Patient Story: Teenager with Neck Pain

Feb 5, 2021

young athlete neck and shoudler pain

How sports therapy eased my teenagers neck pain

Due to Covid and home schooling we are seeing a lot more teenagers with neck, shoulder pain and headaches.

A young lady in her mid to late teens came to see our therapist Beth complaining of severe neck and shoulder pains that she has been suffering with for the past 6 months. This pain was described as ‘random sharp shooting pains’ into the neck alongside a ‘constant dull ache’ in the upper shoulder.

The patient’s activity levels have dropped significantly since her pain started. She has been unable to complete her online training sessions with her local hockey team, and feels her fitness is also declining as the pain is aggravated when walking and running.

On assessment the patient presented with:

  • a kyphotic posture (rounded shoulders and a forward head posture). As well as an obvious
  • decreased range of motion in both the neck and shoulder with her symptoms reproduced at the end of the movement
  • she felt that she could not move any further as her upper shoulder was tight and pulling.

This alongside the results of other specific testing, it was evident that the patient was suffering with upper crossed syndrome. This is caused by overactive and underactive muscles throughout the neck, chest and shoulders.

This was due to her studying from home.

After discussing the correct set up for her at home study area, we then planned a daily routine involving sitting for no longer than 20-30 minutes with small exercise breaks in-between.

In the clinic we worked on her range of motion in her neck through mobilising her upper spine, and reducing the tension in her shoulders through deep tissue massage.

She was given some exercises to do:

Exercise for neck pain:

Neck Retraction

  • Sit up tall
  • Keeping your eyes looking forwards
  • Tuck your chin to your chest (make a double chin)
  • Hold 10 seconds, repeat ten times, three times a day

Shoulder Shrugs + Rolls


physiotherapy exercise - shoulder shrugs and rolls


  • Shrug your shoulders up towards your ears then relax down
  • Roll your shoulders round backwards then repeat forwards
  • Repeat each exercise ten times, three times a day

 Upper Trapezius Stretch

  • Sit on one hand, keep your shoulder down.
  • Tilt your head away from the hand you are sitting on
  • Use other hand to gently pull your head across
  • Hold 30 seconds, repeat two times, three times a day on each side

Pectoral Stretch 

  • Stand at end of wall or in doorway
  • Place inside of bent arm on surface of wall and position the bent elbow at shoulder height
  • Walk forwards and turn body away from positioned arm.
  • Hold for thirty seconds repeat twice, three times a day.

If you have a teenager who is suffering from neck, shoulder pains or headaches then we can help them both in our clinics in Stansted Park, Rowlands Castle and Horndean or via our online physiotherapy and sports therapy service.

To book please contact us today or book online.

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