Waking up from your slumber with soreness is not really fun at all.
Neck pain will leave you miserable for a day or so. Some might even last for a week.
Neck pain can be really annoying and painful. To get rid of the pain from sleeping in an awkward position, you should first analyze the cause. This usually happens when the head falls on a position where there is stress on the neck muscles. The strain unnerves the region, causing it to stiffen.
Of course, there are so many ways neck pain can be caused by sleeping.
Let’s find out, shall we?
The Primary Causes Of Neck Pain
What are the causes of neck pain while sleeping? Neck pain is possibly caused by a few different things while you sleep. Of course, it goes without saying that sleeping in a wrong position will mess up your neck angle. Here are some ways sleeping incorrectly can cause neck pain:
1 . Sleeping on your stomach.
If you sleep on your stomach, your head and neck will be placed in an awkward position the entire night, especially if you use a hogh pillow. Eventually, this will lead to neck strain. To put an end to stomach sleeping, go get yourself a body pillow. Hold onto it while asleep. This can stop you from flipping over to your stomach.
2. Sleeping with your hand on forehead.
This places your whole arm, shoulder, and neck in a difficult position. The scalene muscles and upper trapezius borh experience pain if a hand is placed on the forehead during sleeping time. Keep you hands on your side.
3. Improper pillow choice.
Could the neck pain be caused by a pillow? Or probably cos you do not have any? Using a hard pillow that is also thick in height can contribute to neck pain. Furthermore, stacking several pillows is also not a good idea. The height of the pillow on your head will determine the position of your spine. The higher it is, the more likely it can lead to back pain and flexed muscles overnight. You will really wake up to pain and stiffness. If you slept with your neck in wrong angle, you can’t turn your head with ease the following morning.
If left unaddressed, this sleeping habit can cause you to have chronic pain in the back and neck. Bulky and firm pillows should be changed right away.
How To Sleep With A Stiff Neck
Sometimes, the damage is already done. There is nothing that you can do for the next few days, but live with a sore and stiff neck. Daytime can be difficult, but since you can control your movements while you are awake, things can be manageable.
Then, comes night time.
How do you get a full night of rest if in a sudden movement, a sharp pain in your neck will ensue? Learning how to sleep with a proper posture is the answer. You must go for a position that does not throw your spine away from proper alignment.
There are two sleep positions that can help you sleep comfortably despite suffering from neck pain. What are these?
Sleeping on your back
This position is considered the best sleeping position for neck pain and headache. Using a thin pillow will help provide support to the neck. The height is just right and it will not mess up the curve of the neck or spine. If you need a more supportive pillow, you can look for ones that have built-in neck support. Specialized pillows are on the rage these days because everyone wants to have a good restful night. Finding one that works for you will be easy. Or you can make shift with what you have and do a DIY by adding another small neck pillow on top of your thin pillow or placing a neck roll inside a soft pillow.
Sleeping on your side
- Finding the best pillow for you side sleeping is not that difficult. You just have to know what to look for. If you sleep on your side, thick pillows are favorable, since you need to avoid your head from falling over to one side and risk placing your neck in a lopsided manner. Consider the width and the height of the shoulders. A smaller and thinner person might need a thinner pillow than someone who is fuller in size.
- To avoid neck pain, a sleeping pillow that is suitable for the sleep position of your choice is a lot favorable. But, if you are suffering from neck pain regularly, is it better if you skip sleeping on a pillow? Find the answer below, along with answers to other questions related to neck pain from sleeping.
- If you say goodbye to pillows, will you bid neck pain farewell, as well? Will it be better for you to forego of the pillow or will doing so worsen your neck pain? Sleeping without a pillow actually have certain benefits. Going pillow-less can lengthen your back, making it easy to rest on a very natural position. This will not lead to any aches and pains. Additionallly, pillows that are super soft will only put strain on your muscles and restrict bloodflow towards the head.
How To Get Rid Of Neck Pain Instantly
Sorry, but I cannot give you a secret on how to get rid of stiff neck in 10 seconds, because there is no way to do so. However, here are some ways you can get quick relief from the pain:
Rest your neck.
Your head is not all that light. Imagine how much of an effort your neck is giving you to support it. So, let it rest for a while. Lie down and keep your head in a neutral and comfortable position. If your neck is pain, all you might need is more rest time. It does not matter if you just woke up or something, hit the bed for a few more minutes.
Do not stress yourelf.
At this point, if you fuss over your neck pain, it will not do you much good. The muscle pain that developed throughout the night will just worsen with stress. Why? Stress causes muscles to tighten even more. You are already in pain, why add more to it? Just relax and unwind.
Put an ice over it for short periods of time.
Check it first. Is putting ice alleviating the pain or aggravating it? Some people benefit from icing it in short periods, but for some it can lead to more injuries.
Get a massage.
Any excuse for a massage is a good reason to get a massage.
Put some warm compress over it.
Using a warm compress or a warm and slightly damp towel can improve circulation while providing temporary relief to the muscles. However, like icing it, you need to take heed first. If the heat causes aggravation or inflammation, best to skip this solution.
Get instant relief by popping on aspirin, ibuprofen, mefenamic acid, or acetaminophen/paracetamol. Use only what is recommended. Do not overdose or underdose.
Do some neck stretches.
First take a hot shower first. Warming up your muscles before stretching is highly recommended for better performance. Some stretches you can do include the following:
Apply tension on your left chin with your head turned towards the left. Keep in place for 20 seconds and repeat on right side.
- Slightly tilt your head on the left side, touching your left ear over to your left shoulder. Apply pressure on the temple, holding it for 20 more seconds before switching to the opposite side.
- Look down and try to let your chin touch your chest. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Maintain for 20 seconds and repeat for another set.
- What should you do if the pain in the neck never goes away? The solutions above only have short-term effects. But, if these were not able to provide you with relief, you might need to do something else. If the symptoms are persistent, seek medical attention right away.
- There is no way to determine how long neck pain lasts from sleeping wrong. It usually depends on how you mitigate the problem. Some last for just a day, but others can extend up to a few weeks’ length. This might even last for months going on and off, especially if you will not do anything about it. Knowing how long a stiff neck will last will not help your case, you have to be proactive to ensure that it does not happen again.
Having a neck pain when you wake up is not at all rare. It happens to everybody. But, that does not mean it is okay, especially if it seems to occur regularly. You might need to check your sleeping habits. Maybe it is time to change it up a little. Otherwise, you might experience worse pain or injury in the future.