Why Does My Neck Hurt When I Wake Up?

It happens to the best of us: We wake up from what seemed like a good night’s sleep only to find that your neck is stiff and painful. Sometimes, that can make it hard to move around, and sometimes, you can even experience pain or numbness in your arms or hands.

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While it may seem like a mystery that you have a pain in your neck when you wake up, if you see a chiropractor for your neck pain relief, you will learn that there are a lot of reasons why you might be having this problem. Here are just a few of the most common causes:

Sleeping Position

Sleeping on your stomach might feel comfortable, but it actually wreaks havoc on your neck. When you lay on your stomach, you have to turn your head to one side, which turns your neck out of alignment.

Not only can your spine become out of alignment, but your neck muscles can also become imbalanced. The muscles on one side of your neck will become contracted, and the muscles on the other side will be stretched. When you wake up and try to move your hide like normal, those contracted muscles can pull painfully.

There is nothing you can do to resolve this imbalance except to stop sleeping on your stomach. You can’t use a special pillow to provide support or balance.

You can also hurt your neck if you sleep on your side without the right pillow. A thinner pillow will cause your neck to bend down, away from your shoulder. This will cause alignment issues and pull on your muscles. You can continue to sleep on your side without problems if you use a thicker and more supportive pillow that will keep your neck in alignment.

Mesa Upper Back and Neck Pain Treatment | BodyWorkz


A flat pillow will not provide the support you need, no matter what sleeping position you choose. If you are sleeping on your back with a flat pillow, your neck will fall back and cause muscle contractions and alignment issues. You need a thick pillow with a neck roll for back sleeping.

Using the right pillow will also reduce the risk of nerve irritation, which can occur when your neck muscles become contracted or your spine shifts out of alignment. If a nerve is pinched, you will have severe pain. You will need to see a chiropractor or doctor for neck pain relief if that happens.

Memory foam pillows are usually good choices since they are firm and conform to your body shape. If those don’t work, you can also invest in a custom-made pillow. Some chiropractors recommend having a few different pillows on hand to rotate as needed for your sleeping position or your current preferences.

You can also consider getting a pillow with cooling technology. It won’t help your neck pain, but it will offer a more restful night’s sleep.

Relieving Neck Pain

If you notice neck pain in the morning, just know that it is not usual. Pain is a sign that something is off, and you need to see a chiropractor to get to the bottom of the issue. Your Mesa chiropractor will ask you about your sleeping environment and habits, including a description of the type of bed and pillows you have and what sleeping position you use.

Your chiropractor may suggest some changes based on your answers and will then evaluate your spine and neck. Some adjustments can be made to provide neck pain relief and to address other back and neck issues. Your provider may also suggest some lifestyle changes you can make to improve the situation.

neck pain after waking upBodyWorkz in Arizona can help you with neck or back pain in Mesa that you may be experiencing. We have experienced chiropractors on staff, as well as acupuncturists and therapists. We can provide back or neck pain relief through a variety of services, including adjustments, massage therapy in Mesa or traditional acupuncture in Mesa. One type of service may be enough to find relief, or you may find greater success with a variety of treatments. Our providers will make recommendations tailored to your symptoms to help you achieve optimal wellness and get the relief you seek. Call us today for a consultation.

November 8th, 2016Services

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