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Why Do I Wake Up With Neck Pain?

Why Do I Wake Up With Neck Pain?

Neck pain is a common problem for women and men in the United States and worldwide, with symptoms that can affect your daily activities and lead to a lower quality of life. Though some people have chronic neck pain, others find their symptoms are worse when they wake up.

At Easy Reach Chiropractic in Fort Lauderdale and Lake Worth, Florida, Barbara Adonis, DC, and Heather Previll, PT, DPT, pay close attention to their patients’ neck pain symptoms and the unique ways they occur, so every treatment plan is focused on finding relief. In this post, they review some of the common causes of morning neck pain to help you understand what could be causing your symptoms. 

Bad pillow support

Most of us use pillows to provide soft cushioning while we sleep. But if your pillow is too hard, too soft, or too flat, it can lead to a nighttime of strain on your neck. Today, pillows come in various degrees of firmness and different shapes, too, so you can shop around to find the pillow that works best for you.

Poor sleeping position

Your pillow might not be the only problem when it comes to sleeping. Sleeping position also plays a role. If you sleep in an odd position, like with your neck bent or your shoulders twisted oddly, it can lead to temporary neck pain, too. This type of pain usually subsides after a few hours of moving around.


One of the unfortunate things about today’s fast-paced, plugged-in society is that it leads to a lot of chronic stress. When we’re stressed, our muscles naturally tense, and that can lead to a lot of neck pain, as well as pain in other areas of your spine. Incorporating breathing exercises and other simple stress management activities can help.

Strenuous exercise

Your neck is supported by muscles, tendons, and ligaments, each of which can be strained by a day of heavy activity. That includes weight-bearing activities like lifting or carrying a heavy bag or backpack, as well as activities like painting that require your arms to be over your head for long periods.

Bad posture

“Stand up straight!” It sounds like nagging, right? It’s actually good advice. If you slump or hunch your shoulders when standing, walking, or even sitting, you’re putting a lot of uneven strain on your shoulders and neck. Practicing good posture balances the load across your muscles to relieve strain and sore spots.

Too much phone use

Another posture-related problem, plenty of us spend hours each day hunched over our phones, tablets, and laptops. Sitting with your head tilted forward and your shoulders rounded can also lead to posture-related strain, along with morning neck pain and headaches. Over time, you might even find yourself with shooting nerve pain in your shoulders and upper back.

Underlying medical issues

If you have arthritis, a “slipped” disc, or other underlying problems in your neck, hours of lying still can lead to morning neck pain and headaches, too. Problems with the rest of your back can also cause morning neck pain when those problems cause you to change your sleep position to one that puts strain on your neck or shoulders.

Chiropractic care for neck pain

Waking up with neck pain can lead to a day of discomfort and sometimes chronic headaches, too. Chiropractic treatment can help by correcting spine-related problems at the root of many causes of painful neck symptoms.

During your visit, we’ll evaluate your neck, upper back, and shoulders, discuss your symptoms, and review lifestyle habits that could be contributing to your symptoms. Then we’ll map out a treatment plan to help you feel better, so you wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

To learn more about how we can help relieve your nagging neck pain, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Easy Reach Chiropractic today.

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