Should I see a physio for neck pain?

  • Did you wake up this morning and pinch your neck? 
  • Are you getting to the end of the workday with a pounding headache? 
  • Has the increase in mortgage repayments created tension in your neck muscles? 
  • Do you wake in the morning with a numb hand or tingling in your fingers? 
  • As you’re scrolling now, is “Tech Neck” creeping up on you? 
neck pain physio


So should I see a physio for neck pain?

The answer is YES, and here’s why…

Physio is one of the most effective ways to treat neck pain. It is safe, effective and addresses the underlying cause of your neck pain, so we focus on making your neck pain go away for good

Every person has a different reason for their neck pain so each person must be individually assessed. This is why it’s important to see a Physiotherapist for an individual assessment, rather than attempting exercises you found on YouTube.


What are the types of Neck Pain? 

These are some of the most common reasons we see people for neck pain.



Postural Neck Pain 

Extended periods of sitting at a computer, head down or head forward postures using electronic devices, awkward work or home postures, breastfeeding, and driving will all cause weakness in the core muscles in the neck and cause extra demand for the muscles at the back of the neck. Lack of movement and weakness further down the spine or tightness in the hips from sitting can also lead to neck pain. Both the muscles and joints can be a source of pain. Occasionally it may be a disc bugle. These can cause headaches in the upper part of the neck. 


Wry Neck 

A wry neck is an acute injury to the neck where it becomes locked and painful. People often describe it happening first thing in the morning when they get out of bed, or with an awkward or fast movement of their head. 


Tightness of the neck, most often from postural causes, can result in headaches as the muscles and joints refer pain to the head. Psychological stress can also cause tension of the neck muscles leading to neck pain. 



An injury to the neck due to a fast forward the backwards movement in a car accident or sporting accident can cause pain in the muscles and joints of the neck. It may also cause inflammation of the nerves that supply sensation to your arms and head that can result in pins and needles or headaches. 



How does a physio treat neck pain?                                                    

A physiotherapist will assess your neck movement, neck and shoulder strength, the range of movement of the individual joints of the neck, the movement of your nerves and your posture. They will then formulate an individual plan for you. 



Massage works by relaxing muscles to provide better movement and pain relief  


This is a technique where gentle pressure is applied to a joint to relax it into a comfortable position to restore neck movement and relive pain  

Dry Needling  

This is aiming to achieve a similar result to massage. We use fine needles to relax muscles and relieve pain. It can be extremely effective for muscles around the neck, especially for muscles that have been very tight for a very long time. 

Strengthening and stretching 

This is arguably the most important part of the physio treatment. It optimizes how your neck moves to reduce load, reduce inflammation and tightness, and therefore relieve pain. Most exercises are simple and gentle strengthening exercises . 

Nerve Gliding  

Nerves can become restricted with muscle tightness and stretches to glide the nerves can provide significant relief of pain and tightness. 

Postural and Ergonomic Correction 

Physiotherapists are very knowledgeable and experienced in improving your ergonomics and your posture. It may be a desk set up or a lifting technique that needs to be changed. Just “shoulders back” is not enough in most cases! 


Can I return to the Gym after neck pain, or will I be able to continue my desk job? 


Physiotherapists work with you to set your goals. Neck pain should not stop you from doing anything. It may just be a matter of giving you the right exercises so you can comfortably sit for long periods of time, or it may require making a small adjustment to your workstation.  

If you want to return to the gym, a program of strengthening and stretching exercises will be prescribed for you. It will address specific muscle impairments that you may have. 

We also offer a range of classes instructed by our Physiotherapists that might be helpful in supporting your recovery. You can read more about our classes here


Did you know that in studies, 50% of people who have a disc bulge don’t have neck pain?

If you have a disc bulge that is causing you pain, they very often get better. They shouldn’t stop you from what you want to do, however they may need to be monitored by a physiotherapist through your recovery. 


Remember that every person has a different reason for their neck pain. The cause may be the same as another person, however the painful structure of the neck may be different. This is why it’s important to be assessed by a physiotherapist so you can address the injury and recover quickly. We look forward to helping you

Book a Physiotherapy Initial Consult via our online booking system to recover from your neck injury