Causes of chronic neck pain

There are many conditions that can cause chronic neck pain.

Herniated disc

Herniated discs can cause pain that radiates down the arm, and possibly into the hands and fingers, possibly accompanied by numbness or tingling in the arms and/or hands, may start suddenly or develop over time. When the symptoms are moderate or temporary, the pain can be treated successfully with nonsurgical care.


This is neck pain that Is related to activity or position. Usually, impingement of one nerve root on one side of the spine causes most of the symptoms. This type of spinal stenosis is caused by wear or aging related changes in the joints of the neck or at the margins of the discs.  As with a herniated disc, the mainstay of treatment for stenosis is non-surgical care.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Low level chronic neck pain (with or without arm pain) that sometimes gets worse or is made worse by position or activity, may indicate cervical disc degeneration. The disease is virtually ubiquitous in humans.

Cervical osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is indicated when neck pain is worse in the morning and at the end of the day, or better in warm, sunny weather.

Treatments for Chronic Pain

Range of motion exercises, physical therapy, electrotherapy and stretching can all help preserve motion and lessen chronic pain. 

Using TENS therapy for neck pain.

After a diagnosis of chronic or degenerative neck pain, your pain management plan will include several methods of pain relief and should offer drug-free options.

ActivBody is the TENS machine we suggest for chronic neck pain.

ActivBody electrotherapy can be used everyday - outside the clinic - for drug-free, on-demand pain relief, relaxation and circulation, plus it will help keep you moving.

How to use ActivBody for neck pain


User Guide

Please read the User Guide that comes with your TENS machine.

Pad placement - neck

The objective is to place the pads either side of the spot where your neck pain is at its worst. The signal passes from one electrode to the other, therefore passing through the site of pain. You can have the pads close together or further apart, whichever is most comfortable and most effective for you.

These are examples only. Please phone us if you need further advice.


Mode, Intensity, Time and Repeat frequency - neck

Please click the image for more information.