Neck pain is common but most cases aren’t caused by a serious problem. It is important to stay active. Bed rest for more than a couple of days makes it harder to get going. Gradually increase your normal activities and do regular exercise. Take painkillers if needed so you can stay active.
Your pain should ease within 2 weeks and you should recover over approximately a 4–6 week period. If you have severe neck pain or weakness in your arms/hands, contact your doctor.
Top tips to prevent neck pain
- Check your posture, so that you hold yourself comfortably upright.
- Take regular breaks from desk work, driving or any activity where your neck is held in one position.
- Keep your neck active and mobile to prevent stiffness.
- Avoid reading for long in bed or using too many pillows.
- Shrug and lower your shoulders to ease tight muscles.
- Check your eyesight in case reading is making you stoop.
- Practice relaxation if you are prone to stress, to reduce tension across your shoulders and neck.