Why does my neck hurt when I wake up?

HomeHealthWhy does my neck hurt when I wake up?

Most of us have suffered from morning neck pain after waking up. Stiffness and ache in the neck are some of the most common complaints of people across the globe. Many people think it is a sign of aging and there is nothing that can be done to relieve the pain. They are wrong. No matter the age, neck pain and ache can be resolved with a little alertness. Making the correct choices and realizing the pain for what it really is, is a crucial step in taking care of the issue.

With a few adjustments and the right decisions, you can wake up each morning fresh and alert without any neck pain. Sleeping positions matter while considering back and neck pains. Sleeping in an uncomfortable or unnatural position can positively contribute to a crick in your neck. Pregnancy can also cause neck and back aches for several women in the third trimester. Neck pain can be chronic after accidents, injuries caused due to spinal stress, and bad posture throughout the day. Tendons, ligaments, and muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back region become stiff due to less movement and constricted spaces.

Let us look at some reasons for neck aches and pains in the morning.


Sleeping position:

Sleeping positions are often the most common causes for neck pain in adults and children. Sleeping on the stomach should be avoided as far as possible to protect the neck muscles from added strain. The angle required to position the neck and shoulder blades is extreme and may cause difficulty breathing and restrict free neck movement while you sleep. Sleeping on the back is the ideal sleeping position, but if that is very difficult, then try sleeping on your sides.

The neck cannot be supported while sleeping on your stomach but can get adequate comfort when you sleep on your back or sides. While it might be difficult to control the tossing and turning in your sleep, correctly starting the night can help tremendously.

pile of pillows

Correct pillow:

Pillows, like many other items, are incredibly personal choices. Some prefer natural feather down pillows while some prefer the comfort of down alternative ones. Gel pillows, memory foam pillows, natural fiber pillows, cotton pillows, synthetic pillows and so on are some of the options available in the market. All these pillows should ultimately help you get restful sleep.

Orthopedic pillows that offer back and neck support are ideal for people who get up each morning with neck and back pains. Memory foam pillows that take the shape of the neck help tremendously in keeping the neck and head snug and comfortable. Cervical support pillows (that come under the cervical part of the spine) have deep indents and bulges under the neck to support the spinal cord comfortably all through the night. Firm pillows, also known as pillows for side sleepers help ease the strain from the neck and offer support by allowing contouring to take place. Avoid lumpy and deformed pillows and opt for a new memory foam or gel pillow to support your neck throughout the night.


Mattress support:

Incorrect mattresses are often a predominant cause for back and neck pain. Shoulder ache and soreness is a side effect of sleeping on lumpy, deformed, or extremely hard mattresses. Gel mattress toppers and memory foam toppers should be installed on top of old mattresses to revive and rejuvenate your sleeping experience instantly. An exceptionally soft cushion will work detrimentally to help support your lower back and neck since your body will sink into it. The spine, neck, and shoulders need exceptional support throughout the night so that pressure from joints can be released in the least harmful manner.

Unnatural angles for the spine, neck, and shoulders should be avoided at all costs. An unsupported neck can cause severe conditions like spondylosis and pinching of the nerves in the cervical discs. Mattress toppers can help support the back and neck to enable correct sleeping posture.

Excessive sitting and work stress

While sitting could be a cause for back pain, it is also a cause for neck pain. The muscles in the neck are always at a bent angle when sitting since the hands are usually busy working on laptops, cutting vegetables, or looking at mobile phones. Driving for more than 3 hours a day can also cause neck pains the next morning.

Stress is another important cause towards neck issues. Stiffening of the muscles and excessive tightening of the shoulder blades can result in a hurt neck that can be felt the next morning after you wake up. Consider a few shoulder exercises and neck rotations to ease the strain and loosen the neck muscles. One other thing we didn’t discuss is lack of sleep, without a full nights rest your muscles can be weaker and since your back plays a crucial role in your day-to-day you may feel the strain. Try a sleeping mask or ear plugs if the environment is noisy or bright.

Closing Thoughts

It is very important to take care of our body be it the back, neck, or other parts. Regular walking and stretching can help your body muscles relax and prevent sudden backaches and neck pains. Also, it is very important for working people to give breaks between their continuous screen time in front of laptops and do slight neck movements to prevent stiffness of the neck.

Also, take care while sleeping and see that your neck does not suffer any strain and also see to that your mattress has no uneven bumps as this may affect your sleeping posture and in turn may lead to neck pains. If your neck suffers severe pain immediately visit the doctor to check for some muscle sprains or spondylolysis.


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