Neck and shoulder sore

Does anyone have neck or shoulder soreness after a few days of training?

I had been training actively for almost 2 years. Weekly about 10hrs training with a day rest. Completed a few 70.3 and full distance IM race.

The aches and soreness on my upper shoulder and extends to my neck still put me off my training at times. I had done retul bike fit. Most indoor rides are 1-2hrs and outdoor rides 3-4hrs. I am quite a flexible snake and stretch every night.

I get the sores and aches even when i run although I always remind myself to relax the shoulders and rotate them every 1km. Most times, after my bike or run, I feel its the neck and shoulder more taxing than my legs.

The sores will usually go away if I give myself a 3-4 days rest. Sports massage do help but they are kind of pricey if done on a weekly basis.

My pysiotherapist was saying its due to weak back muscles and I was given some simple sets of back stretch cord exercise but it isn’t helping much.

Anyone having the same problem?

I’ve had them when I just started training on the bike or when I haven’t worked out for a while in the gym.
My right shoulder would start to ache and that feeling would extent to my neck.

Usually if I pick up some exercises for my shoulders off the bike, the problem goes away.

You don’t really need a gym to do the exercises, you could use household items that have some weight and lift those, just make sure you start off with a low weight (1 liter/1.5 liter bottle of water for instance).

You might want to start with doing them seated instead of standing in order to keep your back straight.

Exercises like shoulder press, front raises and side raises do the trick for me.

When you are on the trainer, is your pc/mobile/tablet straight in front of you or to your side? If it’s on your side you might be ‘crooked’ on the bike because you keep on watching the screen instead of straight ahead.

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I have similar, but I related these pains to sweat and fan/drafts, I tend to get muscle chills rather often, especially in the neck and upper back resulting in not being able to turn the head for few days.

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Make sure you’re not too low at the front. I get neck/shoulder pain when on long descents in the drops. Maybe your tv/computer is too high in relation to your position on the bike and it’s causing you to stretch to much?

I have chronic upper back/neck issues regardless of whether I’m riding or not. It is difficult to keep my head up when riding. I have a TT bike with the tallest stem possible. Two tennis balls in a sock as shown in the first attached link I have used for years. I recently upgraded to “therapy balls” that last longer. I use them twice a day.

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I have consistent neck and shoulder issues related to several bulging discs due to an injury. Long rides only exacerbate the problem. I’ve found the TheraCane to be a life saver to be my own sports masseuse:

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I had an issue with my upper back i went to my bike fitter and suggested to take MSM powder for a few weeks to detox the body , take a teaspoon in the morning and mix in a glass of water 15 min before eating for 3-6 weeks i had huge improvement doing this i now do this twice a year . ( maybe worth a try ??)

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I also have a Theracane. I agree it is useful as well.


It is more than likely that your perceived muscle soreness is actually referred from the spine itself and not of muscular origin. You describe that the soreness doesn’t resolve easily as it should with well vascularized muscle. Next time you ride or run and you have your neck and upper back soreness, turn your neck fully and see if you’ve lost range of motion. My guess is you will exhibit a loss turning toward the side of pain and fully retracting and looking up. These are signs of neck pathology. This can be easily corrected with some good PT. However, realize that cycling positions are known to place significant stress on the cervical spine and typically requires adaptation and regular preventative maintenance.


I get those pains when riding on the bike. Try these exercises when you start feeling tightness, especially this chin tuck one: It has helped me a great deal.

I also learned to relax my arms as much as I can–that seems to help as well.


This might sound silly, but it happened to me. I fought left shoulder, and neck pain that was almost debilitating. I did a number of things to resolve it, but the pain was by far the worst on the bike. Went to the fit guru and found that my left shifter was a bit higher than my right, and because I was a little too raked out and supporting a lot of my weight on my hands, it was killing an existing injury. I don’t know that it will help you any, but its something to look at, and a quick fix if that’s the issue.


I’ve got the theracane and now testing the theragun though it cost quite a lot…:sweat:


I used to suffer massively from shoulder and neck pain.
I’d finish a race an complain to the physio about neck pain and they’d always work on the muscles between my shoulder blades which were inevitably in spasm.

I think you’ve already answered your own question though, stretching did very little for me too.
I have neglected core and upper body work over the last year and guess what’s starting to hurt again?

Planks and pull up bar seem to work for me