Pain in back and neck muscles? The causes and exercises

Today, we are going to talk about the pain in back and neck muscles. The causes and the stretches or exercises that can help us to reduce and prevent these muscles from flaring up on us. These muscle flare-ups normally, or naturally heal up within a few days. We could try a heating pad, some sports cream, or maybe an over the counter pain reliever.

If this does not work or the pain travels to another limb or is combined with numbness, Go To The Doctor. Moving forward, I would also like to emphasize the importance of Stopping any stretch or exercise that makes the pain worse.

What causes pain in our neck muscles?

Our neck muscles include the muscles that are in between our head and our shoulders. These muscles help us control all the movement we wish to torque ourselves into for a task. This transitions us into the number one cause of neck pain.

  1. Posture related muscle strain– These are thought less little tasks that we do everyday like holding the phone with our head and shoulder pinching it in place. Lounging around the house,Neck Pain Image or driving the car (in style), maybe that position we curl up into for sleep, what about all the different work postures, or even house work for that matter. The point being, the possibilities go on and on. I do not know a single person that stretches and exercises their neck muscles regularly. I see tons of people bending their necks around trying to loosen up something. Maybe it is just me but, I think this is very important. Especially, as we grow older
  2. Trauma to the muscle or soft tissue– This is also a very common type of neck injury. A simple jar to the neck from taking a bigger step than you thought, to the violent whiplash movement of an auto accident is in this category.
  3. There are a more things that will cause neck pain– We could develop a disease in our neck. A nerve might get pinched between our vertebrae causing neck pain. Our joints just seem to wear some as we age, this could cause an issue.


A Few Simple Stretches And Exercises

I am going to give you a few stretches and exercises that help us in general. If you find your self really liking a particular stretch or exercise hang out there for a while.

  1. Static Extension– (my favorite) Get on your hands and knees. With knees under hips and palms under shoulders. Move hands forward roughly six to eight inches, then move shoulders back over palms. Let your head hang down and your back to relax as well. This means relaxing your stomach too. Hold for a couple of minutes. Keeping your elbows locked. Follow this link to better understand this realignment technique.  https://youtu.be/0ZGtZYcRb-g
  2. Chin Tuck– The overall best postural exercise for the neck. This exercise can be done sitting or standing, but it is recommended to start by standing against a wall. With back flat against the wall and feet a few inches away from wall. Bring head back to wall with chin slightly downward. To avoid head tilting backwards. Hold for a five count and repeat eight to twelve times.
  3. Elongating Neck– Act like a chicken. Another very good postural exercise. You can do this exercise while sitting. Sit with good posture and elongate neck forward keeping face forward, hold for a five count. Then using your neck muscles push the back of your head, keeping your chin from raising up. Hold again for a five count and repeat, eight times.
  4. Side Rotations– Turn head all the way to one side without twisting your body. Hold for a one count then return your head to the forward position and repeat. Then after you have done five rotations to one side. Go to your other side for five rotations.

Common Causes For Back Pain

This is one of the leading medical conditions in the human body. There are many things that can cause one to have back pain. Let’s think about the parts that have to work together. The spine, the muscles, the nerves, and the discs all has to work together and when something does not do its part, you find out.

  1. Muscle Strain or Sprain– This could be caused from poor posture, a result of poor lifting technique, or not exercising on a regular basis. Being overweight might also cause an issue with your back.
  2. More Serious Condition– Like a herniated disk, or an arthritis related disease or maybe a fracture in the spine. All of these and there are many more conditions that could cause back painBack Pain Image without much relief.

Back Pain Prevention Or Relief Exercises

I can only hope that you are reading this information for prevention purposes. If you are here for relief information, know that it has been said that stretching and exercising is the most effective method in recovery.

  1. Back Extension– Lay flat on your belly with toes pointed away from you and lift your upper body up while letting your back sag and keeping your elbows locked.
  2. Knee To Chest– Lay on back with knees bent and your feet on the floor. Using your arms to help, bring one knee to your chest. Press your bellybutton to the floor and hold for a three count. Switch legs and then try both legs at the same time.
  3. Hamstring Stretch– Sit on bottom with one leg extended fold other leg foot to knee. With good posture bend over and reach for toes. Switch legs and hold and repeat as comfort allows.
  4. Back Bridge– Start with back and feet on floor knees bent. Now, raise hips to form a line between hips and shoulders all the while keeping head and shoulders relaxed on the floor. Relax body and repeat, work up to twenty-five reps.

What We Have Covered Today

We started off looking at neck pain causes. Then we covered a few neck stretches and exercises. Moved to back pain conditions and found that bad posture is a cause in both of the areas we looked at today (Hint). We also looked at a few simple back stretches and exercises. In my opinion, the front muscles and the back muscles all work together. If just one side is good, it is a no go. I have added a link to my core page for you here. https://themuscletarget.com/how-to-strengthen-core-muscles-core-who

If you have any comments or questions leave them below.






  1. Hi Joe,
    Does neck pain travel to shoulder? Could you explain more detail about the whys which cause neck pain? Does sleep on one side position causes neck pain? Does massage by hands helps to reduce the neck pain’s level?
    Thank you in advance.

    • My friend there could be many reasons for neck pain to travel. I do not intend on this to be a diagnosis website. This could be serious and my advice is to seek a medical diagnosis. The way a person sleeps could play a huge role in having neck pain. A massage could really help in relieving neck pain, but it is normally only a temporary fix. Like putting a Band-Aid on it.

  2. Hi Joe – I have been having neck pain for years – I bought a tens unit and it really helps – I like the exercises you listed too. I’d love a picture of that static extension because I am not really sure I am understanding how to do it. Thanks for sharing this info!

    • Hi Heather, I am all about helping people. I will go back and add a link to better understand this alignment technique. Thank You so much for the quality comment.

  3. I will definitely have to try these exercises! I have serious neck and back issues, and I know it is mostly due to poor posture just like you said. Thanks for the tips!

  4. i sometimes find that i get a slight ache at the back of the neck if i am at my keyboard on my computer and i spend about 5 minutes nodding my head in different directions doing light exercise. This is why i can only spend about half an hour on my computer at one sitting.

    • Yes, this is a very common condition. Keep up with the stretching, strengthening and even realignment techniques. I know that these techniques can help!

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