Neck Pain From Lifting Weights

When you lift weights, neck injuries may occur. These injuries happen for several reasons and understanding the symptoms, the treatment options and how to prevent further injuries can help you to make the best decisions on how to cope with and recover from your neck pain. You should also be aware of what to do if you experience unusual symptoms or the treatment options are not working as it may be a sign of another serious condition.

Man lifting weights at gym Credit: LUNAMARINA/iStock/Getty Images


The symptoms associated with neck injuries from lifting weights vary. You may experience anything from mild stiffness to pain that limits your range of motion. Typically the symptoms subside after about a week. However, if they do not or if they include more serious issues, you should consult your physician. You should call your doctor especially if you experience pain that radiates down your shoulders and arms, numbness or tingling in your extremities, changes in bowel or bladder function or an inability to bend your chin to your chest.


Lifting weights can cause neck pain in several ways. Some of these causes include poor posture; overextending your neck, shoulders and back; and twisting your body when you lift. Other causes may include straining or putting tension on your neck and jarring your body.


A variety of treatment options are available depending on the severity of your neck pain. Physical therapy and an exercise program may be recommended by your physician. This includes a series of stretching and strengthening routines to loosen the muscles and tension caused by the injury, short-term immobilization, over-the-counter pain medications and cortisone injections to relieve inflammation and pain.


The best way to prevent neck pain when lifting is to practice the proper techniques and form. Bending at the knees, maintain a natural position with your back, do not hyper extend or hunch your back when lifting; as you lift the weights let your legs do most of the work and avoid twisting your body.

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