Are you waking up in the morning with a stiff, aching neck? You may have simply slept on it the wrong way, or you may be feeling the effects of a previous sports injury or car accident. Regardless, if you wake up with a stiff neck from sleeping, it could affect the way you feel for the rest of the day. You are also not alone. Roughly 10% to 20% of people report experiencing some form of neck pain over the course of a year, with even higher numbers reported in office or computer workers.
What is causing my stiff neck from sleeping?
There are many factors that could contribute to a stiff neck from sleeping. However, some are more common than others. You may find that some of these common causes of neck stiffness apply to you:
- A soft pillow — Contrary to what you might think, a soft pillow may not prevent your neck from hurting after you sleep. In fact, the weight of your head can often sink so far into a soft pillow when you are sleeping that you may as well be sleeping with no pillow at all. If you sleep on your side or on your back, experts agree that a firm pillow may do a better job of preventing neck pain and stiffness.
- Poor sleeping position — If you sleep on your stomach, your neck could spend hours twisted to one side. This can put strain on your neck muscles, causing them to feel sore and stiff in the morning. Sleeping on your stomach can also cause your back to hurt.
- Sudden movements — If you move around a lot while you sleep, you may be at risk for straining your neck. A sudden movement like rolling over could be the reason your neck feels stiff and sore when you wake up.
What can physical therapy do to help my stiff neck from sleeping?
If you are waking up stiff and sore every morning, it may be time to call on a licensed physical therapist to help. Your neck pain may not just be preventing you from enjoying your day. It may be a symptom of something more serious.
Let our team at Armor Physical Therapy help. Using a number of proven physical therapy techniques, we can pinpoint the source of your neck pain and work with you to not only reduce your pain but also increase your flexibility and strength, helping to prevent any further injury to your neck.
Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.