Neck Pain Endured At Night Is Caused During The Day
Commonly, neck pain endured at night and when you wake up in the morning is the hangover of your postural habits and prior movement behaviors causing your neck pain in the first place.
In between every one of our spinal bones is shock absorbers we call, discs. Our discs are stressed by doing the job of supporting the vertebra against gravity and the various forces of movement all day long. At night, the discs decompress, filling with fluid via a physiological process called, imbibition.
Envision and sponge in water: you press down on it and the water is forced out. When you let go, the sponge sucks the fluid back in.
Discs become plump with fluid when decompressed. During the night, sensitive nerves of the neck can become more irritated, causing a discomfort and a restless night. In the morning, your symptoms can be more sensitive during the first hour of the day where youre getting used to gravity and movement forces.
Typically, when the appropriate changes are made to improve the causes of neck pain symptoms during the day, a reduction in nighttime symptoms follow.
If you experience unrelenting neck or back pain only at night that does not subside with rest or change of position, contact your physician immediately.
How Your Sleeping Position Can Worsen Your Pain
One of the big culprits of your neck or shoulder pain could be your sleeping position. Ideally, you should sleep on your back or side to avoid neck pain.
Stomach sleeping is the worst sleeping position for people who have neck pain since this position already puts a lot of strain on the neck and lower back, especially if you also use a thick pillow.
For sleepers with shoulder pain, its best to avoid sleeping on your side, especially the side that you have the most pain on. Back sleeping will be more comfortable for people who have shoulder pain. Just be sure to sleep with your arms relaxed to your side. If you sleep with your arms up above your head, this may end up worsening your shoulder pain.
Back And Neck Pain Treatment In Central Maryland
If you suffer from back and neck pain when you wake up every morning, the board-certified and fellowship-trained doctors and specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland are here to help. We can conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your issue and provide solutions to relieve your pain.
If you have any questions about our practice or would like to request an appointment, call our friendly staff today at 644-1880 or 4MD-BONE , or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to seeing you.
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How Can I Get Rid Of Neck Pain From Sleeping Wrong
To reduce neck pain from sleeping in the wrong position or from an unsupportive pillow, the following methods may provide relief:
- Apply ice or heat to the neck. Use ice for the first 48 to 72 hours, and use heat after that.
- Apply heat using warm showers or baths, hot compresses, or heating pads.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen.
- Have a partner or professional gently massage your neck.
- Ask your healthcare provider about physical therapy techniques, such as massage, stretching, and strengthening exercises.
Choosing the right pillow may also help prevent or alleviate neck pain. Research shows that people who wake up with a stiff or aching neck may be sleeping on a pillow that is not right for them. To prevent neck pain from sleeping, consider trying a new pillow that is made of foam, polyester, or latex, and that is contoured for optimal head placement.
For chronic neck pain, studies show that using a visco-elastic polyurethane pillow , also known as a memory foam pillow, in conjunction with chiropractic treatment helped people manage their pain. Memory foam pillows appear to be more supportive than other pillow types for this type of pain.
What Is The Best Pillow Positioning For Neck Pain
Sleep experts recommend either back or side sleeping if you suffer from neck pain. Sleeping on your stomach causes your head to bend at a sharp angle and arches your spine, which puts unwanted pressure on your neck. Strict stomach sleepers should choose a pillow with a low loft to minimize pressure.
For best results, back and side sleepers should ensure that their head, neck, and top of the spine form a straight line. Sleeping with a pillow thats too high or too low can cause aches and pains. Likewise, sleeping with your head rolled to one side or the other is also likely to cause neck pain.
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How To Sleep With A Stiff Neck And Shoulder Or Back
To avoid aggravating a sore shoulder, its a good idea to sleep either on your opposite side or your back. If youre on your back, you can try putting a pillow next to your sore shoulder to discourage yourself from rolling that direction in the middle of the night.
For back pain, you should avoid sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach puts excess stress on your vertebrae. Some positions that you may find help relieve your pain include:
- sleeping on your back slightly reclined
- sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees
- sleeping in the fetal position
- sleeping with a pillow between your knees
2015 study found that people with chronic neck pain are less likely to improve if they experience poor sleep quality. Making sure youre getting a good nights sleep is one of the best ways to heal from neck pain.
Ibuprofen may help reduce your pain if youre dealing with an acute issue. Make sure you dont take it on an empty stomach, dont exceed more than 1,200 milligrams in 1 day, and dont take it longer than 10 days unless approved by a doctor.
Some people find that heat and ice also helps them manage their pain. You can alternate between the two, depending on which provides more relief.
Gently stretching your neck before bed and when you first wake up may also help you manage your pain.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the following stretches may help:
Best Sleeping Positions To Relieve Neck Pain
The best sleeping position to relieve neck pain is the one that holds the spine in a neutral position comfortably and is workable for a long period.
Keeping your spine in a neutral position means keeping it straight with the help of a soft pillow underneath your neck that supports your spine. People with neck or upper back pain can also use a customized pillow. You can choose the size of a pillow according to your liking and put more stuff inside to make it nice and soft and more comfortable.
Using two pillows under your head while sleeping may help lower neck pain and keep your spine in the proper shape or position. However, do not keep your shoulders on the pillow as it lifts your upper body and leaves the neck and head unsupported, resulting in stiffness in the neck.
Sleeping on Your Side
People who find it comfortable to sleep on their sides aim to achieve a neutral spine position. Using a pillow that is too high can create a curve in the spine. Similarly, using a pillow that is too flat can make your head drop down and create a curve. So, the trick is to use a pillow that is not too stuffed or flat and makes your neck feel at ease.
Best Sleeping Positions to Relieve Upper Back Pain
The best sleeping position to relieve upper back pain is to lay with your back straight. Keeping your back straight while lying down can help reduce tension and pressure in the muscles. This position also keeps your spine neutral and aligned.
1) Chin Tucks
2) Upper Trapezius
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The Best Pillows For Neck Pain
Read our top picks to learn more about each ones materials and unique qualities. While your sleep setup might not be the original root of your neck pain, it can play an important role in making it better or worse. In the buyers guide section, well break down the reasons you could be experiencing neck pain and how your pillow can help. Well take a deeper look at how body position and pillow construction can enhance comfort, and well teach you what to look for when shopping for a pillow for neck pain.
Neck Pain And Sleep Position
If you commonly sleep on your stomach rather than on your back or side, this will contribute to neck pain. Sleeping on the stomach forces your head to be turned fully to the left or to the right, and this is not a natural sleeping position for the neck and shoulder muscles.
Depending on how often you turn during sleep, and how long you sleep in each position, the position could impinge on your neck. The position may initially feel comfortable, but upon awakening, the pain will have settled in the neck and shoulder muscles.
Solution: See an orthopedist find out how to avoid sleeping on your stomach. Because it is unnatural to suddenly sleep in a different position, there are methods you can employ in order to train your body to sleep in a healthier position in order to avoid neck pain.
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How To Get Rid Of Neck Pain From Sleeping Wrong
If youve woken up with sudden neck pain you may have slept in an uncomfortable position. Try changing sleep positions and avoid sleeping on your stomach as this puts a strain on your neck. Do some gentle stretches, have a hot bath, and use ice or heat packs to relieve tension and inflammation.
A quality pillow is essential no matter what your sleep position
Do Not Sleep On Your Stomach
While you may want to sleep on your stomach, doing so is not the best move for your neck. Here’s why: Every time you lie on your stomach, you force yourself to twist your neck and head to the side. When you do this, you place unnecessary pressure on your nerves. So try to avoid sleeping on your stomach as much as possible. Get into the habit of sleeping on your side or back so you can keep your neck pain to a minimum.
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Simple Ways To Manage Neck Pain Because Of Sleep
Despite all the precautions, if you do develop neck pain because of sleeping, try applying a cold pack to the painful areas of neck and shoulder.
If the pain persists, for a day or two, use hot fomentation on the painful areas.
Use of over the counter pain relievers for a couple of days can bring relief.
If the neck pain is due to some underlying medical conditions, please consult a doctor and undergo the prescribed treatment.
Neck pain due to wrong sleeping postures or allied reasons is common. Slight changes in sleeping habits and selection of appropriate pillows can bring in immense relief. A little more attention will better the quality of sleep, which in turn will relax your body and relieve the pain.
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Cut Down Your Driving Time
Similar to the use of smartphones and desktops, driving can also strain your neck and shoulder muscles. If you drive for longer hours, it is best to take breaks and stretch your muscles to avoid neck and shoulder pain. If you find it challenging to keep track of time, it is best to set up an alarm as a reminder to stretch your neck. Moreover, look for added support for your neck and back to avoid neck and shoulder pain due to prolonged driving.
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Find Your Comfortable Position
We all have our favorite position when we sleep. Although we wont wake up to the same position the next day, at least we still get to sleep comfortably. But when you are suffering from neck pain, there are positions that you need to follow.
A research from Harvard Medical School shows that sleeping on your side or on your back are the best positions for you even if you dont have neck pain. Sleeping on your stomach can worsen the pain on your neck. This is because your spine and neck are not well-aligned.
Don’t Let Neck Pain Rob You Of Quality Sleep
Waking up with a stiff neck from sleep or just trying to sleep with existing neck pain can be uncomfortable, stressful, and distressing. Checking to make sure you are sleeping with a posture that supports your spine and doesn’t strain it as well as improving your before-bed routine can help make sure you get a good night’s sleep.
Did you find this article on how to sleep with neck pain helpful? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more informative articles on all things spinal health.
Are you thinking about visiting a chiropractor for your neck pain? Contact us today with questions or to schedule an appointment!
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Successfully Manage Neck Pain From Sleeping
Sleeping in a spine-supporting position and choosing the right pillow can help prevent neck pain from occurring. However, if you wake up with a stiff or aching neck, your pain can be minimized or alleviated by following some simple tips. If your neck pain continues or becomes chronic, discuss it with your healthcare professional to find ways to effectively manage it.
Suboccipital Release With Massage Balls
Targeted muscle: Suboccipitals.
How to do it:
Begin by placing two tennis balls inside a sock.Lie on your back and position the tennis balls just below the base of your skull, move around until you find a tender area.Hold this position for 1 to 2 minutes.
Targeted muscles: Upper cervical extensors and Suboccipital
How to do it:
Begin in either a standing or seated position.Align your chin so that its parallel to the floor.Pull your head backwards.Hold this retracted position for 15 to 20 seconds.Aim for 3 repetitions of this stretch.
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What Is The Best Mattress For Hip Pain While Sleeping
- Memory foam vs spring mattresses for hip pain: if youre a back sleeper a spring mattress could provide some relief from hip pain when sleeping, although a spring mattress may not be as pressure relieving as more modern mattress alternatives. A memory foam mattress could be a better option for side sleepers as it will allow the hips to sink into the mattress better than spring, this may alleviate some pressure on the hips for a short time. Memory foam is typically known to not be as pressure relieving as other modern mattresses
- Firm vs soft mattresses for hip pain: if the mattress is too firm it could add to hip pain. A mattress of medium firmness is recommended for those struggling with hip pain. A pressure relieving mattress is ideal to help alleviate nighttime hip pain because it will be soft yet supportive. A mattress that is too hard may not bring a restful sleep because its too strenuous on the pressure points. A mattress that is too soft may not offer relief if the body sinks into it too much. A modern pressure relieving mattress of medium firmness could benefit those suffering night time hip pain immensely
- Quality assured: at Nolah a quality mattress that alleviates hip pain is assured in our two awarding winning mattresses. See for yourself what our customers and sleep specialists have to say about AirFoam mattresses
For Those Who Sleep On Their Stomach
Stomach sleeping is something that can lead to pain. Not only does it cause your back to arch in an unnatural position, but it also causes your neck to strain when you move it on the side to breathe. It also works against gravity. However, there are some people who find sleeping on their stomach the most comfortable. If you absolutely cannot avoid this, then make a slight adjustment by putting a pillow under your belly or under the pelvis to assist the back in maintaining a slightly more natural position.
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Poor Sleeping Postures To Avoid
1) Sleeping with your head raised by too many pillows can bend your neck forward if you are sleeping with your back straight. If the spine remains bent for a long period of time, it can start hurting. Sleeping with more than one pillow can also strain many areas of the body. Stacking multiple pillows underneath your head can also cause snoring.
2) Avoid lying on your stomach while sleeping. Sleeping on your stomach can potentially cause numbness and place a strain on your back and spine. This may cause neck and back pain that can lead to poor sleep and discomfort.
Sleeping on your stomach can strain your spine that can harm the structure, and cause pain in your upper back. Check here the causes and treatment for pain in upper back while breathing and moving. While sleeping on your stomach, you keep your neck to the side. That twists your neck and puts your spine out of alignment. It can also result in a sore neck. Not only it causes neck and upper back pain, but it is also bad for your face and can cause facial distortion.