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Causes of One-Sided Neck Pain and What You Can Do At Home!

If you have neck pain that’s only on one side, for example: it’s only on one side when you turn your head, then this guide it’s for you. I’m going to share with you exactly what to do to help alleviate some of that neck pain.

My name is Hoang Tran; I’m an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist here at Hands On Therapy Services.  No matter where I go, I always run into people who tell me about their neck pain.

Literally, I was visiting with a friend of mine. I met this one woman at the bar; she was around 62, and she told me about her one-sided neck pain. She asked me if I can help her, and I’m going to share with you exactly what I did because she was having neck pain just turning her head. She goes to a physical therapist where she lives; she often regularly gets massages, and she said, “Nothing is really helping to get rid of that pain. I think it’s the way I’m sleeping.” I said, “Let me take a look and see what’s going on.”

And sure enough, her shoulders are really tight, and it’s a whole thing that we have to work on. But here’s the one thing that I did that really helped her. So I figured out, well, a lot of people ask me, “What’s causing your one-sided neck pain?” There are several different reasons, and that’s why it’s so important for you to find a trusted therapist that can help you find, like, the root cause of it.

One-Sided Neck Pain: Expert Tips and Insights from a Certified Hand Therapist

Living with neck pain, especially when it’s concentrated on one side, has been an ongoing challenge for many people. As an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist, I’ve encountered countless individuals grappling with similar issues. In this guide, I’ll delve into my personal experiences and share expert insights and practical tips to help you effectively alleviate and prevent one-sided neck pain and pain relief for neck and shoulder.

Understanding the Impact of Neck Pain

Throughout my professional journey, I’ve witnessed firsthand the profound impact of one side of neck pain on individuals from all walks of life. Whether it’s caused by a pinched nerve, stiffness from hours spent at a computer, or discomfort exacerbated by poor sleeping habits, addressing the underlying cause is paramount for achieving lasting relief.

Identifying Potential Causes

To effectively tackle one-sided neck pain, it’s crucial to identify potential underlying causes. Joint stiffness and muscle imbalances often top the list. Prolonged periods of desk work or extensive phone use can lead to stiffness in the neck joints, while muscle imbalances may stem from improper posture or repetitive movements.

Practical Solutions for Relief

In my quest to find relief from one-sided neck pain, I’ve experimented with various self-care techniques and found pillow support to be particularly effective. By strategically placing a pillow under the affected side’s armpit while sitting or lying down, I’ve suggested additional support to the shoulder and neck muscles, easing tension and discomfort.

Moreover, incorporating thoracic extension exercises and shoulder blade manipulation techniques into the daily routine has proven beneficial. These exercises stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding the neck and upper back, promoting better alignment and reducing strain on the affected side.

The Importance of Professional Guidance

While self-care strategies can offer temporary relief, seeking professional guidance from an occupational therapist or physical therapist is crucial, especially for persistent or severe neck pain. These experts can conduct a thorough assessment to pinpoint the root cause of your symptoms and devise a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

Through hands-on interventions, manual therapy techniques, and targeted exercises, occupational therapists and physical therapists can address joint stiffness, muscle imbalances, and other contributing factors, providing long-term relief and preventing future recurrences of neck pain.

Watch the full YouTube video to see the exercises you can do at home: Causes of One-Sided Neck Pain and What You Can Do At Home!


In conclusion, my journey to help many people overcome one-sided neck pain has been filled with challenges, but it has also been incredibly rewarding. By understanding the underlying causes and implementing practical self-care strategies, I’ve helped countless individuals regain control of their discomfort and improve their overall neck health. Whether they’re integrating pillow support into their daily routine or seeking professional guidance for more comprehensive treatment, my insights aim to empower you on your journey to a pain-free neck.

About the author – Hoang Tran – an expert occupational therapist

Hoang Tran is a certified hand therapist, the owner of Hands-on Therapy Services, and the author of the book “The Hands-On Approach”. She loves helping people with hand, neck, and shoulder problems because she knows how bad and debilitating they can get if not addressed and treated properly (once and for all!).

The aim of her Miami occupational therapy clinic is to help her clients live active pain-free lives, without pills, injections, or surgery. Occupational and Physical Therapy are offered at Hands-On Therapy by our experienced therapists who provide a comprehensive approach to your care. 

If you or someone you know is living with

Speak with one of our specialists for FREE by requesting a 30-minute Discovery Visit here! Talk to our specialist first before booking any paid session. We like to ensure that we can help you before taking you on as a client.

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*** If you are an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or certified hand therapist who wants to learn and develop your skills in hand therapy, please visit Hoang Tran’s program – Hand Therapy Secrets 

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