Move Freely | Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic | Edinburgh

Neck Pain is Something We See a Lot Here at Move Freely

Neck Pain

Neck pain is something we see a lot here at Move freely; It’s a big challenge for Physiotherapists, Sports therapists and patients alike. Like low back pain, neck pain is notoriously difficult to find a specific diagnosis even with scans. The good thing is that we don’t need a super particular diagnosis to treat neck pain, but as they say, prevention is better than cure!

So who’s really at risk of neck pain? Many different factors can make someone more at risk; the biggest of all is occupation. It’s not just our desk-based guys that are at the most risk; they are in manual work. The biggest thing we have to watch out for with neck pain is screen time per day and making sure to break this up and even decrease it where possible. There is no consensus that screen time is too much, but there is an agreement that people should take breaks every 30 minutes, even to get up for a cup of tea.

As you probably guessed, we are going to bang the drum about keeping your neck in good physical condition; from a Physiotherapists point of view, this is mainly centred around making sure the neck AND shoulders are moving well and are strong enough to do what you need them to do every day. A good starting point for this is to work on your mobility in your neck, upper back and shoulders; in particular, I like using ‘self-mobilisation’ exercises for the neck. So I’ll pop a link at the bottom for them. They are great for getting that extra movement; all you need to do the exercise is a belt or towel.

Building extra strength might be the ticket to preventing neck pain and helps treat it. Another personal favourite of mine is isometrics for the neck; these are exercises where you tension the muscles without even needing to move anything. There is much crossover between the neck and shoulder, so ensuring you keep the other important postural muscles strong is a must. My absolute go-to for this one is the ‘wall angel. This will work brilliantly with the different exercises you’ve been throwing in to ensure a strong foundation for your neck to build on.

Finally, we will get a little bit deep here, but we need to discuss your mental health. We have known for a long time that there is a strong link between mental health and pain (again, ill link it below for you to check out), and this is particularly true for stress and mood disorders. If you haven’t been keeping on top of your stress as well as usual, or maybe you’ve noticed your mood is slightly lower lately. It’s probably a good time to chat with a friend you trust or your GP and start taking steps to help this.

Like everything in life, things are sometimes complicated; maybe your neck pain differs from past episodes. But, on the other hand, it may have been bothering you for a while. Trapped a nerve and can’t get it to budge? Give us a call today to arrange an assessment, and we can help you make a plan to get back to your best.


1. Neck Self-mobilisation –

2. Neck isometric –

3. Wall angel –

Research on mental health and neck pain –

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