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BY DR. ARNAN SISSON PT (June 19th, 2023)
I have to say the second most common ache or pain I see in the clinic is that dreaded neck pain. And when folks come into the clinic they usually ask, “where did this come from?” This is the million-dollar question.
From what I’ve seen in the clinic, some folks lift something heavy, move in an odd direction, and develop pain. But more often than not the cause is unknown. This is because most neck aches develop overtime from bad habits. And a lot of these bad habits can revolve around sleeping.
These are a few things that most folks don’t think about…
Laying your head on multiple pillows can be a nightmare for your neck. It can push the joints of the neck to an extreme position, place muscles behind the neck in a prolonged stretch, and the muscles in the front of the neck in a shortened position all night.
Just like any joint in the body, if you get away from the neutral position for a long period the body is exposed to larger amounts of stress, and this can lead to chronic neck pain.
Sleeping on your stomach may be a bad idea. I had a fellow that came in to the clinic a month or so ago that had been sleeping this way for 10-15 years. The first day he came in to get some help from me I told him to switch to his back or side in the bed. Within two days his pain had dropped by at least 50%!
This show’s how awful this position can really be. It makes sense though, being on your stomach while sleeping places the neck in a rotated position for upwards of eight hours or so. This increases the stress to muscles of the neck, and drastically increases the odds of neck pain.
Scrolling through your phone, looking at the computer, and even reading a book for a long period before bed can create issues. The problem with these activities is that their usually done for long periods of time and keep the muscles in awful position just like sleeping on multiple pillows.
The reader may be asking, “So I know I have terrible habits, but what can I really do to fix them?” Simply put all you need to do is try to sleep on your back or side at night. You should also stick to a single pillow, and you could even insert a cervical roll for added support. When it comes to reading or checking out your phone try to limit these activities to 15-30 minutes. Then you change position for at least a minute or two to reduce the stress.
If you’d like to get some more information on how to improve your neck pain, here’s my FREE e-book on ways to improve neck pain that you can download instantly:http://sissonpt.com/neck-report