October 2014
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Back and Neck Pain and Your Mattress and Pillow

I can’t tell you how many days I wake up with a stiff neck. Is it any coincidence that my husband also wakes up with a stiff back quite often, and that our pillow top mattress has become severely disfigured over the past year? We unfortunately bought a pillow top mattress when we first moved into our first home 6 years ago.

I wouldn’t recommend this particular brand and type of mattress to anyone. It has two huge depressions in it now where my husband and I lay, and provides very little in the way of back and neck support, which are crucial to the health and wellness (and functionality) of these delicate areas of muscle, bone and cartilage.

I used to think that the way I was working out was aggravating my back and neck. And while it is true that there are certain moves that can definitely tweak these sensitive areas if they are executed poorly, there are other factors at work when it comes to back and neck comfort during the day.

Turns out your mattress and pillow that you use every night to sleep on have more of an impact on your neck and back comfort all day long than most people realize. It really isn’t just a matter of comfort during the night, it’s a matter of the support that these sleeping items offer these delicate areas, so they don’t get twisted into compromising positions during the night.

This is how you often end up waking up with a “crick” in your neck, or a sore back. This can just transcend into your workout, making you less effective, and making your more likely to succumb to the temptation to lay in bed or on the couch all day long in an effort to avoid discomfort.

This is actually the exact wrong thing to do if you have a stiff neck or back, as it just makes it much worse. Working out and moving provides the heat and “lube” for your neck and back to warm up and get loose, and actually lends itself to comfort more than sitting on the couch does. Sitting just puts pressure on your spine, which extends all the way to the base of your neck.

When the vertebrae are compressed for hours on end, they become inflexible and tight, and they put pressure on the delicate nerves that are present throughout the neck and back. This means sitting if not your friend if you suffer from frequent neck and back pain!

 

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