Sometimes we find ourselves waking up to neck pain from sleeping in an incorrect position. It can be annoying indeed, but for some of us, it can be seriously painful and detrimental to our daily life.
One main cause of such neck pain includes your pillow/s. It is not necessarily that you slept on your neck wrong. In fact, your pillow might be the main denominator. Most people experience discomfort because of the way they place their pillow, their use of too many pillows, or their use of pillows that are too firm or too high.
This can cause neck strain and stiffening but also a minor pain in the ligaments, tendons and muscles of the neck. The pain can take anywhere from one to three days to heal which can cause you distress and eat away at your ability be productive and enjoy everyday life.
But don’t panic, there are a few things you can do.
Below are a few QUICK and important tips to you help you ease the pain and get a better night’s rest.
#1 Change Your Sleeping Position
Changing your sleeping position is one of the simplest things you can do to avoid neck pain. Sleeping on your side or back is most advised to avoid strain because both positions can keep your head in an appropriate natural position. Sleeping on your stomach is bad however as it can elevate your head and neck to become awkwardly strained. If you only feel comfortable sleeping on your stomach you can look into investing in a body pillow to lie on.
#2 Let Your Neck Rest
If you’re sitting at a desk all day, you need to give your neck a break every once and while by lying down. Try and get your head in a ‘neutral’ position by for instance laying on your back using a rounded low-loft pillow that can elevate your head just the right amount or by sleeping on your side using a pillow that is thicker or high-loft enough to align your neck and spine straight.
#3 Choose a Pillow That’s Right for You
Everyone has their own preferred position to sleep in. that’s why is important to invest in a pillow that suits you. For those who love sleeping on their back, choosing a rounded pillow that is low-loft enough to firmly support your head and neck is best.
Those who love sleeping on both their side and back will find the shredded memory foam pillows a great option as it gives the appropriate firmness, softness and support.
#4 Use Ice to Cool
Cooling can at time worsen your symptoms but it can also work well for some. Place an ice pack on the pained area in short increments. If you notice your symptoms getting worse, remove ice immediately!
#5 Use Warm Towel
Warm damp towel in the microwave and apply to the muscle area that is stiff or in pain. This is said to help increase circulation and can provide relief. It is important to beware of inflammation as it can make your symptoms worse. If you notice this remove heat immediately!
#6 Use Painkillers
If your pain isn’t too bad, aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help for pain relief. Make sure to read and follow instructions.
Stretching moderately can help as long as you don’t overdo it! It is best to warm up your muscles beforehand by taking a hot shower or using a hot compress. Then you can try out these simple stretches below:
- Turn your head slowly to the left. Take your left hand and place very light pressure on your chin to turn your head slightly more. Hold for 20 seconds and slowly turn your head back to the centre. Do the same thing for on the right side, using your right hand.
- Try to touch your left eat to your shoulder by tilting your head to the left. Place your left hand on your temple and apply pressure. Hold in position for 20 seconds and repeat actions on the right side.
- Try getting your chin to touch your chest by bending your head forward. Make sure you relax your shoulders in the meantime and hold for 20 seconds.
Still Experiencing Consistent Pain in Your Neck? Seek Professional Help.
Unfortunately, not all kinds of neck pain will disappear on their own. Some people experience chronic long-lasting neck pain that needs to be treated by professional medical practitioners including chiropractors and physiotherapists. If you are one of those unlucky sufferers please see your GP for advice.
Looking for a qualified physiotherapist in Melbourne? Choose Mhealth today!
Mhealth has been providing Melbourne with the most professional physiotherapy and related services for over 15 years! We have programmes that specially cater to healing, rehabilitating and prevention strategies for all individuals from athletes to everyday workers.