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How to Treat Neck Pain After Sleeping

Sleep Health · 07/29/19

Woman with Neck Pain - How to Treat Neck Pain After Sleeping

How to Treat Neck, Hip and Back Aches After Sleeping

There is nothing worse than waking up with neck pain after sleeping. Neck pain, in particular, can reduce neck and shoulder movements by creating neck stiffness. While some of the common causes of neck and backaches after sleeping are irreversible, there are other ways you treat acute or chronic pain in the neck. A good night’s sleep is both restorative and rejuvenating. Joint pain, such as neck and hip aches when sleeping, vary in severity. Discomfort can range anywhere between annoyance to sharp pain. Whether you suffer from degenerative disc disease, a pinched nerve, arthritis, or spinal stenosis, it’s essential to learn how you can get the best night’s sleep.

neck pain after sleeping

 

What is Neck Strain?

A neck strain also called a stiff neck, is caused by muscle tension in the neck. People who suffer from neck pain and stiffness may find it difficult to turn their heads and necks from one side to the other without moving their entire body. The stiffness may also be accompanied by severe pain, headache, numbness, tingling, and inflammation. There are several reasons why one wakes up to neck problems. Knowing the root cause is vital in treating neck pain. 

 

Why Do People Develop Neck Aches After Sleeping?

neck pain after sleeping

Use of Wrong Pillow or Mattress

Your bed and pillow should provide ample support to both your head and your spine. The correct pillow and mattress will provide you with enough support to maintain proper spinal alignment. A sagging mattress or a poor pillow can easily result in back and neck aches from sleeping. A good mattress will cushion your joints while providing spinal alignment. A proper pillow should be comfortable, but still provide support, so that the sleeper does not develop neck aches from sleeping.

Poor Sleep Position

The proper pillow and mattress should put your body in a neutral position, meaning your spine is straight. Sleeping at an awkward angle, especially when you already have a pre-existing neck or spine injury, is the quickest way to develop neck, pain, and hip aches when sleeping. That is because when you’re lying down in the wrong sleep position, like sleeping on your stomach, you also strain your joints, muscles, and ligaments when you turn your head to the side. Sleeping in a weak sleep position can worsen other injuries, such as whiplash and neck sprains.

 

neck pain after sleeping

 

Existing Degenerative Muscle Condition

A cervical herniated disc, cervical degenerative disc disease, and cervical osteoarthritis are just some of the most common degenerative muscle conditions that cause morning back pain and neck aches after sleeping. Their symptoms vary but can include low-grade inflammation, stiffness, chronic pain, and anatomical changes to the vertebrae or spinal cord. The best way to know if you have any pre-existing muscle condition is to seek the advice of a professional. Treatment will depend upon the diagnosis.

How to Prevent Neck Pain After Sleeping

Avoid Stress

When it comes to body aches, stress is often the main culprit. When you experience stress, your muscles tense up which can result in chronic neck pain or stiffness. There are many things you can do to manage and lower stress in your life. You can take a walk, listen to soothing music, meditate, or go to a yoga class. Identify your stressors and work through them. The goal is to put your body and mind at ease. 

Create an Ergonomic Workplace

Poor worksite design is a common source of pain due to poor posture and inadequate office ergonomics. To maintain focus and productivity without disregarding the needs of your body, you should improve the ergonomics of your work environment. Maintain proper body alignment by investing in an adjustable height desk. Make sure you use an anti-fatigue mat so that you don’t develop hip or back pain. 

 

neck pain after sleeping

 

Change Your Sleep Position

Sleeping on your stomach is often the culprit behind a stiff neck after sleeping. Many health professionals highly recommend sleeping on your back or your side. That is because these sleep positions do not force the neck to twist to the side in an uncomfortable angle. Use a pillow that is not too stiff or high. At the same time, the spine and knees are well-supported in a neutral position. Using an adjustable bed frame that can place your body in a zero-gravity position can also relieve spinal stress. 

Find The Right Pillow for Neck Pain

Just like sleep positions, there are individual preferences when it comes to pillows. However, if you are already suffering from neck stiffness, one of the best things you can do is to buy the right pillow. Some pillows cause neck aches after sleeping. Other pillows provide ample neck support. The important thing is to find a pillow that works best for you. It does not have to be the most expensive one. Avoid pillows that are too high or stiff. 

For instance, some people like the foam pillow because of its soft texture and reliable support. Others prefer a contour pillow made from memory foam. Many pillows specifically target problem areas and treat neck pain and stiffness. To achieve pain relief and get a night of good sleep, find the one that best suits your needs.

Find The Right Mattress

Other factors contribute to neck aches after sleeping, and one of them is sleeping on a bad mattress. While your pillows keep your neck in proper alignment, your mattress helps your spine stay in proper alignment.  When you sleep on a mattress that does not give your spine enough firmness and support, you are exposing yourself to numerous health risks such as reduced blood flow, heat, spinal injury, a pinched nerve, and sleep apnea. Also, sagging mattresses can add to soreness on the body’s pressure points or bony prominences, causing hip aches after sleeping.

 

mattress for neck pain

 

Investing in a Yaasa Adjustable Bed Frame can prevent and get rid of all of your aches and pains. With a click of a button, your sleep position is automatically adjusted to Zero Gravity – the best sleep position for achieving pain relief, restorative sleep, and correct spinal alignment. You can easily adjust the bed with its wireless remote control and take advantage of the USB ports positioned on either side of the bed without sitting up. The Yaasa Adjustable Bed Frame is also compatible with many types of mattresses. These bed frames work perfectly with memory foam, foam, latex, pocket coil, or a hybrid of any of these. (Only traditional innersprings, air mattresses, and water mattresses are not recommended.) 

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

According to research studies, sleep also plays a role in musculoskeletal pain.[1] Sleeping issues can result from difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, and not experiencing restorative sleep. It’s hypothesized that muscle healing is disrupted because of poor sleep patterns. Over time, this can cause chronic pain. A vicious cycle ensues – pain disrupting sleep and sleep problems causing pain.

Other Ways To Treat Neck Pain

While some causes of neck pain can be prevented, there are also other cases that render patients to seek medical care. Here are some methods that can effectively relieve and treat some neck aches from sleeping.

Ice or Heat Therapy

One of the most efficient and prompt treatments for neck pain and stiffness is by applying either an ice pack or heat therapy on the problem area. Placing an ice pack on the neck for 10 to 20 minutes can help reduce the swelling or inflammation. Heat therapy, such as applying a heating pad or taking a warm shower, can also loosen up the muscles and reduce stiffness. 

Over-The-Counter Medications

If neck pain or back aches after sleeping prevents you from doing physical movements, taking an over-the-counter pain medicine can give you instant relief. Pharmaceutical drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Tylenol, or acetaminophen can help stop the pain. This method is especially beneficial to people who want to get things done or have a good night’s sleep. Make sure you check with your doctor before trying new meds. 

Stretching or Massage

Physical therapy in the form of stretching and massage can help loosen up the stiffness of ligaments and muscles, further adding to pain relief. The important thing is to increase the flexibility in your neck without causing further pain or damage to the area. If you are not confident with a self-massage, you can visit a physical therapy clinic or professional chiropractor to help you with your stretches. 

 

neck pain after sleeping

 

The Yaasa Adjustable Bed Frame coupled with their hybrid mattress made from a pocket coil and memory foam is a game-changer in the world of the neck, hip and backaches after sleeping. For a limited time, you can get a brand new Yaasa mattress with the purchase of a bed frame.

Resources

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/say-good-night-to-neck-pain

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