Neck Pain? Your Pillow May Be the Culprit

There’s a new epidemic in Marin and while it isn’t contagious, I’m seeing more and more patients suffering from it. The ailment? Neck pain.

Ten years ago, most people coming in for chiropractic care complained of low back pain. Now 75% of my patients are coming in with neck related issues. For most, it’s because they’re sleeping with the wrong pillow causing them to toss and turn and wake up with a sore neck and shoulders.

Spending hours on a computer, laptop, tablet or cellphone contributes to neck pain, too. All the more reason to find a pillow that properly supports your neck.

The right pillow for you

woman sleeping on a comfortable pillow

Finding the right pillow can be a challenge. For comfortable support, look for one that fills the space between your ear and shoulder. Those filled with shredded memory foam won’t go flat and can be shaped for your individual comfort. Another plus--they’re also hypoallergenic. My favorite is the My Pillow – Medium. Its interlocking foam fill gives just-right support and adjusts to accommodate your personal sleep style.

More tips for protecting your neck

  • Sleep on your side or back for natural spine alignment

  • Use a heating pad or take a hot shower before bed to relax neck and shoulder muscles

  • Take a gentle yoga class, one that doesn’t put pressure on neck and shoulders, such as yin or restorative yoga

  • Swim or walk daily. Use your arms in full stride to loosen up the neck.

  • Don’t spend hours hunched over your computer. Get up every 20 minutes, walk around, stretch. (One patient purposely doesn’t keep a waste basket by her desk requiring her to get up and walk across the room for the nearest receptacle.)

  • Come in for some gentle adjustments to keep your spine aligned and muscles relaxed. A few sessions with my Rapid Release tool will do wonders!

Neck exercises to do at your computer

Your neck has a big job to do, supporting your 10 lb. head. Try these gentle exercises a few times a day to keep it flexible and pain free.

Neck Rotation - Drop your head and slowly roll from right to left

Shoulder Rotation - Circle your shoulders back, then front

Neck Stretch - Gently drop left ear to the left shoulder, then repeat on the right. To add a little resistance, press your hand against the side of your head.

Chin Tuck - Slide your chin inward, without moving your neck up or down

Shrug - Slowly raise your shoulders toward your ears, hold for a few seconds and release

New Patient Special - $99 - includes initial consult and follow-up appointment (a $205 value). Call now to book!

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