Not Just Your Pillow: Possible Reasons Why You Have a Stiff Neck

The neck contains a vast array of inner components that work together in order to support the head and allow for its movement. These include muscles, ligaments, bones, and tendons.

If the neck suffers from an injury, strain, or overuse, you may experience both pain and stiffness. When this occurs, it may become difficult to utilize or move the head.

While a stiff neck most often makes itself known immediately after sleeping, the cause may be more than just your pillow. Here are some of the most common causes behind stiffness in the neck.

Bedtime Mistakes

Seeing that most people experience a stiff neck upon waking, we will focus on bedtime mistakes as a cause first. Let’s begin with the pillow.

Its purpose and intent is to ensure that your head remains in a healthy position while resting. If the pillow is too large, it will bend the head unnaturally upwards. If it is too flat, it will bend the head too far down.

In order to resolve this issue, it is best to opt for those pillows that conform to the shape of the neck. Examples include pillows composed of memory foam and/or feathers.

The next bedtime mistake that could cause a stiff neck is your sleeping position.

The absolute worst sleeping position for the neck is on the stomach. This requires the head and neck to twist in an unnatural position and an immense amount of pressure on the nerves. It is best to sleep on the back or the side.

Untreated medical conditions – such as arthritis – may result in a stiff neck. If you have such a condition, you should see either a physical therapist or a chiropractic.

These professionals will help you stretch and provide strength to the muscles of the neck, which will aid in support during sleep.

Strains and Sprains

The next of the most common causes of a stiff neck include strains and sprains.

These may occur as a direct result of sleeping in an awkward manner, not having good posture, consistently looking in one direction for a long period of time (such as looking down as your mobile device), falling, experiencing an injury, or simply tension as a result of stress.

If you feel as if you are experiencing some type of strain or sprain, you should consult with a doctor, physical therapist, or a chiropractic team to resolve the issue.

Not only will this help to alleviate the stiffness in your neck, it will help to prevent further complications from occurring.

Underlying Disorders of the Cervical Spine

While not considered to be common, underlying disorders of the cervical spine (often referred to as the C-spine), can result in the onset of neck stiffness.

The C-spine is an essential feature of the neck and spinal cord. It provides support and assists in the movements of the neck and the spine, as a whole. It also helps to protect the spinal cord.

If there is an underlying issue here, the muscles in the neck may start to tighten up and experience spasms. The most common cervical spine issues include cervical herniated disc, degenerative disc disease of the C-spine, and osteoarthritis of the cervical spine.

If you suffer from one of these disorders, it is imperative that you seek chiropractic treatment services. Contact us today for more information:706-738-7731