Why Your Neck Pain Isn’t Caused by “Stress”

Neck Pain Sleeping


Recently I had received an email from someone concerned about his neck. He told me that his neck has always been a bit “sore” but he shrugged it off and never thought much of it.

But for the past few days he finds that when he wakes up in the morning, it’s becoming painful to turn to the side. After seeing the Doctor and being told it was stressed induced, he wanted to seek my advice because he felt as though nothing “stressful” had happened to him recently. It was beginning to interfere with his daily tasks and was even making it hard for him to sleep.

Well, to be honest with you… “stress” is an easy answer to give someone, when they’re not sure what the cause of a problem really is, in this case- neck pain.

Your neck won’t one day “decide to be painful”, and cause you trouble with sleeping.

After coming to the clinic, we discovered that his neck pain wasn’t caused by this peculiar “stress” that the Dr. had told him. But it was brought on by the way he was sleeping!

We found that he was sleeping in a way that put his body in an awkward position, which misaligned his posture.

Many of us aren’t aware that the way we sleep each night can lead to waking up with aches and pains that end up lasting throughout the entire day…

Poor sleeping positions aren’t always your fault! They can be developed unconsciously from when you were a child, leading to pain later in life when you’re an adult.

The good news is that the way you sleep can be adjusted.

Here is the EXACT advice I gave my patient, to give him a better nights sleep AND ease neck pain in the morning:

Invest in a Good Pillow

If you wake up with a sore or stiff neck, it might mean it’s time to trade your pillow in for something better.

Having the right pillow will make all the difference between a great night’s sleep and a lousy night full of tossing and turning.

Pillows that are either flat like pancakes or extra fluffy won’t do you any favors. It’s crucial to find a pillow that will keep your neck in a neutral (straight) position, so you wake up neck pain-free.


Do these exercises if you have a stiff neck in the morning: https://youtu.be/KHLWqPvyWcw

Sleep on Your Back

Most people with neck pain benefit from sleeping on their back, causing their neck and spine to be in a straight position.

Keep your arms relaxed and by your side (don’t let them wander while you sleep).

If you find sleeping on your back is uncomfortable, place a pillow under your knees to support your back. Raising the lower part of your legs will keep your spine properly aligned reducing the risk of waking up in pain.

We spend a third of our life in bed, so you might as well make it a comfy place to be!

If you’d like to discover more ways to ease your neck and shoulder pain, I’ve put together a free tips report for you:

Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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