How to help with neck pain from sleeping
Updated: Apr 26
Do you struggle with back or neck pain due to your sleeping positions? It's not a great experience, especially if you need to work from your desk throughout the day. However, with the proper care and guidance you'll be able to treat your stiff neck muscles in no time.
Causes of neck pain from sleeping
Neck pain from sleeping can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the most common causes is poor sleep position. If you sleep in a position that puts your neck in an awkward angle or doesn't provide proper support, it can strain your neck muscles and cause pain.
Another cause of neck pain from sleeping is an unsupportive pillow. If your pillow is too flat, too firm, or too soft, it can lead to improper spinal alignment and strain your neck muscles. Using a pillow that is too high or too low can also cause neck pain.
Overuse of the neck and shoulder muscles can also contribute to neck pain from sleeping. If you engage in activities that require you to hold your head or neck in one position for a prolonged period, such as using a computer or driving, it can lead to muscle strain and neck pain.
Types of neck pain
There are different types of neck pain, and it's essential to understand the type you are experiencing to determine the appropriate treatment. One common type of neck pain is a stiff neck. A stiff neck can make it difficult to turn your head, and it can be caused by poor sleep position, muscle strain, or injury.
Neck and back pain is another type of neck pain that can result from poor sleep position or an unsupportive pillow. Neck and shoulder pain is also a common type of neck pain that can be caused by overuse of the neck and shoulder muscles.
Understanding the causes and types of neck pain from sleeping is the first step in preventing and managing it. In the next section, we will discuss the best sleeping positions for neck pain.
Best Sleeping Positions for Neck Pain
Sleeping on your back
Sleeping on your back is generally considered the best sleeping position for preventing and managing neck pain. It allows for proper spinal alignment and distributes weight evenly, reducing the strain on your neck muscles.
When sleeping on your back, it's important to use a supportive pillow that keeps your neck and head aligned with your spine. A cervical pillow is an excellent choice as it provides extra support to the neck's natural curve and can help alleviate neck pain.
Sleeping on your side
Sleeping on your side is another good sleeping position for neck pain, as it can help keep your spine aligned. However, it's essential to use a pillow that keeps your head and neck level with your spine to prevent strain on your neck muscles.
If you are a side sleeper, it's also essential to avoid tucking your chin into your chest as it can strain your neck muscles. Instead, try to keep your neck and head in a neutral position.
Sleeping on your stomach
Sleeping on your stomach is generally not recommended for neck pain as it can strain your neck muscles and put pressure on your spine. However, if you must sleep on your stomach, try to use a thin pillow or no pillow at all to keep your neck in a neutral position.
Overall, the best sleeping position for neck pain is sleeping on your back with a supportive pillow. If you are a side sleeper, make sure to use a pillow that keeps your head and neck level with your spine. In the next section, we will discuss home remedies for neck pain.
Best way to sleep with sore neck
Have you ever woken up in the morning with neck pain and wondered how it happened? Laying on an awkward angle can cause muscle strain, especially if you're twisting your muscles for a long period of time as you sleep.
Sudden movements such as rolling or twitching your neck in your sleep can cause a strained neck overnight, and pre- existing medical conditions can also contribute to chronic neck pain. A multitude of reasons can be behind neck strain, but if you're looking for simple ways to relieve neck pain, consider these simple solutions!
Are you a stomach sleeper and suffering from low-quality sleep? You may be putting too much stress on your neck as you sleep, especially on the cervical spine. For the best sleeping positions, try sleeping on your back or your side.
Pick a decent mattress
With a mattress, you want to invest in a good one that can suitably support your body. Choose a mattress that is medium to firm; a hybrid mattress is perfect in terms of comfort and quality. Ideally, you want it large enough to fit your entire body, leaving enough room for movement!
Find the right pillow
Purchasing a good quality pillow can be the key to reducing neck pain, so you can get on with the things you enjoy doing.
Try a firm pillow, a feather pillow or memory foam pillows. Side sleepers can also place pillows between the knees for that extra support, and a horseshoe shaped pillow is another great option. Finding what works for you may take some time, but it's worth it to prevent neck pain in the long scheme of things.
Adjust room temperature
You wouldn't think so but adjusting the temperature of your room can determine your pain levels and prevent you from sleeping. Colder room temperatures can cause muscles to lock up due to the body's nervous system, constricting blood flow. Not exceeding 17 degrees Celsius is considered the ideal room temperature for the bedroom.
How to help a stiff neck from sleeping
There are many stiff neck remedies to assist with pain relief, and it doesn't always involve changing your poor posture.
Ice and heat therapy
Switching between hot and cold compresses will help your painful area. Putting an ice pack onto a strained or sprained neck for 20-minute intervals can reduce swelling. Heat therapy is perfect for relaxing painful areas, so start preparing for a bubble bath or warm shower. Your stiff muscles will thank you.
If you don't do this on the daily, start implementing gentle exercises into your routine. Increasing blood flowing to the soft tissue can help with muscle relaxation, loosen tissue, and create natural endorphins in the body.
Cut out high-intensity workouts and close contact sports activities, as this could make your pain worse. You want your neck to pass through the healing process.
If home strategies aren't working, over-the-counter medication may assist with symptoms.
Always consult your doctor or GP before taking any medication.
However, if problems are still occurring, ensure to contact a physiotherapist to receive more effective treatment.
When to seek medical help
In most cases, neck pain from sleeping can be managed with home remedies and changes in sleeping position. However, there are times when you should seek medical help for your neck pain.
Chronic neck pain
If you are experiencing chronic neck pain that lasts for several weeks or longer, it's essential to seek medical attention. Chronic neck pain can be a sign of an underlying condition, such as osteoarthritis or a herniated disc, that may require medical treatment.
Neck pain with other symptoms
If you are experiencing neck pain along with other symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms or legs, it's essential to seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms could be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a spinal cord injury or nerve damage.
Seeing a doctor for neck pain
When you see a doctor for neck pain, they will likely perform a physical examination and ask about your symptoms and medical history. They may also recommend imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, to identify any underlying conditions.
Based on your diagnosis, your doctor may recommend a range of treatments, including physical therapy, medication, or surgery