Today, I would like to talk about a common symptom that many people experience at least once in their lives, which is waking up with neck pain after sleeping in the wrong position.

Sleep wrong literally means waking up unable to move your neck. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, it can result in a state where you cannot move your neck at all. For those experiencing it for the first time, it can be quite panic-inducing, with some even saying they cried out of sheer panic upon experiencing it suddenly one morning, seemingly without any warning.

In many cases, medical examinations do not reveal any clear findings, as the cause often stems from a state of ischemia due to some muscles undergoing tension as a result of prolonged unnatural posture during sleep or engaging in unfamiliar physical activities or heavy labor, rather than any abnormalities in imaging tests. Additionally, from a chiropractic perspective, inflammation of the joint capsule (articular capsule) of the cervical joint (intervertebral joint) can also be considered as a cause.

Patients who experience neck stiffness often ask, “Could it be because of the pillow?” However, it is more important to consider one’s daily activities and the condition of the neck muscles and joints. Many cases of sleep wrong occur due to overcontraction of the muscles. So, why is this state prone to occur?

This is largely attributed to the relationship between the cervical intervertebral joints, which serve as attachment points for the neck muscles, and the occiput. If a straight neck exists, as shown in the diagram, it can be the cause of various symptoms originating from the neck area. Representative examples include cervical disc herniation/discopathy, cervical shoulder arm syndrome/thoracic outlet syndrome, and intervertebral joint syndrome. By the way, whiplash caused by accidents is also a cause of these symptoms.

The cervical spine naturally has a gentle curve known as anterior curvature. However, in recent years, an increase in various neck symptoms due to the disappearance of anterior curvature of the cervical spine has been observed, largely due to the increase in desk work hours (the impact of the work-from-home style becoming more prevalent since COVID-19) and the widespread use of smartphones.

The muscles in the neck that support the weight of the skull are not very strong. Therefore, if the head is not properly positioned on the bones of the neck, the burden on the neck muscles can increase significantly. Such a state can lead to the onset of neck stiffness as the underlying cause, causing repeated episodes of neck stiffness or continuous neck pain.

At Spine Chiropractic, I always consider fundamental improvement in my treatments and address issues stemming from lifestyle habits.

If you find that changing your pillow does not improve the situation or if you are experiencing difficulties despite visiting hospitals or receiving massages, please consider trying chiropractic treatment at Spine Chiropractic.

I am conveniently located just a 1-minute walk from Bashamichi Station on the Minatomirai Line, a 7-minute walk from Nihon-Odori Station, and a 7-minute walk from JR Kannai and Sakuragicho Stations. If you find this convenient, please feel free to contact me.

Before reconsidering your pillow, why not take a look at your own neck?