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common causes of neck pain

5 common causes of neck pain

Neck pain can be caused by many different things

5 common causes of neck pain | Neck pain can be caused by many different things. Poor posture and shoulder tension, muscle imbalance and improper sleeping habits are some of the most common causes of neck pain. In some cases, neck pain is a result of an injury or accident.

Poor posture

You might not be aware of it, but your posture has a huge impact on your neck pain. Bad posture can cause muscle strain and tension in the area. This is because poor alignment causes the muscles in our back to work harder than they should, which can lead to fatigue and injury over time.

If you have bad posture:

  • Stand up straight with shoulders back and relaxed (you should be able to draw an imaginary line from head to tailbone), shrug your shoulders muscles as close to your ears as you can and squeeeeeeeze! Hold this for 5 seconds and repeat 5 times. This will help remove any of that postural related tension in your should and the base of your neck

  • It's essential if you work at a desk to ensure you have an ergonomic set-up

Shoulder tension

The neck and shoulders are connected in more than one way. The muscles that run from your upper back to the base of your skull, called levator scapulae, can become tight from overuse or injury. When these muscles get too tense, they can irritate nearby nerves and cause pain as they compress them against bone.

The good news is that there are many ways to relieve tension in the shoulders--and thus relieve neck pain--including stretching exercises and massage therapy.

You can also try rolling a tennis ball above the shoulder blade while lying down on a firm surface (like a yoga mat) with knees bent and feet flat on the floor; this should help loosen up those tight muscles!

Muscle imbalance

Muscle imbalance is a common cause of neck pain. If one muscle is stronger than the other, it can pull on the joints and cause pain.

For example, if you have tight muscles in your upper back and shoulders (like those involved in lifting weights), they may pull on your neck and make it feel sore.

Another type of muscle imbalance happens when a weak muscle cannot support its joint properly--for example, if one side of your lower back has stronger muscles than another side does but still needs to support the weight from above or below that level (such as carrying something heavy while walking).

Improper sleeping habits

When deciding which side to sleep on, the answer is the side you can get the most restful night's sleep. If you feel more rested on your back, then it's pointless trying to lay on your side as your sleep will be superficial and broken.

Sleeping on your side is better for relieving pressure on your spine than sleeping on your back or flat on your stomach (which puts more strain on muscles). The main thing is to ensure your spine and neck are in a neutral plane. Play around with your pillow height to find the most comfortable position for your neck.


Injuries are a common cause of neck pain. Neck injuries can be caused by car accidents, sports injuries, other accidents or falls. In some cases, you may not even remember how you hurt your neck--you just know that it hurts!


Many people think that neck pain is caused by injury, but this is not always the case. It's important to understand that poor posture and muscle imbalance can also cause neck pain, as well as improper sleeping habits.

If you're experiencing this type of discomfort book in with one of our osteopaths today. We will assess the cause of your neck tension and provide a bespoke treatment plan. Click here to book an appointment.


Danny Morgan Osteopath

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