Patient suffering from back and neck pain, Sports Therapy, Physiotherapy treatment

Can Emotional Stress Cause Neck Pain?


Neck pain is a common problem we see in clinic at Sports Therapy One, and a particular complaint that many people experience at some point in their lives. It can be caused by various factors, including poor posture, injuries, and certain diseases. However, one factor that is often overlooked is emotional stress. In this article, we will explore the connection between emotional stress and neck pain and how sports therapy and exercise therapy can help you say goodbye to neck pain.

The Connection Between Emotional Stress and Neck Pain

Emotional stress can indeed cause physical symptoms such as neck pain. When we are stressed or anxious, our bodies respond by releasing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones prepare our bodies for the “fight or flight” response by increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. This increased muscle tension can lead to discomfort or pain in various parts of the body, including the neck.

Moreover, when we are stressed, we often adopt poor postures such as hunching over a computer or clenching our jaws. These postures put additional strain on the muscles in our necks, leading to pain. In addition to causing muscle tension and promoting poor posture, emotional stress can also amplify our perception of pain. This means that if you’re already experiencing neck pain due to other factors (like an injury), stress can make it feel even worse.

How Sports Massage Can Help?

One effective way to manage both emotional stress and neck pain is through sports massage. This type of massage therapy focuses on manipulating soft tissue to prevent or improve sports injuries. But you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from sports massage; it’s also beneficial for people with physically demanding jobs or those who deal with chronic stress.

Sports massage works by improving circulation and flexibility while reducing muscle tension – all of which can help alleviate neck pain. Moreover, the relaxing nature of massage therapy can help lower your body’s production of cortisol (the stress hormone), thereby reducing your overall stress levels.

Incorporating Exercise Therapy

Exercise therapy is another effective method for combating neck pain caused by emotional stress. Regular physical activity can help reduce muscle tension and improve posture, both of which can alleviate neck pain. Furthermore, exercise releases endorphins – chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators.

There are many types of exercises that can help with neck pain, including stretching, strengthening, aerobic activities, and even yoga. A sports therapist or physiotherapist can guide you through specific exercises tailored to your needs and abilities.

Saying Goodbye to Neck Pain

To say goodbye to neck pain caused by emotional stress, it’s crucial to address both the physical symptoms and the underlying emotional issues. This might involve a combination of sports massage, exercise therapy, stress management techniques (like meditation or deep breathing exercises), and possibly psychological counselling.

Remember that everyone’s experience with stress and neck pain is unique. What works for one person might not work for another. Therefore, it’s essential to work with a professional who can help you develop a personalised treatment plan.


Emotional stress can indeed cause neck pain by increasing muscle tension, promoting poor posture, and amplifying our perception of pain. However, there are effective ways to manage this type of pain. Sports massage and exercise therapy offer promising solutions by addressing both the physical symptoms and the underlying emotional causes of neck pain. So if you’re struggling with persistent neck pain that you think may be linked to emotional stress, don’t despair. With the right approach – which may involve sports massage, exercise therapy and in some cases a counselling intervention – you can say goodbye to neck pain once and for all.