

Throughout the day, small stretching exercises can relieve your neck pain. The “chin tuck” is a simple exercise which helps to keep your head aligned over your spine for good posture. It can also stretch your scalene and suboccipital muscles. Remembering to stay hydrated is also important, as dehydrated tissue will have a tendency to stiffen up.

Watch What You Carry

Carrying too much weight, whether it’s in your handbag or at the gym, can cause neck pain. Be cautious and make sure you carry weight evenly. Try to keep your packing to the essentials and keep your shoulders level while carrying multiple items. Backpacks are a great solution for on the go.

How Osteopathy May Help Relieve Neck Pain

Osteopathy involves the gentle manipulation of your muscles and joints to identify, treat and ease health issues. A qualified osteopath will begin with an assessment of your body to determine the cause of your neck pain. They will then apply the appropriate techniques for pain relief, which may include massaging, soft tissue stretching and gentle release techniques. You will then be advised on appropriate aftercare to help prevent your neck pain from returning.

At Solihull Osteopathic Practice, our team of dedicated and qualified osteopaths provide first class care. We provide safe and effective treatments for all of our patients, in a welcoming environment. For more information on our osteopathic practices, please get in touch today on 0121 705 4499.


*Sickness Absence in The UK Labour Market: 2016, Office for National Statistics, 9th March 2017,