Neck pain can often heal on its own. If your neck pain doesn't improve after a few days of self-care, or if your pain worsens, consider seeing your doctor to find out what's causing your pain. Almost everyone will experience neck pain at some point. Sleeping on your side or on your back can help keep stress out of your neck and control pain.
You should avoid sleeping on your stomach if possible. Sleeping on your stomach puts your neck at an uncomfortable angle that can worsen pain. Use ice for the first 48 to 72 hours, then use heat after that. Heat can be applied with hot showers, hot compresses, or a heating pad.
Make sure you don't fall asleep with a heating pad or ice pack in place to avoid injury to your skin. You may want to start by taking a hot shower. Hot water helps loosen and relax neck muscles, which can also reduce pain and improve range of motion. It hurts to move your head.
Are you sleeping badly, is it stress, or is it the result of climbing that ladder to clean your gutters? Let's get to the bottom of those real pain in the neck. When your neck hurts, you may have trouble moving it, especially to the side. Many people describe this as having a stiff neck. If neck pain involves nerves, such as a muscle spasm, pinching of a nerve, or a herniated disc that presses on a nerve, you may feel numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm, hand, or anywhere else.
A common cause of neck pain is muscle strain or tension. Usually, daily activities are the culprit. These activities include bending over a desk for hours, crouching in place, having poor posture while watching TV or reading, placing your computer monitor too high or too low, sleeping in an uncomfortable position, or jarring twisting and turning your neck while exercising. You can usually treat mild neck pain at home.
Simple posture improvements are a great place to start, sit straight with your shoulders back, drive with your arms on the armrests, and avoid carrying shoulder bags. Take breaks when you're sitting in front of video screens or holding a phone. For pain, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Advil or Tylenol. And low-level laser therapy can be very effective.
Physical therapy can be great for treating or preventing the recurrence of neck pain. Slow range-of-motion exercises, moving your head up and down, side to side from ear to ear, can gently stretch your neck muscles. A good sleeping position is especially important with the head aligned with the body. You can try to sleep with a special neck pillow.
You may want to see a doctor if your symptoms persist for more than a week of self-care, if you have numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm or hand, or if the pain was caused by a fall, blow, or injury. If the pain is due to muscle spasm or nerve impingement, your doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant or tricyclic antidepressant and, possibly, a stronger pain reliever than you were taking at home. You may be referred to a neurologist if you suspect nerve damage in your neck. You can help prevent neck pain or prevent it from coming back in many ways.
Use relaxation techniques and regular exercise to avoid unwanted stress and tension on your neck muscles. Learn stretching exercises for the neck and upper body, do stretches every day, before and especially after exercise. Adopt good posture, especially if you sit at a desk all day, keep your back supported, adjust the computer monitor at eye level, so you don't have to continuously look up or down. Talk to your doctor if the pain persists, you don't want to go through life with real pain in your neck.
Torticollis is not a condition in itself as, for example, ankylosing spondylitis is. It looks more like a symptom that can have several sources. Irritated ligaments, tissue that connects bones to other bones in the neck are a common culprit, and neck muscle spasms are another. Any of these can be caused by “bad” sleep, especially since the neck muscles will be exhausted from holding the head all day.
Gentle exercises, such as walking and yoga, can also help when you have neck pain from poor sleep. If you're wondering how to get rid of neck pain from poor sleep, your physical therapist can help. Studies have even shown that a special pillow, known as a denneroll, has been shown to be helpful in restoring normal cervical alignment, while having a strong positive impact on pain and range of motion in the neck. The pain burns from the base of the skull, to one side of the neck or the other, and reaches the adjacent shoulder blade.
The way you sleep can also have a profound effect on the way you wake up, ready to face the day or ready to get back under the covers and hide from neck pain. Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach; it can put pressure on nerves that start in the neck and cause more neck pain or radiculopathy (pain that radiates from the spinal cord to the arms or legs). However, making some adjustments to the way you sleep can help you manage neck pain and prevent you from spending hours in bad positions during the night. The most encouraging thing is that there are some simple solutions that can prevent you from suffering neck pain from sleeping, and some steps you can take to ease any pain you have.
If the pain is due to muscle spasm or a pinched nerve, your provider may prescribe a stronger muscle relaxant or pain reliever. If you're wondering how to get rid of neck pain from bad sleep, you've come to the right place. This can be achieved by tucking a small neck roll into the cover of a flatter and softer pillow, or by using a special pillow that has a built-in neck support with a slit for the head to rest. If neck pain involves nerve compression, you may feel numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm or hand.
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