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Serving Melbourne

for over 20 years

35 Churchill Ave , Maidstone

VIC 3012, Australia

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Serving Melbourne
for over 30 years

Group 11

35 Churchill Ave , Maidstone, VIC 3012, Australia

Stopping that morning stiff neck with the right level of support

Ever wake up in the morning with a stiff neck? Feel that ache that seems to last for two or three days? Don’t know if it’s because you’ve slept wrong or if your pillow is rubbish?

“The Levator Scapulae muscle is one of the biggest causes of morning neck pain”

Morning neck pain is a recurrent problem for many people. For some it destroys days after days as they struggle to focus and maintain concentration from the neck which is stiff and achy. For others it stops them from driving, riding their bike or going for a run.

But do we really need to keep suffering like this…? Is there not a simple solution…?

One of the most common causes of morning stiff neck is a lack of support from your pillow overnight. When we lack support from our pillow, we often overcome this by shrugging the shoulder all night long.

One of the key muscles that’s involved in elevating the shoulder and providing this action is a muscle known as the Levator Scapulae. It’s a key muscle used in lifting our shoulder, stabilising our shoulder blade and supporting the neck.

When we spend 8 hours overnight without adequate support, this muscle contracts all night long and in the morning we wake up feeling like we’ve done an 8 hour gym session.

You might feel a constant burn in that area whilst others may feel more like they’ve done a big fitness session, similar to what you experience with delayed onset muscle soreness. Either way the key to overcoming this problem is ensuring you have correct support overnight.

The most obvious solution to fixing this problem is to ensure you have a good quality pillow that supports you correctly, but in reality, it’s not just your pillow that needs to support you but also the mattress you’re sleeping on as well.

You see if the pillow is not supporting your neck very well, we end up with a space under our neck and this is what our shoulder tries to fill. However, if your mattress is getting soft, you’ll begin to sink into it and no longer have a horizontal surface which changes the angle of which your neck and head meets your pillow. The result in both circumstances is inadequate support.

So, what should you be looking for in a good quality pillow…?

OK, here are my top three things to look for in a good quality pillow:

  1. A contoured shape – I know many people have been frustrated by contoured pillows over the years and you may be just the same, but a contoured pillow is required to provide enough shape to fill the void that’s housed around your neck. When we use traditional pillows that sloped down on the ends rather than up it becomes very hard for the pillow to fill and support that space
  2. The right height – Yeah sounds simple doesn’t it? But in reality, when was the last time someone actually checked you out to see what height of pillow you need, in fact has anyone ever? You see everyone has a different shape of neck different widths of shoulders and different levels of body weight and as such just like shoes most people need different sizes and shapes of pillows.
  3. The right density – You’re probably totally confused by what I mean by density. Well density is how firm the pillow is. Density is actually a very critical and important aspect of choosing a pillow. People that tend to have higher levels of sensitivity especially around their face, such as migraine or TMD sufferers, generally require a soft pillow to be comfortable. A softer pillow though means they sink further into it which may mean they require a higher pillow to overcome that.

Getting the right level of support for the night is a lot more difficult than just jumping down to your local store and picking up a new pillow. In fact the new pillow you pick up may actually be less supportive than the one that you’ve owned for 10 years.

When choosing a pillow we need to ensure that all three of these areas a properly addressed in addition to the density of your mattress that you sleep on. But finding the right level of support may potentially stop those sleepless nights and those aching days and mornings.

If you’re stuck, unsure what pillow suits you, just reach out, send me a message. Slide me a DM or click the chat button and we’ll arrange for one of our expert chiropractors to thoroughly assess you and workout which pillow is right for you.


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Serving Melbourne
for over 20 years