Morning Neck Pain

Boy sleeping on his backDo you have pain or stiffness in the neck upon waking? There’s a good chance that the pain is due to one of two reasons: either not having the correct, supportive pillow for your head, and/or your sleeping position.

In part 2 of this article, we discuss how your sleep position may be resulting in a stiff neck. (For part 1 “Pillow recommendations”, please click here.)

Because we spend so much of our time sleeping, having a good sleep position is critical to good spinal health.

Generally speaking, sleeping on your back is the best position to have your spine aligned and your neck in a natural and relaxed position for a good night’s sleep (and pain-free morning!). While sleeping on your back, your head should be slightly raised and well supported with a pillow so that your spine is nice and straight.

When sleeping on your back, the curve of your neck should be supported with a pillow featuring a built-in roll to follow the natural contour of your body.

If you sleep on your side, it’s important that the entire length of your spine is a level, horizontal position. Your head and neck should be supported by a slightly thicker pillow than used when sleeping on your back. If your spine is not straight (perhaps due to your pillow or mattress firmness), you will likely experience neck and back pain.

If you tend to sleep on your stomach, then you need to make a change in your sleep position. Sleeping on your stomach is the worst possible position for not just your neck, but your entire spine, and may be the reason you experience morning neck pain.

Sleeping on your stomach does not allow for a straight and natural spine position. Having your head turned in one direction for several hours will cause the joints, ligaments, nerves and muscles in your neck and upper shoulders to be stressed. There is no pillow which can help stomach sleepers wake pain free.

If your goal Is to wake feeling well rested and pain free, it’s important to be mindful of your sleep position and have a variety of pillows if possible to ensure your head and neck are well supported.

Of course if you’re looking for advice on pillows, would like a chiropractic adjustment or a postural assessment; we’re here for you – please reach out to us: 519-258-8544

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