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When you’re a soccer player, you’ll experience neck pain sooner or later. The pain may be caused by heading the ball incorrectly or too hard, or you may hurt your neck some other way. No matter how you injure your neck, you want the pain to go away quickly.

If you experience severe neck pain after practice or a game, check with your doctor immediately. Also consult a physician if you have constant or recurring neck pain.

[Credit: © iStockphoto.com/Marcela Barsse]
Credit: © iStockphoto.com/Marcela Barsse

You may first experience discomfort in your neck when the muscles of your neck, upper back, and/or shoulders get tight. You can gauge how tight your neck muscles are by pressing a finger into the area between your shoulder and neck; if there’s very little give, your muscles are tight.

The best way to relieve tightness in your neck is to gently stretch the muscles. If your muscles are tight on the right, slowly bend your head and neck to the left while stretching your right arm down and out to the side. A gentle massage can also help ease tension in the neck and shoulder muscles.

Many times ice is applied to treat an injury. However, ice isn’t recommended for neck pain because the coldness can cause your muscles to tense up even more. Instead, apply moist heat with a warm washcloth or a soak in a hot tub.


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