Mechanical Neck Pain

What is mechanical neck pain?

Mechanical neck pain is recognised as the most common form of neck pain. The pain can be felt locally in the neck, and also in the arms or shoulders. The condition can be worsened by resting the head in one place for a significant period of time. Those with mechanical neck pain may experience the constriction of head mobility, as well as muscle spasms and tightness. Mechanical neck pain can also cause headaches.

In general, mechanical neck pain will subside after a few days. If it worsens, this could be the indication of a more serious condition.

What causes mechanical neck pain?

Mechanical neck pain is caused by the straining of the neck, which occurs through sustained posture or certain movements. This pain can affect the tendons, muscles and discs, as well as the spine’s joints.

Those with occupations which require repeated movements of the neck, or keeping the neck in the same posture for long periods, such as jobs which involve computer work, can be typical candidates for mechanical neck pain.

Treatment options for mechanical neck pain


The gentle manipulations which are performed by osteopaths can help to relieve mechanical neck pain. The type of manipulations which are used will depend on an individual’s specific diagnosis, as well as their age and fitness level. Osteopathic treatment can help to release tension in the muscles and joints of the neck. In some cases, the movement of the joints is signalled by a ‘clicking’ noise. Treatment may also be focused on areas of the back and shoulders. Osteopathic treatments can be preceded by a scan or x-ray for the purposes of diagnosis, and can also include preventative advice which seeks to improve posture and keep the joints and muscles relaxed.


Physical therapy for mechanical neck pain generally has the main objectives of reducing stiffness and pain in the neck region and expanding the neck’s range of motion. Physiotherapists can also present individuals with personalised strategies to prevent mechanical neck pain in the future, including the targeted strengthening of particular neck muscles.