It's easy to brush off waking up once or twice with a stiff neck as “I just slept wrong”. But if you consistently wake up with a stiff neck for days, weeks or months frustration and anxiety take over. You start to question everything in your life. Do I have the right pillow? Is my computer set up right for me? Do I need monthly massages? Do I need weekly neck adjustments? Is there a way to permanently stop this neck stiffness to get back to sleeping, working and playing?
You start with looking at your pillow...it's old or maybe it was cheap so you decide to look at replacing it with the hopes it will get you a nice relaxing night of sleep. Then you stay up late researching all the different pillow types... thick pillows, thin pillows, a curved pillow, memory foam or one that looks like a donut? Now you are overwhelmed by the number of choices you have to make to replace your old pillow. How is anyone supposed to make a good decision?
Hi Dr. Molly
I have a question about my shoulder. I lift weights a few times a week. Recently, I haven’t been able to lift my right shoulder as high as my left shoulder. I wouldn’t say it hurts but it doesn’t feel normal. Google tells me I have a shoulder impingement. Will this heal on its own? I don't remember doing anything to hurt my shoulder, I just don’t want it to get worse.
Our necks are amazing! Just think of how many things in a day our necks help us with...watching Netflix, texting on phones, looking both ways when crossing the street and backing out of parking spots just to name a few.
If our neck didn't have so much flexibility we would have to watch TV and text only at eye level, we would have to turn our whole body to look right and left and reversing would be only done with mirrors (scary).
The truth is we don’t think about how much our necks do for us until they start to hurt or stop moving the way we want.
Why do necks become stiff, achy or lose motion?
Have you ever noticed how up right a 2- 5 year sits? It doesn’t matter where they are or what they are doing, they hold their head right over their shoulders. Then look at any adult you will notice that their head is not over their shoulder it's out in front of their body.
Slowly over time after years of leaning over books reading, working on computers, driving, sitting on comfy couches our posture changes from holding our heads over our shoulders to leaning out in front of our bodies.
Linda is in her 40s and works as a hairstylist. Like many women in their 40s she started noticing she’d gained some extra weight and started having random body aches. So she joined a group fitness class to get healthy. This class was amazing. The instructor and members were very helpful and supportive. In fact, she made fast friends in the group since they were all on the same health journey. She lost 60 pounds while having fun!
Unfortunately, she always had to modify the squats and lunges due to chronic knee problems but then her right shoulder started to hurt. How do you get your heart rate up if you have knee and shoulder problems?!
Not to mention, as a hairstylist you NEED your right arm for work. You don't really have the option to “rest”. When she couldn’t work through the pain any longer she went to the doctor, who told her she had shoulder bursitis. They scheduled her for an MRI and injections. After the injections he told her to “rest” and gave the guidelines on how to move her arm when she returned to working out.
WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald