Orthopedic Conditions

Neck Rotation To Shoulder Shrugs, 7 Effective Exercises For Neck Pain Relief

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 15 March 2023, Updated on - 23 February 2024

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Undoubtedly, neck pain can make life difficult. With restricted neck movability, even the simplest of daily tasks like walking, working or eating become excruciatingly painful. Research states that around 1 in every 3 individuals suffers from neck pain on an annual basis, with a higher occurrence amongst women. Luckily, with a combination of neck exercises, proper rest and medications, it is possible to reduce neck pain significantly. 

Regularly engaging in neck exercises can help ease pain, restore mobility and enhance the flexibility of the neck and shoulder muscles. But before we delve into those exercises, let's understand what causes neck pain.

What Causes Neck Pain?

Neck pain can be caused by various factors, including poor posture, injury, stress, underlying medical conditions, and degenerative changes in the spine. Other causes can include poor sleep posture, carrying heavy weight, sudden jerks during weight lifting or whiplash from an accident. Whatever the cause, neck pain can be debilitating and can lead to further complications, such as tension headaches or vertigo. Fortunately, a majority of neck pain is temporary and can be treated with neck stretching exercises, rest, medications, and lifestyle changes. 

7 Effective Neck Pain Relief Exercises

Having strong and flexible neck muscles is important to maintain one's overall physical health and well-being. Incorporating a few simple neck stretches and exercises into the daily routine can help strengthen and loosen the muscles in the neck, as well as provide relief for any pain that might already be present. Here are a few simple neck exercises that one can perform at home.

1. Neck Retraction

For people who are looking for an easy and effective exercise that can be performed anywhere and anytime, neck retraction is the perfect one. It helps strengthen the neck muscles and improve posture significantly. One needs to sit or stand up straight and then slowly move his/her head backwards. The individual needs to keep the chin parallel to the ground and hold this position for 5-10 seconds before releasing. He/she should repeat the movement 5-10 times.

2. Shoulder Blade Squeeze

Shoulder blade squeeze is another exercise that can be used to relieve neck pain while strengthening the upper back and shoulder muscles. One must sit or stand up straight and squeeze his/her shoulder blades together. He/she should hold the position for 5-10 seconds and then repeat the exercise 5-10 times.

3. Chin Tuck

Chin tuck is a great exercise for people who spend a lot of time sitting in front of their computers or laptops. This simple movement can reduce neck pain caused by poor posture, and it's incredibly easy to do. The individual needs to sit or stand up straight, then pull the chin towards the neck. Holding the position for 5-10 seconds and repeating the exercise 5-10 times can bring relief.

4. Neck Rotation

Neck rotation is a simple neck exercise that helps improve the range of motion in one's neck and reduce stiffness. The individual must sit or stand up straight and slowly turn his/her head to the right. He/she needs to hold this position for 5-10 seconds and then repeat the same on the left side. The exercise should be repeated 5-10 times.

5. Side Neck Stretch

If an individual is suffering from stiff neck and shoulder muscles, side neck stretch can help. It can stretch the muscles in one's neck and improve flexibility. To do this, one must sit or stand up straight and slowly tilt his/her head towards the right shoulder. He/she needs to hold this position for 5-10 seconds and then repeat on the left side. Every individual should aim for 5-10 repetitions on each side. 

6. Isometric Neck Exercise

Isometric neck exercises are neck strengthening exercises that can be used to strengthen one's neck muscles and reduce pain and stiffness. An individual must start by sitting or standing up straight, and then placing his/her right hand on the forehead. Once done, the individual needs to push the forehead into the hand and hold the position for 5-10 seconds. The individual will then switch to the left side and repeat the exercise. Repetition on each side should be 5-10 times.

7. Shoulder Shrugs

Shoulder shrugs can reduce tension in one's neck and shoulders. One can sit or stand up straight and then slowly lift one's shoulders towards the ears. He/she needs to hold the position for 5-10 seconds, and then relax. Repetition should be 5-10 times.

Tips to Avoid Neck Pain

Understanding how to alleviate neck pain is important, but it's equally crucial to incorporate habits into one's daily routine that can prevent it from happening in the first place.


  • Maintain the right posture while working, walking, standing or sleeping
  • Keep computer, laptop or mobile at eye level to reduce neck strain
  • Stretch neck and shoulder muscles frequently and move every 30 mins
  • Stay hydrated at all times for your muscles to function better


  • Don't slouch as it causes sprains
  • Avoid looking down at the phone as it stresses the shoulder and neck blades
  • Replace worn-out mattresses to correct spinal posture
  • Don't skip daily neck exercises

By adopting these habits, one can prevent neck pain from disrupting their daily life. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. If an individual is experiencing neck pain or discomfort, and the exercises and pain relief balms are not helping, he/she must seek medical advice. An orthopaedic doctor can be the first point of contact for such issues.

Consult Apollo's Expert Orthopaedicians


1. Can sleeping positions cause neck pain?

Yes, sleeping positions can contribute to neck pain. Sleeping on one's stomach or with too many pillows can strain the neck muscles and lead to pain.

2. How long does it take for neck pain to go away?

The duration of neck pain varies depending on the cause and severity of the pain. Mild neck pain may resolve on its own within a few days, while more severe pain may take several weeks or even months to fully recover.

3. What is whiplash?

Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward and then backwards, such as in a car accident or sports injury. Whiplash can cause neck pain, stiffness, and other symptoms such as headache and dizziness.

4. When should I see a doctor for neck pain?

One should see a doctor for neck pain if it is severe or persistent or if he/she experiences other symptoms such as weakness or numbness in the arms or hands or difficulty with balance or coordination.

5. Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to prevent neck pain?

In addition to performing neck and shoulder exercises, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption, and practising good ergonomics in daily activities can help prevent neck pain.

Consult Apollo's Expert Orthopaedicians


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.


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