We're using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you're agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
You are here:

Why does neck pain become persistent?

In some cases, persistent neck pain has a specific cause, such as a damaged facet joint or disc. However, neck pain quite often continues even after the original problem has settled down.

If your neck pain lasts a while, lack of movement can cause your neck muscles to become weak and stiff – they will then tire more easily and will be more likely to hurt when you move them.

When you're in pain your instinct may be to avoid normal activities and movement. Over time you may start avoiding more and more activities and this can start to affect your work, social life, personal relationships, hobbies and interests. 

As you do less of the things you enjoy and start to lose confidence you may start to feel anxious or depressed. You may feel that family members and medical professionals appear unhelpful or unsympathetic.

If you're anxious or depressed, you may not feel like exercising or doing everyday activities, so your muscles become weaker still, and so it goes on.

This can happen to anyone, and the longer the pain cycle continues the harder it’ll be to recover your movement, activities and confidence. The tips in the self-help and daily living section can help to prevent or break this pain cycle.


0800 5200 520

Our new helpline: Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis. Open Mon–Fri 9am–8pm.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes

Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

Ask a question

We're now

Versus Arthritis.

You're being taken through to our new website in order to finish your donation.

Thank you for your generosity.

For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.