Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt like you couldn’t move your neck because it was aching? Does having neck pain ruin your mood for the whole day? We understand, and we want to help you by showing you preventative steps that you can take to avoid getting a stiff neck from sleeping.
What are the causes of neck pain from sleeping?
Waking up to a stiff, painful neck is pretty common and can happen to anyone at any age. Contrary to popular belief, neck pain from sleeping is not always due to having poor quality of sleep the night before but rather is caused by the accumulation of stress on the head and neck, poor posture and sleeping position.
You’re probably wondering, “but this has never happened to me before until recently”; that’s because our bodies may not show any pain symptoms until the nerves start to reach a breaking point, hence why you would not have been aware that your head and neck have been going through months of accumulated stress.
Lifestyle Changes To Consider To Reduce Neck Pain from Sleeping
Since COVID-19 hit the world in 2020, many of us have been working from home which requires us to sit in front of our desks for long time periods. However, the lack of proper support like not having a comfortable computer chair or lower tables can cause us to lean our heads forward causing more work for our neck and shoulder muscles. In addition, poor sleeping habits such as propping our pillows too high can cause a stiff neck.
Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of lifestyle changes that can be considered to not only relieve your neck pain from sleeping but also generally improve your spinal health.
- Get an Adjustable Standing Desk: When we sit for too long, 40%-90% of the pressure is placed on the spine to support our back, hence increasing stiffness in our neck and shoulders too. Getting yourself a working desk that allows height adjustments to bring your computer screen to eye level can relieve you of neck and back pain for up to 54%. This can reduce the accumulated stress on our neck and shoulders during the day, so that we don’t wake up with a stiff neck the day after.
- Choosing the right pillow: The choice of your pillow affects your sleep quality and the likelihood of getting a stiff neck from sleeping; getting feather pillows that naturally conforms to the shape of your neck, or memory foam pillows that shape themselves to support your neck and head are ideal options to ensure proper alignment of your spine.
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach: When you sleep on your stomach, you can cause further damage to the curvature of your spine because your back is unable to stay straight and your neck is pushed to the side, creating an odd angle that strains your neck muscles. Instead, try to sleep on your side or back as it is much healthier for your spine and can effectively reduce neck stiffness.
- Using a horseshoe-shaped pillow: Sometimes we can’t help but fall asleep in a seated, upright position. Getting a suitable sized pillow that we can wrap around our neck provides support to our head and prevents it from being tilted to the side.
By applying these few lifestyle changes can do wonders to improve your sleep quality and reduce neck stiffness and back pain; try it out for yourself and let us know how you feel right after!
Gentle Exercises Can Help With Neck Stiffness
We believe in the quote “prevention is better than cure”; instead of relying on prescribed medication that a medical doctor may give you to relieve neck pain, why not try doing some simple exercises that can provide temporary relief?
It is advisable to do neck exercises that are gentle on your muscles so that you avoid overstretching them which can cause more problems later. The neck muscles tighten themselves as the body’s defence mechanism when they become overstretched, making you feel more sore and tired.
Are There Other Treatments Options Available To Reduce Neck Pain?
Absolutely! Neck pain can develop into chronic pain if it is not dealt with as soon as possible. If exercise or changing your pillows don’t work for you, then your condition might be more serious than you thought it would be. Visiting a chiropractor can help you with this problem!
In Singapore, Vitality Chiropractic Clinics specialises in the Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic care, a specialised approach that deals with issues involving the head, neck and shoulders. We also provide nerve scans, bio-mechanical x-rays and perform neurological tests to accurately diagnose and treat your neck pain. We have seen many success stories where our patients have reported feeling relief from stubborn and chronic neck pain after seeing us.
Living by our motto, we want to help you take your life back. Contact us for more information, and book an appointment now!