We have been providing neck pain treatment in San Francisco since 1992.
One of the more common complaints in a chiropractic office is a patient complaining of neck pain from sleeping. More often than not the symptoms are ongoing but this episode is worse than normal. Some patients experience neck and shoulder pain and others headaches as well.
What causes this and what can be done about it?
Well…believe it or not the fix for morning neck pain may be easier than you think. The first questions your chiropractor will probably ask you (and we ask all of our new patients these two questions) are this:
1. Do you use a cervical pillow when you sleep?
2. Do you sleep on your stomach?
When you sleep on your stomach you need to have your head turned so you can breath…this means you are sleeping with the spine twisted. The spine is also flat when you sleep on your stomach. Twisted and flat is the the worst possible thing for your neck. And even worse…most stomach sleepers have been doing this their entire life.
A cervical pillow is designed and built to support the spine in it’s normal alignment when you are on your back or on your side. These are the only positions you should sleep in. The pillow we prefer is the Tempur-Pedic Neck Pillow, but there are many other excellent pillows out there.
In addition, You may also need a some chiropractic adjustments as well as some home exercises to help restore the curve in your neck that you have most likely lost from years of sleeping on your stomach. Your new pillow will help to restore your neck curve. You should start feeling better right away because chances are the problem has been eliminated, though there can be a break in period for some with the pillow. Stick with it.
Your chiropractor will also show you proper ergonomics techniques as well as stretches you can do at your desk at work to counteract the stresses of sitting for long periods. Poor ergonomics can be a contributing factor to neck pain and headaches.
So there you go. If you have neck pain from sleeping your first stop should be the chiropractor. And if you don’t have a cervical pillow please get one. The best thing to do is to go to a store that has a variety or to a chiropractor that sells them. You will need to be fitted to make sure you get the right size and foam density.
To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors please call 415-392-2225. We validate parking at the Embarcadero Center.