Dr. Joseph J. Berke, M.D., Ph.D.
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Suffering from neck, back and shoulder pain? If you are, you’re in good company. Millions of people wake up every morning and endure every day experiencing pain in their necks, backs and shoulders. While neck, back and shoulder pain used to be thought of as conditions affecting only adults, due to more parents scheduling routine doctors visits for their kids, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that children and teenagers are also suffering from the symptoms. So if it’s not age that causes this severe discomfort, what is it? Believe it or not, the culprit may be your sleep habits and the position you sleep in.
Each and everyday, you are putting stress on your spine, which directly impacts the tension in your neck, shoulders and back. Even simple, everyday tasks like sitting at a desk, driving, and bending over can contribute to wear on these sensitive parts of your body. Your sleep time is supposed to be the time of day when these areas of your body are allowed to relax and regenerate. However, if your neck isn’t properly supported while you’re sleeping, your body doesn’t have a chance to recover from the stress it endured throughout the day. Improper neck support while sleeping can cause increasingly severe neck, back and shoulder pain over the years, to a point where it becomes unbearable.
Neck, back and shoulder pain can actually begin a vicious cycle. You’re in pain, so you can’t sleep, but you need to sleep (and sleep right), to be able to get rid of the pain. A continuous lack of sleep can even lead to further problems like depression, chronic fatigue, and believe it or not, even weight gain has been linked to a severe lack of proper sleep. Fortunately, scientists and health professionals take the causes of neck, back and shoulder pain seriously, and have consistently worked towards finding methods and remedies that will alleviate the wretched symptoms.
The first step towards eliminating the discomfort of these symptoms is to correct your sleep habits, and the most important part of this step is to get a pillow that properly supports your neck. Try to find one that is made to be tailored to the position you sleep in, as not all pillows are created equal. Memory foam pillows have been increasing in popularity, and rightfully so. They’ve actually been quite beneficial in relieving neck, back and shoulder pain for a number of people who have been enduring it for years. Massage, yoga, and proper exercise are also methods that have been found to reduce pain in these regions of the body. By incorporating small change like these into your lifestyle, you should have no problem overcoming your ailments.
If a quality visco-elastic pillow doesn’t solve your neck, back and shoulder pain, you might want to schedule an appointment with your doctor as your pain may be a symptom of a more severe underlying condition. Pain is something that affects your entire being, and remedying it quickly is vitally important to your quality of life.