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Can Stress Cause Neck Pain?

Woman Holding Her Neck With Both Hands Due To Pain

Stress is something that affects many adults in the modern age. However, it turns out that it doesn’t just affect you mentally. Aside from the stress you may feel in your mind, you can hold stress in your body.

For instance, a common question is “can stress cause neck pain?” Well yes, long-term stress can force you to hold pain in your shoulders, backs, neck and more. As you tense up, it causes even more neck pain, tension and discomfort.

So let’s address the question of the link between stress and neck pain, as well as how to get rid of neck pain from stress going forward.

What Does Neck Pain From Stress Feel Like?

You could have pain and tightness from your neck, to your shoulders, to your back. It might further radiate into your head and arms as well.

So to answer “does stress cause neck pain” — Yes, it certainly does.

How To Relieve Neck Pain From Stress

Physiotherapy and massage therapy

Your soft tissues need to be massaged to release tight muscles. It can also reduce muscle spasm. Physiotherapy or massages are great for reducing stress.

They decrease the hormone called cortisol, which causes a lot of stress and pain. It also promotes blood flow and improves your mood in the area, thanks to loosening up your muscles.


Heat can help reduce tension on muscles. Ultimately, this will reduce neck pain and stress. It’s great for soothing tense areas across your body from stress. Try a warmed up heat pack or even a warm bath.


Stretching and yoga loosens up your tight neck muscles. If you’re carrying extra stress around, then you need to consciously increase your mobility and range of motion.

Strengthening exercises

Sometimes your muscles can be strengthened to alleviate the effects that stress has on tightening your muscles. The stronger your neck, shoulders, and surrounding areas are, the less likely they’ll give in to the strain of stress.

Going for walks

Going for a walk is great for clearing your head. It doesn’t just increase dopamine and serotonin, it also improves circulation and blood flow.

Can stress cause neck stiffness? Yes, but getting out and about can help alleviate it somewhat.


If you’re not getting proper sleep, it’s difficult for your body to recover at night. Muscle fatigue can occur due to stress if you are tense during the day. Without proper sleep, it’s difficult to regenerate.

See a pain specialist

Now that you know the answer to “can stress make your neck hurt” is yes, take action. Seeing a doctor is always the best course of action if you have neck stiffness due to stress. They can help you with the proper therapies, lifestyle changes, and treatments that will help you feel your best.

Get Relief From Neck Pain In Chicago Today

Schedule an appointment with Gateway Spine and Pain Physicians. The Gateway team understands how to treat your neck pain due to stress. No matter what the source of your neck pain in Chicago is, we will address the underlying cause.

That way, you’ll be treated with the optimal solution. Whether this requires therapy, surgery medications or anything else, you’ll be in compassionate and knowledgeable hands.