How to Get Rid of Neck Pain from Sleeping Wrong

A stiff neck in the morning is the last thing you want to wake up to. Because a stiff neck can cause severe, sharp pain and a reduced range of motion, some people may feel pressed to continue their daily activities, such as going to work or class.

A stiff neck can happen for several reasons:

  • One example would be the way and angle at which you sleep at night. While sleeping, the head or neck may settle at an awkward angle for an extended period, stretching and stressing muscles, ligaments, and joints beyond their normal limits.
  • A stiff neck could also happen if you make sudden movements unexpectedly, especially while you sleep. Sudden neck movements while sleeping, caused by rolling over or reacting to a dream, can strain or sprain the neck.
  • An existing sleep injury will also not do your neck any favours. Some injuries that occur while awake, such as whiplash, may take several hours before pain and stiffness manifest themselves while sleeping.

If you do happen to wake up with a stiff neck in the morning, there are several things you could do to ease the pain. Start by getting physiotherapy treatments from a professional. In addition, there are various home remedies for neck pain. Here is how to get rid of neck pain from sleeping wrong:

1. Apply ice or heat to the neck

Applying ice immediately after a neck strain may help reduce swelling. Ice applications are most effective for 10 to 20 minutes at a time.

If ice is not something, you particularly enjoy, try a heat pack treatment instead. Heat therapy, such as taking a warm shower or using a heating pad, aids in the loosening and relaxing of muscles, which may also help to reduce pain and improve range of motion.

Ice should be used for the first 48 to 72 hours, followed by heat. Warm showers, hot compresses, or a heating pad can all be used to provide heat. Do not sleep with a heating pad or ice bag to avoid skin injuries.

2. Massage your neck gently

Depending on the severity of your pain, stretching and massaging your stiff neck may help to further loosen the muscles and ligaments. Some stretches cannot be completed completely due to neck pain and stiffness, which is fine. The goal is to gradually increase flexibility while minimizing pain.

Proper stretching and manipulation are essential for relieving stiff necks. Slow range-of-motion exercises, such as up and down, side to side, and ear to ear, can help to stretch the neck muscles. Certain yoga poses can also aid in the relief of stiffness.

3. Neck pain medication

Naturally, Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen sodium are the most commonly used over-the-counter pain relievers for neck pain. Taking over-the-counter medication to relieve your painful symptoms can sometimes provide relief while your neck heals.

4. Modify your neck movements for the day

Once you have been awake for a while and trying all the other stiff neck remedies on this list, you can start assessing whether the pain and stiffness are improving. If neck stiffness still prevents significant movement in one or more directions, or if sharp or burning pain persists, it is best to avoid strenuous activities for the day and limit movements that aggravate pain.

However, you don’t want to restrict your movements entirely either. Walking and moving around are encouraged because complete bed rest may prolong the stiff neck and pain.

5. Invest in better pillows

Your pillows make a world of difference. They are, after all, what you spend several hours on every night. If you’re not using the right pillow at night after a whole day of trying to relieve your neck pain, it’s only going to come back again in the morning.

There is no one-size-fits-all pillow, just as there is no one-size-fits-all sleep position. Choosing the right pillow usually entails some trial and error. A rolled towel or cervical pillow placed beneath the cervical spine may provide better support for people who sleep on their backs. Side sleepers may benefit from adding a pillow between their knees to keep their spine aligned.

You should think about the way you sleep at night too. You should be mindful of your sleeping positions. Never sleep on your stomach, only on your side or back.

6. Use a neck collar

Depending on the severity of your pain, a neck collar may be in order. Consult your healthcare provider about wearing a soft neck collar to alleviate discomfort. Don’t wear the collar for an extended period, though, because this can cause your neck muscles to weaken.

7. Soak yourself in warm water

Warm water with Epsom salt is the best way to relieve stiff neck muscles. This warm water bath combination relaxes and soothes tense muscles, while the salt reduces inflammation and improves blood flow.