image of one sided neck tightness

How to Fix One-Sided Neck Pain

by Dr. Michael MashUpdated

Many lifters struggle with one-sided neck pain, and the natural reaction to remedy this is to STRETCH it. While this may provide some temporary relief, it rarely "fixes" the problem. In fact, many times, one-sided neck pain in an indication of an inability to LOAD the ipsilateral (same side) cervical spine.

Here's a great technique I learned from Modern Manual Therapy to restore ipsilateral side-bending and get rid of that one-sided "pinchy" feeling in your neck!


To perform, make sure your neck is retracted, then sidebend to the SAME SIDE it hurts until you feel a pinch. Then, perform an isometric hold using your hand as resistance and sidebend your head a little more. You'll notice that you'll be able to get FARTHER until you feel the pinch. Do this 4-5x or until you can maximally sidebend your neck...without any pinching!

This is a great novel stimulus to instantly restore sidebending, as isometrics have been found to be great for modulating pain. However,  unfortunately...the results are temporary! In order to promote permanent change, we need to load it!


This is why I like to perform 10 reps of ipsilateral lateral flexion against gravity after this maneuver. No stretching needed! Perform this up to 10x/hour during flare ups to finally get rid of that one-sided neck pain!