Five Reasons You Have a Stiff Neck

You know the feeling. You turn your head and experience pain or soreness and/or a decreased range of motion. The pain can last a moment or show up literally every day. Neck pain is pretty common, too. The CDC reports that nearly one in five of us have experienced neck pain in the last three months.

In general, neck pain is usually caused by muscles weakening over time from misuse or environmental factors. Here are five of the most common reasons why your neck might be stiff, followed by an idea for a wonderful remedy.

1. You’re sleeping wrong. The culprit could be an old or ill-fitting pillow, or the way your body is positioned during sleep, or both. In general, sleeping on your stomach doesn’t help your sleep posture. It affects your lower back and neck because you’ll likely end up twisting your head one way or another throughout the night. Try sleeping only on your side or back.

2. You’re sitting incorrectly at work. You’ve probably heard this a million times, but looking downward at a computer monitor all day will cause muscles around the neck joints to tire, overstretch and weaken.  The same thing can happen if you drive for a living and look down at your smartphone a lot. First, don’t look at your smartphone while you’re driving (other drivers will thank you) and get an ergonomic evaluation at work. Your sitting posture is extremely important for more than just reducing a stiff neck. Continue reading “Five Reasons You Have a Stiff Neck”

Why is Your Neck Sore?

neckpainUnless you’ve been injured, your sore neck most likely comes from tightness in muscles created by postural issues related to the position of your head.  Your shoulders are rolled forward and your head is forward.

So why is your neck sore? Simply put, your neck muscles are in a constant battle to keep your head from rolling off the top of your spine. Some of the muscles in the battle are attached to the top of your shoulder blades, dragging your shoulders up.  Elevated shoulders cause your pectoral muscles to contract and try to help manage the weight shift. The muscles between your spine and shoulder blade (the rhomboids) usually just form knots to try to compensate.  In front, your droopy head causes you to have to raise your head to keep your eyes level, putting more stress on the disks in your spine.  In short, it’s a mess.

Continue reading “Why is Your Neck Sore?”