Pulled my neck - should I stretch it?

My neck (on either the left or right side, alternating) is in an almost constant state of dull pain, coming and going. My typical practice, just like picking at a sore you shouldn’t, is to roll my neck and perform other stretching exercises. Is this the way to go? Would the neck heal faster if I just kept it straight as much as possible?

IANAD (I’ve always wanted a reason to write that), but the wisdom from my orthopedist from when I hurt my neck and shoulder from over exerting myself while lifting weights (actually the idiot at the gym set my range of motion wrong on the weight machine). The one thing he yelled at me for when showing me how to do proper stretching exercises was to NEVER roll your neck. I was only to stretch my neck looking straight down, then looking straight up, then moving my right ear like I’m trying to touch my right shoulder, then left ear to left shoulder. I was to NEVER move my head side to side when any of those positions.

I too ANAD, but I have a recurring neck problem and the orthopedist told me to stretch it every day, and do strengthening exercises to keep it from recurring.

With a damp warm cloth around your neck (or in the shower with warm water flowing on you) gently pull your head forward and hold for 10 seconds, then pull your head to the left (left ear to left shoulder) for 10 and then to the right for 10. To strengthen the muscles, put your hand on your forehead and then push against it gently while pushing your head forward for 10 seconds, and then do the same on the right and left and the back of your head.

I usually do the stretches, then the strengthening, and then the stretches again in the shower. It hurts when I have pulled the muscle, but that goes away in a few days with stretching.