Skip to content

The #1 Best Exercise for Relieving Your Neck Pain, Says Science

This issue is super common thanks to sitting all day and being on our phones, but try this remedy.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

A sore neck is, to put it simply, annoying. When you're stiff and in pain, it can make it hard to function, because usually, it means you can't turn your head without feeling a twinge or shock of hurt. Neck pain and stiffness can be caused by a variety of causes, but they can also be solved in a few different ways.

Let's take a closer look at what causes neck pain and some of the best ways to relieve it. The number one recommendation that science has for handling this concern is so obvious, you'll be surprised you didn't think of it yourself. But, we'll get to that shortly.

What Causes Neck Pain?

You can experience neck pain if you pull a muscle, if you sleep in a weird position, or even from bad posture, according to the Cleveland Clinic. There could be more troublesome causes like meningitis or an injury like whiplash, in which case, you should seek immediate medical attention.

For lesser concerns, though, you can most likely relieve this stiffness and pain at home using natural remedies.

Related: Sign up for our newsletter for the latest health and fitness news! 

How Can I Relieve Neck Pain?

sitting-stretching-neck-posture
Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

If you've got a sore or stiff neck, the best way to get rid of it is by doing gentle stretches. Very carefully roll your head around as much as you can, but stop if you feel any pain. You can also press your chin toward your chest and raise your head back up for a stretch. If you're struggling with a range of motion, use your hand to gently move your head around, but again, if you feel pain, stop immediately.

If you're feeling too much pain to move before you even try to stretch, you might have a more serious neck concern, in which case, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. Otherwise, these simple stretches can help loosen up tight or tweaked muscles for pain relief. Studies have shown that stretching is crucial toward relieving neck pain, especially for people whose necks get stiff from sitting at a desk all day.

Related: New Study Reveals the Exercise Trick for Erasing the Effects of Sitting

Are There Exercises for Neck Pain?

posture-balance-book-upright
Fizkes/Shutterstock

Here's the thing: The best way to relieve neck pain is to stretch out the muscles. However, on the exercise front, there's one thing you can consider, and that's doing exercises to improve your posture.

Some studies have shown a connection between posture-correcting exercises and decreased musculoskeletal pain, which means doing simple exercises to fix posture can definitely help your neck. One of the best exercises to improve posture is yoga. The gentle practice is all about elongating the spine and focusing on breathing—both of which can help improve posture.

Try doing a simple yoga sequence daily to improve your muscle strength. You can focus on building your core strength—which improves posture—as well as your back muscles. By warming up and then building these important muscles, you'll naturally start to stand up straighter, which means your neck will feel less tension. And less tension means less pain.

For more, check out The #1 Best Exercise for Relieving Your Shoulder Pain, Says Science.

Hedy Phillips
Hedy is a freelance writer with years of experience covering buzzy food trends, wellness, and weight loss. Read more
Filed Under