Did you know that neck pain is classified as one of the most common musculoskeletal ailments? It affects hundreds of adults across the United States and can even result in disability if left untreated.
If you’ve been waking up with a sore neck lately, it may be for reasons you haven’t considered. Here are a few causes of recurring neck pain.
Wrong Choice of Pillow
That pillow you bought on your last visit to the supermarket may be the reason why your neck aches in the morning. If your neck has been resting on the wrong type of pillow every night, neck pain and stiffness are guaranteed. The wrong pillow doesn’t provide your neck the support it needs and builds tension in the neck muscles, resulting in an aching neck joint.
Before you lie down to sleep tonight, take a good look at your pillow. Does it support the natural curvature of your neck? Is it too thick or too thin? Ideally, your pillow should be around 5 inches thick and should be compressible enough to support your head and neck when you rest.
Experts suggest that the best position to sleep in during the night is on your back, as this allows your spine to rest easily. You can wedge a pillow under each arm or incline at a slight angle to avoid strain on your neck.
If your favorite sleeping position happens to be on your tummy, you’re not making it any easier for your neck joint. When you sleep on your stomach or in another awkward position, your neck may remain angled to one side for many hours while you doze. The stomach pressing down into the mattress also puts pressure on the spine and back muscles. The result is you waking up with neck pain and wondering why.
Let’s not rule out aging joints. The fact of the matter is, our joint health tends to worsen as we get older. This is also why many older individuals complain of neck pain in the morning despite having slept in the right posture and with the right pillow.
As you age, the muscles and ligaments in your neck weaken. They become less flexible and more prone to injury. If you sustained a joint injury in the past, the neck muscles may have a decreased range of motion. As a result, even slight movements or overexertion of the muscles can cause neck pain and stiffness.
At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we offer neck pain treatments as part of our orthopedic spine care in our Spine Solutions Center. We also perform joint surgeries, physical therapy, and other treatments to help patients recover from various ailments including neck pain.
Visit our website to find a doctor who’s right for you in Webster, TX.