One of the reasons behind neck pain can be neck arthritis. This is a joint-related condition causing swelling and inflammation in one or more joints. But what causes arthritis in the neck? Neck arthritis occurs due to damage to the facet joints or disc(s) in the cervical spine/neck. Arthritis in the neck and headaches have a close connection. One of the osteoarthritis in the neck symptoms includes a headache. There are several exercises that can help with neck arthritis, strengthen the muscles and therefore, reduce the pressure. However, along with being beneficial, there are some neck arthritis, exercises to avoid. Please note that only some exercises are to be avoided not all exercises.

Depending on the severity and cause of the neck pain, exercises might help. Note that don’t perform exercises without an expert’s opinion or instructions.

Neck Arthritis: Exercises to Avoid

Several things can result in an increase in neck pain. Even by looking up and activities involving holding your head in the same position for prolonged periods of time. Neck pain can occur due to several different reasons like cervical radiculopathy, osteoarthritis in the neck, or muscle spasms. Arthritis in the neck can cause headaches.

Coming to the exercises for neck arthritis; any exercise that puts a strain on your neck and muscles around can result in increased pain or other neck arthritis symptoms. With an arthritic neck; exercises to avoid may include the following:

  • Sit-ups:

People are attracted to sit-ups because it engages the core muscles. Sit-ups help with reducing lower back pain. However, if sit-ups aren’t done properly, performing them can result in back and neck pain instead. Posture during this exercise plays a significant role. Incorrect posture can put excessive pressure on your arthritic neck resulting in neck pain. Therefore, don’t perform the exercise until or unless prescribed or instructed by your healthcare provider.

  • Bridges:

This exercise involves lying on the back with feet, neck, and shoulders on the ground while hips off the ground. Bridges are good for engaging the core and thigh muscles however, put pressure on the neck. This can exaggerate the neck arthritis symptoms, therefore, avoid bridge exercise.

  • Overhead press:

Also known as the military press involves pushing weight overhead at your shoulder height. Overhead press can be performed during both sitting and standing. This type of exercise can be problematic for people suffering from neck arthritis and can cause a lot of pain.

Neck Arthritis: Exercises to perform

Some of the common exercises can be beneficial for neck arthritis. Restrain from exercising if you have severe pain in the neck or weakness in your arms or hands. Following are some of the simple exercises for the neck:

  • Head tilt:

For performing this stretch, sit on a chair or stand and follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Now slowly and gently tilt your head towards your left shoulder without moving the shoulder upwards.
  • Hold this position for about 5 to 10 seconds and come back to the initial position.
  • Repeat the same on the right side as well.
  • Repeat the entire thing about 5 times.
  • Chin tucks:

For performing this stretch, either sit or keep standing but maintain a proper posture. If you have trouble maintaining balance, it is better to sit down for performing the stretch. Follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Slowly tilt your head forwards/inwards resting the chin on your chest.
  • Gently tense your neck muscles.
  • Hold this position for about 5 to 10 seconds and come back to the initial position.
  • Repeat this stretch at least 5 times.
  • Shoulder rolls:

Along with neck stretches, shoulder stretches also strengthen the neck muscles. To perform shoulder rolls, perform the steps mentioned below:

  • Choose either between sitting or standing with feet shoulder wide apart.
  • Now in a smooth motion, move your shoulder up, back, and down.
  • Repeat this 5 times.
  • Then reverse the motion, i.e., up, forward, and down. Repeat it 5 times as well.


Neck pain can be caused due to several conditions. KKT Orthopedic Spine Center offers revolutionary non-surgical treatment for spine-related ailments including neck pain and arthritis. In case of back or neck pain, book your appointment with highly qualified KKT orthopedic consultants in Lahore, Karachi, and other operational centers in Pakistan. For booking an appointment, click on the link below: