Brief Summary of Neck and Shoulder Pain

Minor injuries commonly occur in the neck and shoulder after road accidents. This causes pain to develop in the muscles of the neck and shoulder, maybe not immediately but after a few hours.
This usually gets worse over the first 24 – 36 hours then gradually gets better, although recovery may take some time.
An X-ray is not usually necessary for the assessment of your injury. Take the recommended pain relief regularly to relieve the discomfort.
We recommend that you do neck exercises to regain your mobility. Do 5-10 repetitions of each, each hour you are awake.

Stand or sit facing forwards:

  • Move your head and look from side to side. (Initially this may be done whilst lying down).
  • Move your head to look up and down.
  • Move your head to make your ear move towards your shoulder. Do not make circular movements.

If we have made no arrangements to see you again and the pain persists, seek the advice of your GP.

Correct Sleeping Posture to Avoid Neck and Shoulder Pain

Instructions to Patient:

  • Always sleep on a firm bed, either on your back or on your side. Do not ever sleep face down.
  • If you sleep on your side, there are two points that are important.
  • See that the head and neck are straight, i.e., in line with the rest of the spine.
  • The number of pillows may be 1 or 2 or more, depending on their thickness and firmness, but just the right number to keep the head straight.
  • The arm on which you are lying must be kept in front of the chest not under it or behind.

More information can be found in our Pain Intervention Education and Pain Conditions Education sections.