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Neck Pain

Some would argue that sleeping with your dog during the night is a comfort to many pets who are left alone during the day. Unfortunately sleeping with your dog may actually be bad for you. Often times dogs have various sleep habits which interrupt your sleep and cause you to be grumpy the next morning. They can also lower your immune response. Pet dander may actually act is an allergen to flareup your allergies.

If your dog is been sleeping in your bed it may be extremely difficult to get them used to new sleeping arrangements. The development of arthritis will impair the dog’s ability to get on and off the bed, and lastly, if your dog disrupts your sleep to the point you develop pain, loss of focus or frequent upper inspiratory infections, consider new sleeping arrangements.

Waking up with neck pain is often described as waking up with a crick in your neck. A crick in the neck is a description of a painful condition where it’s difficult to turn your head. Often times the crick is a muscle spasm causing you to severely rotate your neck. The spasms usually occur as a result of sleeping on a pillow that put your neck in an awkward position. Also sitting at a computer for a long period of time can stimulate the crick.

A crick in the neck may also be caused by an  inflamed facet joint. The inflammation of the facet joint may be as a result of a sprain such as from a motor vehicle accident or whiplash injury.

Usually the crick resolves in a few days. It may be symptomatically treated with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, ice packs, massage, hot showers and general range of motion. Should the symptoms not resolve then low-level laser therapy may be considered. Should the symptoms not resolve then, consideration should be  given towards seeing a spine specialist to rule out a disc herniation.

To learn more about Dr. Cotler or to schedule an appointment, please call us on (713) 523-8884 or visit

Howard B. Cotler, MD, FACS, FAAOS is board certified and recertified in Orthopedic Surgery. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery and the American College of Surgeons.

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