Stiff neck on one side and two reasons why

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Neck stiffness is a common issue that most people have dealt with on occasion. However, having a stiff neck only on one side can be puzzling, and you may not be sure why it happened. In most cases, neck stiffness isn’t caused by anything serious, and it’s typically the result of simple things like these: 

1.   Your sleeping position is violating neck neutrality

Waking up with a stiff neck on one side is a common occurrence for some people, and the likely reason for this morning stiffness is that your sleeping posture. In an ideal world, your sleeping position would keep your neck and back neutral and perfectly level, but let’s be honest, in the real world this can be much harder than it sounds. Issues like too many pillows, too soft a mattress or moving into odd positions as you sleep can all put pressure on your neck. Any of these issues could be the reason you’re waking up with a tense neck. 

2.   Straining a neck muscle is easier than straining pasta

A strained muscle is another common reason for having a stiff neck on one side, and it’s a lot easier to strain a neck muscle than you might think. If you’ve ever seen a bodybuilder straining to lift a heavy weight, it may seem like this is the kind of exertion it takes to strain a muscle. However, even small neck movements can be enough to cause a strained neck muscle, and this is especially true when the movement is repeated over and over. 

For example, the forward tilted movement most people use to look at their cell phone or tablet seems small, but it actually places a lot of pressure on the neck muscles. This is because the neck must keep the relatively heavy head in this forward position. When you’re in this position for a long time, the neck muscles can become tired and strained, and this can leave one or both sides of your neck feeling painful and stiff. 

Armor Physical Therapy can help if your neck is stiff on one side

If you regularly experience stiffness on one side of your neck, there are ways you can reduce the frequency of this issue, and Armor Physical Therapy can show you how. Our team of licensed physical therapists can build you a personalized therapy plan to treat neck stiffness, and your plan can include therapy techniques such as: 

Take the next step to reduce the stiffness and pain in your neck. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an appointment. 

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