Neck Tendonitis (2024)

What is Neck Tendonitis?

Neck Tendonitis is not a common diagnosis but it can happen. Neck Tendonitis is inflammation that occurs within a tendon that runs through the neck.

It usually happens near the insertion of the tendon at the bone. Tendons are fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone. Tendonitis can develop inflammation from an injury strain or from repetitive strain.

What Causes Tendinitis of In the Neck?

Neck Tendonitis (1)Neck Tendinitis

Symptoms of Tendonitis of The Neck

Neck tendonitis can become very painful and limit your ability to perform daily activities. It can limit the ability to move your neck in various direction. This can affect your ability to drive, dress, sleep, and perform homework or sports activities. Some symptoms can include:

  • Pain within your neck or pain that radiates down to your scapula (shoulder blade)
  • Stiffness limiting the ability to move your head/neck
  • Swelling around the area
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Creaking or grating with motion.

Which Tendons are Neck Tendons?

Tendons in the back of the neck include:

Neck Tendonitis (2)Tendons in the Back of the Neck

Tendons in the front the neck include:

Neck Tendonitis (3)Tendons in the Front of the Neck

Can Neck Tendonitis Symptoms Cause Shoulder Pain?

The quick answer is yes. The neck and the shoulder are connected in many ways. The nerves that control the shoulder and arm come from the neck. Any irritation in the structures of the neck can cause pain to radiate to the shoulder and arm.

You can have a shoulder problem and a neck problem at the same time. Here are some simple ways to help determine the source of your symptoms.

  • Does movement of the neck cause the shoulder to hurt?
  • Does movement of the shoulder cause the neck to hurt?

Common patterns of neck pain include pain radiating from the mid to lower neck, to the shoulder blade, and down the arm. As the problem improves, the pain is often more local to the neck.

Common patterns of shoulder problems or shoulder tendonitis pain are sharp or pinching pain with lifting the arm to the side. Some people can also develop stiffness or inability to full raise the arm. This can be frozen shoulder or Adhesive capsulitis.

Neck Tendonitis Treatments

  1. Stop doing things that hurt. Pushing through pain only makes the inflammation worse.
  2. Try rest and ice for 2 to 3 days.
  3. Try gentle movement after a few days of rest.
  4. See a doctor if pain persists.

Neck Tendonitis (4)Neck Tendonitis

A doctor may order x-rays or MRI films if there was trauma involved with the neck tendonitis.

Learn how tostretch your neck while you're at work by clicking HERE.

When to See a Doctor for Neck Tendonitis

  • Pain does not improve within 3 days
  • numbness or weakness in the arms
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Neck Pain came from trauma (car accident or a fall)

Physical Therapy For Neck Tendonitis

Physical therapyis usually the first line of defense with neck pain or neck tendonitis. A physical therapist will address:

  • swelling
  • soft tissue limitations
  • joint stiffness
  • weakness
  • pain

Physical Therapy tendonitis treatment interventions may consist of modalities for pain and inflammation:

  • electrical stimulation
  • ultrasound
  • moist heat
  • ice
  • laser therapy
  • manual therapy
  • stretches

Click to learn more about cervical tendonitis and The JOI Foundation

Neck Doctors in Jacksonville

If you have neck pain or think you may have neck tendonitis, the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute can help. Our doctors and therapists know how to treat tendonitis of the neck and get you back to your life!

To schedule an appointment for physical therapy at one of the 12 JOI Rehab Centers, please call 904-858-7045.

To Schedule an appointment with a JOI Neck Specialist, call 904-JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below.



Neck Tendonitis (5)Ehren Allen - Content writer

Neck Tendonitis (2024)


How do you fix tendonitis in the neck? ›

Treatments may include anti-inflammatory medications, use of ice, physical therapy, and massage. Especially with neck tendonitis, posture and postural awareness play a large role. Commonly when in a seated position, individuals fall into a slouched posture.

How long does it take for neck tendonitis to heal? ›

Most symptoms of neck sprain or strain will go away in 4 to 6 weeks. However, severe injuries may take longer to heal completely. If you injure your neck during athletic competition, you may not return to sport until your symptoms have resolved (gone away completely) and you have received clearance from your doctor.

What does neck tendonitis feel like? ›

Symptoms of Tendonitis of The Neck

Some symptoms can include: Pain within your neck or pain that radiates down to your scapula (shoulder blade) Stiffness limiting the ability to move your head/neck. Swelling around the area.

How do you release tight tendons in the neck? ›

Forward and Backward Tilt
  1. Start with your head squarely over your shoulders and your back straight.
  2. Lower your chin toward your chest and hold for 15-30 seconds. Relax, and slowly lift your head back up.
  3. Tilt your chin up toward the ceiling and bring the base of your skull toward your back. ...
  4. Repeat the set several times.
Jan 26, 2022

What is the fastest way to get rid of tendonitis? ›

How to treat tendonitis yourself
  1. Rest: try to avoid moving the tendon for 2 to 3 days.
  2. Ice: put an ice pack (or try a bag of frozen peas) wrapped in a tea towel on the tendon for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Support: wrap an elastic bandage around the area, use a tube bandage, or use a soft brace.

Why won't my tendonitis go away? ›

Chronic tendonitis is often defined by the tendon pain lasting more than 6 weeks, and the condition is referred to as tendinosis. Tendinosis is thought to be mainly caused by degeneration of the tendon. In order to effectively treat and resolve tendinosis, you must stimulate regeneration of the affected tendon.

How do you sleep with neck tendonitis? ›

Sleeping in certain positions can cause or worsen neck pain. People who sleep on their side or back may have less neck pain and stiffness than those who sleep on their stomachs. Other factors –– such as supportive pillows and a medium-firm mattress –– may also ease neck pain and improve sleep quality.

How do you tighten your neck tendons? ›

Objective: Prevent a sagging neck

Lift your chin toward the ceiling while moving your jaw forward. You'll feel a little tightening under your chin. As your neck extends, the muscles in front relax while the side sternocleidomastoid muscles get a workout. Hold for 5 seconds then repeat the movement 10 times.

How do I fix inflammation in my neck? ›

Reduce inflammation by applying cold, such as an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel, for up to 15 minutes several times a day during the first 48 hours. After that, use heat. Try taking a warm shower or using a heating pad on the low setting.

What happens if tendonitis goes untreated? ›

Without treatment, tendinitis can increase the risk of a tendon breaking down or tearing. A completely torn tendon might need surgery.

How to speed up tendon healing? ›

Here are ways for you to speed up your recovery.
  1. 1# Use the RICE First Aid Protocol: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Rest the affected body part. ...
  2. 2# Take Pain Medications. Your orthopedic doctor will likely advise over-the-counter ibuprofen as it relieves both pain and inflammation. ...
  3. 3# Stretch and Ambulate.

Is heat or ice better for tendonitis? ›

Heat may be more helpful for chronic tendon pain, often called tendinopathy or tendinosis. Heat can increase blood flow, which may help promote healing of the tendon. Heat also relaxes muscles, which can relieve pain.

How to fix a stiff neck overnight? ›

Stiff neck remedies to try
  1. Apply heat or ice to the painful area. Use ice for the first 48 to 72 hours, then use heat after that. ...
  2. Take over-the-counter pain relievers. Doctors recommend ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  3. Keep moving. ...
  4. Gentle massage. ...
  5. Make sure you have the proper mattress or pillow. ...
  6. Use a soft neck collar.
Nov 29, 2021

What is neck anxiety? ›

The bottom line. Tension and tightness in your neck and shoulders is a common symptom of stress and anxiety. It's part of your body's way of gearing up to survive a perceived physical threat. In other words, it's part of the “fight or flight” stress response.

Can you fix tendonitis without surgery? ›

Physical therapy exercises can help strengthen the muscle and tendon. Eccentric strengthening, which emphasizes contraction of a muscle while it's lengthening, is an effective treatment for many chronic tendon conditions.

What should you not do with tendonitis? ›

It can take a few months if you have a severe case of tendonitis. The best way to speed up your healing time is to rest. Don't participate in strenuous exercises or activities that can put stress on your healing tendon.

How to release tension in neck? ›

One of the best ways to loosen stiff neck muscles is with gentle heat. You may wrap a heating pad in a towel and place it on your neck. Or you may stand under a warm shower for a few minutes to loosen tight neck muscles. Once your muscles are warm, give yourself a gentle neck massage or ask a partner to do it.

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