Neck pain is, unfortunately, a common occurrence for many of us. Typically, it happens due to poor posture that stresses your neck muscles and causes joint pains.

Most people take medicines to reduce pain. However, some elderly prefer to use muscle pain relief patches instead of medications to relieve their neck and shoulder pain.

While these medications help reduce pain in the short term, in the long run, they can cause unwanted side effects, such as medication overuse headache or rashes.

But did you know there is a safer way to address those body aches?

Try out these effective exercises for neck pain, which can relax your stiff neck and allow you to move better!


Before doing any exercises, remember first to warm up your body!

Prepare your body muscles and joints for the upcoming workout to avoid straining any part of your body.

First, do a simple 10 min cardio workout such as walking, cycling or light jogging.

Follow up with some dynamic stretching for your neck, shoulders and upper back:

  • neck roll
  • shoulder roll
  • arm circles
  • overhead arm reach
  • chair rotation
  • cat-cow
  • knee-to-chest
  • thoracic extension

Perform these exercises for 30 seconds to 1 minute before your neck exercises to get the best results and prevent further aggravation of your neck pain.

That being said, those who suffer severe neck pain and those who feel pain while doing exercises should consult their healthcare professional or physical therapist before attempting any of these exercises.


Stretching exercises

Neck stretches help relieve muscle tension, alleviate pain and increase the range of motion in affected area. For the best results, you should perform neck stretching as a daily exercise several times a day.


exercise programRotation

  • From a neutral position, turn your head slowly to the left as if looking over your shoulder until you feel a stretch in the side of your neck and shoulder.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds before turning your head back to the centre.
  • Repeat on the right side.






lateral neck flexionForward and backward bending

  • Lower your head forward slowly, towards your chest, and hold for 15-30 seconds.
  • Relax and slowly move your head upward to a neutral position.
  • Tilt your chin up toward the ceiling slowly and bring the base of your skull toward your back. Hold for 10 seconds, then return to the start position.
  • Repeat the set for three times.



Shoulder rolls

  • Start with your head and neck in a neutral position.
  • Lift both shoulders in a shrugging motion without moving your head or neck.
  • Move your shoulders back in a circular motion until you squeeze your shoulder blades together and then release them to push them forward to neutral position. Do this 6 times.
  • Repeat the movement in the opposite direction for another 6 sets.


slowly turnSide bends

  • Extend both arms straight above your head and clasp your hands.
  • Without bending your neck, lean slowly toward the left side.
  • Return to the centre, keeping your arms above your head.
  • Repeat the movement on the right side.


Seated twist

  • Sit on a chair with a straight back.
  • Put your left hand on your right knee and gently pull to rotate the shoulders to the right as if looking behind the chair.
  • Slowly return to the centre.
  • Repeat the twist with your right hand on your left knee.


Strengthening exercises

Adding strengthening exercises to your workout regime will relieve neck pain and improve your posture, thus decreasing recurring pain. Neck strengthening exercises should be done on alternate days to give your muscle time to repair themselves.

Take note that some of these exercises require dumbbells or resistance bands. You can mix them as per your preferences.


Chin Tuck

  • Lie flat on the back with your arms stretched to the sides.
  • Nod your head and tuck in your chin.
  • Hold for 10 seconds before releasing back to a neutral position.
  • Repeat the motion several times.


neck exercises

Face pull

  • Fix the resistance band to a stable surface above eye level. Grab each handle with an overhand grip.
  • Pull directly toward your face, flaring your upper arms to the sides while squeezing your shoulders together. Pause, then return to the starting position.
  • Complete 3 sets of 12 reps.


alleviate neck painLateral raises

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a weight in each hand.
  • Keeping your body still, move your arms outward until they are level with your shoulders.
  • Slowly lower your arms back to the side and repeat.
  • Complete 3 sets.


Anterior raises

  • Hold weights in each hand and stand upright.
  • Slowly move both weights forward, away from your body.
  • Keep your arms straight and moving until the weights are level with your shoulders.
  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
  • Repeat for 3 sets.


Wall Angel

  • Stand with your back flat against a wall. You may need to step your feet out slightly to allow your back to soften completely against the wall.
  • Extend your arms to create a “T” shape against the wall, then bend your elbows to create a 90-degree angle.
  • Slowly move your arms up and down in a “snow angel” motion, ensuring they stay flat against the wall the whole time.
  • When your fingers touch above your head, return to the starting position.
  • Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.



  • Attach the resistance band to a pole or stable surface and grab each handle, extending your arms.
  • Pull the handles straight back by bending your elbows, keeping them close to your body. You should feel your rhomboid (between your shoulder blade) and lats (down the side of your back) working.
  • If you’re using a dumbbell, hold it in your right hand and brace yourself on a wall with your left hand, arm extended.
  • With your feet in a wide lunge position, one in front, one behind, hinge at the waist to a 45-degree angle, allowing the dumbbell to hang down.
  • Pull the dumbbell up towards your chest—keep your elbow and upper arm near your ribs. Remember to keep your neck neutral and your knees soft.
  • Perform 2–3 sets of 8–12 reps.


Are you having trouble getting rid of your neck problems? Worry not, as ESC can help you with that!

At Elite Spine Centres, we specialise in helping patients with neck problems and upper back pain.

Our professional team of chiropractors provides tailored treatment to improve your neck pain and restore your health and well-being to the way they should be.

We believe a holistic approach is the most effective way to prevent neck ache and stiffness reoccurrences. Therefore, in conjunction with your chiropractic treatment sessions, we recommend relevant lifestyle changes that reduce muscle strain and neck pain.

Not sure if we can treat your specific neck pain?

Give us a call @ +65 6904 8400, and we’ll be able to clear all doubts for you!

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