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Neck Pain

(Facts, definition and epidemiology)

Neck pain maybe defined as the unpleasant pain/ sensory experienced at the any neck region, and may radiate to the arm, shoulder, head and face region.

Neck pain may causes by muscles, tendon, fascia, bursae, capsule, ligaments, disc, nerves, and dura.

Contributing factors in neck pain are :-

  • Poor posture
  • Muscle imbalances,
  • Neck muscles instability,
  • Whiplash injury

Risk factors for neck pain commonly caused by mechanical factor, occupational hazards, and working environment factors.



Physiotherapy treatment Goals

  • To reduce the pain and inflammation
  • To improve the neck muscle strength
  • To improve the range of motion of the neck
  • To maintain the range of motion of the neck
  • To restore the maximum of functional activities within the pain range

To increase the awareness and understanding regards the conditions and solutions.

Sign and symptoms of neck pain

– Muscle spasm/ tightness of neck muscles
– reduce range of motion (ROM) of the neck
– Painful neck
– Headache, pain at thoracic, shoulder, and jaws pain

Limitation in daily/ functional activities due to pain


  • Maintain the good posture by following biomechanics, and apply the static and dynamic position during sitting, standing, working, and leisure and home activities.

During Lying

  • Choose the medium high pillow to rest the neck bone, and muscles
  • Recommended position: Encouraged not to sleep in prone lying to prevent the prolong rotation and side bending position.

Ensure the mechanism of stretching exercises for the neck been done regularly to achieve the optimum improvement.

Ensure the needs and importance to rest the neck muscles regularly after the computer and office works.

Ensure all the neck movement been done slowly.


  • Neck pain management
  •  Ice pack- for acute neck pain

Application: Covered the ice pack with wet towel and put at the painful region for 15 minutes. Avoid to apply hot ointment before the ice pack.

  • Hot pack- for chronic and recurrent neck pain

Application:  Covered the hot pack with adequate towel (avoid too hot) and apply to painful region for 20 minutes

  • Exercise program for neck pain

Stretching exercise for neck


Extensor Stretch

Position: sitting/ standing
Application:  slowly bring your chin to your chest and hold for a slow count of 30 second.


Flexor stretch

Position: sitting/ standing
Look upward to the ceiling and hold for a count of 30 second.


Side Bend

Position: sitting/ standing
Tilt your head to one side (bring ear to shoulder) and hold for a count of 30 second.



Position: sitting/ standing
Slowly turn your head to one side as far as you can and hold to a count of 30 second.


1. Care protocol Neck Pain oleh Jawatankuasa teknikal Profesion Fisioterapi, KKM
2. Ferrari, R. and Rusell, AS. (2003) Neck Pain; Best Practice of Research Clinical Rheaumatology, 17(11), 57-70.

Last Reviewed : 23 August 2019
Writer / Translator : Sia Lee Lee
Accreditor : Daaljit Singh Harbachan Singh
Reviewer : Halimah bt. Hashim