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What is neck pain?

Neck pain is very common and most of us will have it at some point in our lives. Usually, neck pain or neck ache is the result of holding your neck in the same position for too long.1


Neck pain causes

For most of us who develop a stiff and painful neck there is no obvious reason. This is called non-specific neck pain and is the most common type of neck pain.1 However, there are other things can also cause or contribute to pain in the neck, such as:

  • worry or stress
  • sleeping awkwardly
  • an accident, which can cause whiplash
  • a pinched nerve in your neck
  • a sprain or a strain
  • a flare-up of a condition called cervical spondylosis; which can happen as the discs and joints in the spine age.
Woman has severe pain in head and neck while sitting on the couch at home

Neck pain types

Although it might start in your neck, pain and tension in the neck can have a knock-on effect on other parts of your body. For example:1

  • Neck and shoulder pain – you may have pain in the middle or sides of your neck that extend to the shoulder or upper chest
  • Neck and arm pain – you might feel pain or weakness in your arms as well as your neck
  • Neck pains and headaches – you may experience tension headaches, with pain at the back of your head or behind your eyes
  • Neck pain and dizziness – feeling dizzy when looking up or to the side may be due to pinching of the vertebral arteries that run alongside the spine
Young woman working at home and having neck pain

Neck pain symptoms

Sudden pain, stiffness or numbness are common symptoms of neck pain, but if you have pins and needles it could be something more serious and you should see your doctor as soon as you can, or call 999 if it is an emergency.1

If you experience sudden neck pain alongside jaw pain or toothache this can be a sign of a heart attack, as the nerves associated with the heart and the jaw run close together.2 Again, if this is happening you should call 999 or go to A&E immediately.

Neck pain relief

Our necks are designed to be mobile, so you can avoid neck pain by not sleeping on your front,3 which twists your head to one side for a prolonged period. Similarly, jutting your head forward can contribute to neck pain. When the neck slants forward, placing the head in front of the shoulders, this can strain muscles and ligaments that support the neck, resulting in injury over time.4

Usually neck pain only lasts a couple of weeks and isn’t anything to worry about. Non-specific neck pain usually disappears after a few days, providing you keep gently moving your neck and rest when you need to.1

Hot and cold packs can help with neck pain relief, as can pain relief medicines such as Solpadeine Plus or Solpadeine Max. Your pharmacist can give you more advice, and you should always see your GP if your neck pain persists longer than a few weeks, or suddenly worsens.

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1. Versus Arthritis: Neck pain. Available at: Accessed July 2021.
2. Healthline: How does it feel to have a heart attack? Know the warning signs. Available at: Accessed July 2021.
3. NHS: Neck pain. Available at: Accessed October 2021.
4. NHS: Common posture mistakes and fixes. Available at: Accessed October 2021.

Find out more about other pain types

Select a type of pain to read about causes, what you can do to help relieve it, and which treatments are most appropriate.

Solpadeine Plus Capsules, Solpadeine Plus Tablets, Solpadeine Plus Soluble Tablets and Solpadeine Max Soluble Tablets contain Paracetamol, Codeine phosphate hemihydrate, and Caffeine. Solpadeine Max Tablets contain Paracetamol and Codeine phosphate hemihydrate. Solpadeine products should be taken for the short-term treatment of acute moderate pain which is not relieved by Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or Aspirin alone. Products containing Codeine can be addictive and should be used for a maximum of three days.

Solpadeine Headache Soluble Tablets contain Paracetamol and Caffeine – a mild analgesic and antipyretic formulated to give extra pain relief. Always read the leaflet.

Solpadeine Plus, Solpadeine Max and Solpadeine Headache products are not recommended for children under 12 years of age.


*New brand **1 tablet = 1 dose