My Aching Neck!

Neck Pain Stats and Help

by Sue Sarko
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic neck, shoulder and upper-back pain. Usually the problems start with an attack of muscle tension across the shoulders or along the sides and back of the neck. Over time, the tiniest strain can trigger a painful spasm. Sleeping in an awkward position can make matters worse. If your pillow isn’t right, morning stiffness sounds the alarm.Improper sleep postures and stress due to uncontrolled movement of the cervical spine (the segment of the spine that is located in the neck area) can lead to a condition known as Plastid Deformation, a result of prolonged stretching of the connective soft tissues of the neck. Such stretching may ultimately result in improper alignment of the vertebrae of the cervical spine.

The neck is a network of muscles, ligaments, bone and cartilage. During sleep, muscles and ligaments relax and the cervical spine, if left unsupported, is under attack. Stress, in the form of poorly controlled movement and improperly supported sleeping positions can cause a person to awaken tired and sore.

Here are some compelling statistics: Research suggests that 80 million people in the U.S. and Canada will suffer from neck pain this year, of which 30 million will suffer with chronic neck pain at any given time. 34.4% of the adult population suffer with neck pain and associated headaches any given year. 13.5% of adult women and 9.5% of adult men suffer with chronic neck pain at any given time.

If you are among the many who suffer, take heart. Selecting the proper pillow may be a simple and effective way to relieve cervical pain and improve quality of life by way of sleep. Look for a pillow that matches the natural curve of your cervical spine. Traditional fiberfill or down pillows tend to flatten beneath the weight of your head, and aren’t shaped to match the curves of your neck. Pillows made of foam material hold their shape better and are often made to mirror the curves of the neck.

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