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Neck Pain Treatment Options

Evidence-based ResourcesPhysical and Occupational Therapy | Massage Therapy | Physical Activity | Medications | Self-Management

Evidence-based Resources   

Physical and Occupational Therapy  

Neck pain treatment may include seeing a physical therapist. Physical therapy may help relieve neck pain and spinal stiffness. A physical therapist can increase confidence with exercise, help relax tense muscles and teach you more about your body and movement. Similarly, occupational therapists teach you how to reduce strain on your joints during daily activities while maintaining physical fitness. They will show you how to improve your home and work environments to increase proper posture and reduce motions that may aggravate your neck pain. They also may recommend aid devices for daily activities.


Massage Therapy  

Registered massage therapists are trained in the assessment of soft tissue and joints of the body and the treatment and prevention of injury, pain and physical disorders.


Physical Activity   

Physical activity helps improve physical and mental health. It Neck Exercisesplays a vital role in managing your neck pain. If approached properly, physical activity can reduce stiffness and pain, increase energy and stamina, improve sleep quality and promote weight loss and long-term weight management.

Research has not found any specific type of neck exercise that is better than another type as being more effective in reducing neck pain, however has found that exercise is beneficial. Below are some resources for various exercise routines. There are many fitness centres and organizations that have exercise programs which target people with back pain and arthritis. You can also find more information on simple steps to incorporate physical activity into your everyday life. It’s important to consult your health professional about a routine that is moderate and will strengthen the appropriate muscles in your back and reduce potential harm from doing exercises incorrectly.


Activities to Reduce Neck PainWork Wellness and Disability Prevention Institute
Chest Stretches for Back and Neck PainArthritis Foundation
Exercise and ArthritisUniversity of Washington
Exercise at Your DeskMove Forward PT
Exercises to Manage Neck PainArthritis Research (UK)
Neck ExercisesUniversity of Michigan
Neck Pain ExercisesChartered Society of Physiotherapy (UK)
Physical Activity and Chronic DiseaseWork Wellness and Disability Prevention Institute
Physical activity and exercise for chronic pain in adults: an overview of Cochrane ReviewsCochrane Collaboration Centre
Physical Activity and Exercise Interventions in the Workplace Impacting Work Outcomes: A Stakeholder-Centered Best Evidence Synthesis of Systematic ReviewsWork Wellness and Disability Prevention Institute
Simple Neck ExercisesThe Physiotherapy Site (UK)


There is a range of over the counter and prescription medications used for treating neck pain. It is best to check with your physician as to what is best for you.

​Self Management   

Living with neck pain can be difficult. Self-management techniques canHealthy Life Sign you help you live well with chronic neck pain. Health professionals and researchers agree that self-care and life skills play vital roles in a person's pain management. Taking action to improve physical fitness, reduce stress, and manage your condition can reduce your pain levels and give you more control over your life. The Arthritis Society and the Centre for Aging (University of Victoria) run Self-Management Programs in British Columbia. WWDPI​ also provides various tips on evidence-based approaches to self-management.


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​​Reviewed by Marc White PhD, Scientific & Executive Director, WWDPI (See Review Criteria)​

Last Modified: 5/30/2018 1:49 PM