The Best Physiotherapy Exercises for Neck Pain


Many people deal with situations that put a strain on the neck, which can cause significant pain and discomfort. To help you find pain relief, there are some non-invasive physiotherapy exercises that you can do to combat neck pain. The qualified physical therapists and the physio clinic Malvern, Ace Sports Clinic, is trusted by some of the world’s best athletes and have some helpful tips.

Chronic neck pain can be lessened by safely building strength and flexibility with some easy methods that can be done every day.  Keeping this in front of mind can help you relieve pain while preventing the situation from worsening.  Find neck pain relief with these approved exercises.

Exercise #1: Seated neck stretch

This simple exercise can be performed at your desk or at home and should be done regularly throughout the day.

  1. Sit upright in your chair with both feet flat on the floor
  2. Extend your right arm along the right side 
  3. Place your left hand on top of your head
  4. Apply gentle pressure with your hand to tilt your head to the left  
  5. Hold for 30 seconds
  6. Repeat for the opposite side 

You should be able to feel this stretch in the side of the neck, also known as the levator scapula & scalene muscles.

Exercise #2: Wall push-ups

A great way to help prevent neck pain is by strengthening your shoulders which helps to support your neck muscles. For a less stressful exercise when compared with standard push-ups, follow these steps to perform a wall push-up:

  1. Stand facing a wall
  2. Leave 45 – 90cm feet of space in front of you 
  3. Ensure your feet are  shoulder-width apart
  4. Position your hands against the wall, slightly below shoulder level
  5. Begin with straight arms
  6. Bend your elbows slowly and bring your body closer to the wall
  7. Repeat 10 times for two sets

Exercise #3: Head and shoulder rolls

Another exercise that can be performed regularly throughout the day at your desk or at home is the shoulder roll:

  1. Keep your arms relaxed at your sides
  2. Keep your head upright
  3. Lift and roll your shoulders 
  4. Take a few seconds to rest between each roll
  5. Perform ten rolls forward, then the same amount back

It is important to stretch your neck before performing the head variant of this exercise and ensure your shoulder blades are relaxed. Your head should not be tilted forward; rather, it should sit directly over your neck. Start by dipping your chin toward your chest (if this causes an increase in pain, stop and contact your Ace Sports Clinic Physiotherapist immediately), then follow these steps:

  1. Hold for several breaths 
  2. Lift your head 
  3. Lower the left ear toward your left shoulder
  4. Hold this position 
  5. Repeat this movement on the right side
  6. Perform a similar stretch with your head tilted back

After these stretches, roll your head slowly from tucked in front or tilted back toward on five times each side. Avoid a full head roll as this may strain the neck further.

Exercise #4: Aquatic exercises

If you have access to a swimming pool, aerobic water exercises can increase blood flow to the neck and be very beneficial in relieving neck pain.  While in the water, attempt neck flexibility stretches on both sides by following these steps:

  1. Begin by standing in a lunge position, keeping both arms at shoulder height. 
  2. While the right hand and foot are forward at a 12 o’clock position, move the left hand in a sweeping motion back to 6 o’clock, and follow with the head and body
  3. Repeat five times
  4. Keep the left hand sweeping to the 6 o’clock position, while the head moves only to 9 o’clock
  5. Repeat for five movements
  6. For the last set of five, keep the head at 12 o’clock while the arm sweeps to 6 o’clock

Exercise #5: Prone rows

To strengthen the muscles that help to pull the shoulder blades together, lay face down on a bed.  Angle your face in the corner section and dangle your arms off each side.  Make a rowing motion upward, bend the elbows and squeeze the shoulder blades together while keeping your head still. 

Aim for 15 repetitions for two sets and add light weights for more of a challenge after body weight is mastered.

What not to do when you have neck pain

These exercises can be safe to perform normally but if you experience neck pain it’s best to avoid.  If you are experiencing neck pain, leave the following activities off the list as they can strain your neck vertebrae:

  • Sit-ups
  • Crunches
  • Military press
  • Lat pulldown

Ultimately, these exercises are a general guide and we always recommend seeing your Ace Sports Clinic Physiotherapist to get a personalized program tailored to your unique needs.

The physio clinic Melbourne trusts to relieve neck pain – Ace Sports Clinic Malvern

The above exercises can provide some relief and are great ways to help prevent neck pain, but for those who suffer from regular neck pain, the experienced and reliable physio clinic Malvern trusts is ACE Sports Clinic. Our proven track record for providing pain relief for our patients speaks for itself, so contact our team of experts today book an assessment and find the relief you need.  Live Pain Free – It’s possible at Ace Sports Clinic!

Along with physiotherapy, we offer a selection of physical therapyholistic therapies that can help improve your health: 

Trust our experienced team of health care professionals to help you live pain free with maximum vitality. We take a holistic approach to improving your health and craft personalised health solutions to suit your unique needs. We achieve this with an in-depth assessment process that looks to determine the root cause of your issue and provide solutions for all types of pain and injury.

As an international organization that has vast experience working with some of the best athletes and professionals in the field of sports medicine, we utilise modern evidence-based therapies and, we have the skills, knowledge, and experience to form an effective plan for you.  Too many people live with unnecessary pain in their body, be it neck pain, back pain or somewhere else, unaware that there are ways to prevent and relieve it. Come in and see one of our Ace Certified Practitioners and feel a little more comfortable every day.

At Ace Sports Clinic you’ll be treated like a Champion!