What is the best thing to do for neck pain?

Neck pain is a common and bothersome issue that affects many people at some point in their lives. Whether it’s caused by poor posture, muscle strain, or underlying medical conditions, finding effective ways to manage neck pain is crucial for improving comfort and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In this blog post, we will explore various strategies and tips to help alleviate neck pain and promote overall neck health.

1. Pain is not damage

When you experience neck pain, it’s completely normal to feel alarmed and worry about what might be causing it. However, it’s important to keep in mind that neck pain doesn’t always indicate serious damage or a major health issue. In many cases, neck pain is the result of muscle tension, poor posture, or activities that strain your neck muscles.

Instead of immediately panicking, try to take a step back and observe your neck pain. Pay attention to when it occurs, what activities or positions trigger or worsen it, and any other factors that might be contributing to your discomfort. By doing so, you can gain a better understanding of your pain and make informed decisions about how to manage it.

Don’t let neck pain send you into a panic. Take a calm and observant approach, and empower yourself with the knowledge and strategies to effectively manage your discomfort.

2. Importance of rest and movement for your neck

When experiencing neck pain, finding the right balance between rest and movement is key. Avoiding activities that may exacerbate the pain can help reduce pain in the short-term. However, extended periods of rest can lead to stiffness, muscle weakness, and ultimately more pain.

Aim to return to daily activities and work as early as possible. Take regular short breaks as required. Gentle movements, including mobilisation and range-of-motion exercises, can provide neck pain relief as well.

3. Use heat and cold therapy for comfort

Research slightly favour the use of heat pack as cold therapy may lead to poorer healing. Nonetheless, both heat and cold therapy can provide temporary relief for neck pain.

When applying a heat pack, do use a towel to avoid burning the delicate skin around your neck. If you don’t have access to a heat pack, a bag of ice or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel, can work as a ice pack.

4. Emphasising good posture

text neck, neck pain
I don’t deny that such images are compelling. However, did you know there is no merit to them? The original study where these numbers are derived are from an engineering software! There is no human studies that can replicate these numbers. Furthermore, recent research has consistently refute the association between neck posture and neck pain. For matters relating to your own health, it’s important to be discerning so you can do what actually helps.

Unfortunately, this is junk science. Good posture does not help with neck aches and soreness. It is true making small adjustments to your posture can provide some relief for your symptoms. However, this relief occurs as a result of the movements and not correction of your posture.

If you have tried maintaining good posture through an entire day, you will know what I am talking about. It takes a lot of conscious effort from you but yet the benefits are marginal. Furthermore, you go back to your usual posture once you stop actively trying to sit up straight. This is why postural advice is not good advice. It doesn’t work.

You can learn more about this in our text neck article where we debunk the beliefs surrounding good posture.

5. Incorporating neck exercises into your routine

who physical activity guideline, functional training singapore
150 minutes of aerobic exercise alone is not enough for you! You must also participate in strength training exercises. The World Health Organisation and Ministry of Health clearly recommend at least 2 days of muscle strengthening activity.

Strengthening and stretching exercises for the neck and upper back are indeed essential for managing neck pain and promoting overall neck health. These exercises can help improve flexibility, reduce muscle tension, and enhance the stability of the neck and upper back muscles.

Neck stretches are easy to perform and can be done no matter where you are. These include gentle side-to-side neck movements, chin tucks, and neck rotations. These stretches can help alleviate muscle tightness and increase the range of motion in the neck.

Another beneficial exercise is shoulder shrugs. This exercise involves lifting the shoulders up towards the ears and then relaxing them back down. Shoulder shrugs help release tension in the upper back and shoulder muscles, which can contribute to neck pain.

In addition to specific neck exercises, it is also important to incorporate overall strength training exercises into your routine. By engaging in regular weight training for the upper body, you can strengthen the muscles that support the neck and improve overall posture. This can help reduce strain on the neck and alleviate pain.

Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercises. It is important to listen to your body and avoid any exercises that cause pain or discomfort. If you are unsure about which exercises are appropriate for your condition, consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified fitness trainer.

By incorporating targeted exercises into your daily routine and adopting a comprehensive approach to neck health, you can take proactive steps towards reducing neck pain, improving flexibility, and enhancing your overall quality of life. Remember to consult with a chiropractor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have underlying health conditions or chronic neck pain.

6. Seeking Professional Help from a chiropractor

neck chiropractic adjustment, jesse cai
Neck adjustments feel nice. Especially if you are receiving for the first time. The problem? The relief is temporary. Like pain killers, you have to repeatedly get adjusted to feel better. This is why most chiropractors recommend you to get adjusted 3x per week.

If your neck pain persists or worsens despite self-care measures, it’s important to seek professional help. Chiropractors can assess your condition, provide a proper diagnosis, and recommend specific treatments or therapies tailored to your needs. For longer term results, exercise and lifestyle modifications will be prescribed for you to overcome your neck problems.

Rehabilitation exercises can be highly beneficial. Graded exposure exercises can help normalise painful movements by gradually exposing the neck to movements that may initially cause discomfort. This approach helps reduce sensitivity to pain. It also builds confidence in moving the neck without fear of aggravating the pain.

By following a personalised exercise program under the guidance of our chiropractor, you can improve flexibility, strengthen neck muscles, and experience a reduction in neck pain. Remember to listen to your body, avoid excessive pain, and consult with your healthcare provider for guidance. With consistency and adherence, rehabilitation exercises can effectively manage neck pain and promote long-term neck health.

Neck pain can be a hindrance to daily life and overall well-being, but there are several strategies and tips to help manage and alleviate discomfort. By incorporating rest and movement, utilising heat and cold therapy, incorporating neck exercises, and seeking professional help when needed, you can take proactive steps toward finding relief and promoting neck health.


Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.

Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.

*We do not offer temporary pain relief such as chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, or any form of soft tissue therapy.