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Why Do I Get Neck Pain When I Wake Up in the Morning?

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When patients come into our office, one of the most common concerns that they have is that they have neck pain upon waking up in the morning. It’s not uncommon for the discomfort to feel like there’s a “crick” or “kink” in the neck. The result of this occurrence is not only pain, but also a general decrease in the range of motion in the neck. So, how does something like this come about?

Why Sleep Causes Neck Pain

The most common reason for neck pain in the morning is an awkward sleeping posture. Because of the awkward positioning, those who sleep on their stomachs are often the ones who experience the most problems with their necks. Because there is obviously not a cutout in the mattress for your face like there is when you lay on a massage table, a person who sleeps on their stomach for six to eight hours every night must swivel their head to the left or right before placing their head on their pillow. Consequently, picture yourself standing or sitting with your head turned in either direction for as long as eight hours straight. At some point, you’re going to feel pain.

Another way to get a “kink” or “crick” in your neck is to sleep on multiple pillows or on a pillow that is too large for your head and neck. Because of this, the neck will either be forced forward or to the side an excessive amount, where it will no longer be aligned with the rest of the spine. This will result in improper alignment, muscle pulling, and pain. Neck discomfort and stiffness are guaranteed if your neck has been sleeping with the wrong kind of pillow every night. The incorrect pillow doesn’t give your neck the support it needs, which leads to neck pain from tight neck muscles. Look at your pillow closely before you go to bed tonight. Does it support your neck’s organic curve? Is it too thick or thin? To support your head and neck as you sleep, your pillow should ideally be about 5 inches thick and compressible.

What Causes Neck Pain?

When the bones in the neck, which are also known as vertebrae, are badly misaligned and place pressure on the nerves, resulting in pain and reduced motion, a condition known as cervical spondylosis occurs. The misalignment of the neck will also, over time, cause muscle straining, which can lead to spasms and inflammation, both of which can result in pain.

Joint Aging

Aging joints shouldn’t be discounted either. The truth is that as we age, our joint health tends to deteriorate. This is another reason why many older people report neck pain in the morning even though they slept in the correct position and with the correct pillow. Your neck’s muscles and ligaments deteriorate with age. They grow more prone to injury and less flexible. The range of motion in your neck muscles may be reduced if you have previously suffered a joint injury. As a result, neck discomfort and stiffness can be brought on by even small motions or overworking the muscles.

How Can a Neck “Kink” Be Straightened Out?

As chiropractors, we can assist in treating the issue in the neck by performing an adjustment, otherwise known as spinal manipulation. This will make it possible for the bones in the neck to return to their normal position, resulting in less pressure on the nerves. After the first adjustment, you will notice an improvement in both your range of motion and your pain; nevertheless, inflammation will still be present. In the time between adjustments, it is helpful to apply ice to the affected area for periods of 15 to 20 minutes at a time. This will help reduce swelling and pain. It is recommended that the patient adhere to their treatment plan as carefully as possible. This will assist in the reduction of the patient’s pain and symptoms in the shortest amount of time possible.

A cervical strengthening program must be begun as soon as the patient’s level of neck pain has been significantly reduced and their total range of motion has been restored. The vast majority of patients, if not all of them, have the mistaken belief that stretching the neck will help to relieve tightness, when, in fact, the opposite approach should be taken. When a muscle is strained in an awkward posture, it causes the muscle to become weak, which manifests as tightness. In addition, because muscle tendons are linked to bones, excessive stretching of the muscle can cause the vertebrae in the spine to become misaligned. This can happen when the muscle is stretched further. By performing strengthening exercises, you can shorten the muscle, which will, in turn, lessen the amount of strain placed on the spine and the likelihood of injury.

After experiencing a “kink” or “crick” in the neck, it is important to make an appointment with a chiropractor as soon as possible; do not wait for the injury to attempt to heal on its own. Because the nerve pressure is still there, even if the pain improves over time, it is possible for it to flare up again. Chiropractors are the best option because they can help reduce the pain and symptoms and because chiropractic care is an all-natural treatment method that does not mask the underlying problem with drugs.

Chattanooga Chiropractor | Georgia Chiropractor

Contact Atlas Total Health Chiropractic if you’re interested in learning more about the advantages of chiropractic care. We are pleased to address any of your concerns and all of your questions. Our caring chiropractors have years of experience and enjoy assisting patients in leading pain-free, fulfilling lives. Ask us how we may help you with spinal-related problems, whether you have a sore neck, shooting pain in your legs, or any other kind of pain in between. Contact Atlas Total Health Chiropractic by calling (866) 668-0108 or contacting us online to schedule your consultation. Discover what we can do for you to assist you with feeling better and restore you to optimal health.