I woke up with a stiff neck. Help!

I woke up with a stiff neck. Help! (Part II)

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In our first series, we covered DIY remedies that can help ease your stiff neck.

While it may feel like your stiff neck developed “out of nowhere”, it often boils down to the same few reasons. In this article, we will discuss what you can do to put an end to your morning neck pain.

Your sleeping position – do you sleep on your tummy?

Everyone has their preferred sleeping position [read about our tips on what pillow to use here]. However, if yours is faced down (sleeping on your stomach), your neck may be twisted to one side for hours at each time, excessively straining your neck muscles. In addition, sleeping on your stomach places a strain on your back and spine.

Your Pillow

Given the number of hours that you spend on your pillow, it is important to choose the right one to suit your needs. The key is in choosing a pillow that allows for a neutral spine and neck position. If you sleep on your back, you should use a thinner or contoured pillow. A thick pillow that elevates your head may create tension in your neck muscles, causing neck pain. Conversely, side sleepers need a pillow thick enough to keep your neck in a neutral position.

Sleeping with an awkward posture

While this may not feel entirely within your control, what you can do is to practice good sleep hygiene – mobile devices make it really easy to read while in bed, but chances are, you are going to doze off in an awkward position that you will immensely regret the morning after.

Previous injuries

Some injuries (like certain sports ones) may not always hurt at first; the full physical effects take a few days later to set in. Think about the time where you tried a new sport, and ended up aching a whole lot the next day.

Prolonged poor posture

Very often, stiff neck is caused by prolonged poor posture. If you are guilty of having your head bent forward looking at your mobile phone during your train ride from City Hall to Yishun, or hunched over at your work station for hours without changing positions? Remember the 30:30 rule – move for 30 seconds, every 30 minutes!

Optimize your sleep environment and watch your posture

If you consistently experience stiff neck, you definitely should pay attention to your posture in the day, and consider optimizing your sleep environment at night. However, if your pain still persists, it is worth coming into our clinics for a check-up with one of our Doctors of Chiropractic, to see if there is an underlying problem.

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