Neck pain can be a very debilitating problem, especially when it spreads to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, a large number of people sleep on their neck improperly every night and experience severe neck pain. Therefore, people who wake up with neck pain need to understand what they might be doing wrong and how they can fix it.
Poor Sleep Patterns Contribute to Neck Pain
Proper sleep posture is more complicated than most people realize. For example, the pillow must be in a neutral position that creates a straight line with the spine. Unfortunately, many people may sleep on a nearly flat pillow or one that is too high. Low or high pillow placement puts a strain on the muscles of the neck and may trigger pain.
Beyond pillow positioning, sleep positioning also profoundly affects a person's neck pain. For example, people who sleep on their stomachs often put excessive strain on their necks. Back and side sleeping are typically healthier.
For individuals who sleep on their back, a pillow underneath the thighs will support the back and prevent pain from spreading to the neck. Individuals may want to sleep with a full-body pillow to fully support their back and prevent neck pain issues.
Some people follow unhealthy sleep patterns that contribute to neck pain, such as napping on the couch or even on the floor. While sleeping on the floor may support back health, poor neck support while on the floor may trigger neck pain. Unfortunately, people who don't take steps to address this issue may be at risk of making it much worse.
Neck Pain May Get Worse Without Help
While individuals with neck pain may be able to manage some of the pain, poor sleep patterns can cause continually worsening neck pain. For example, a person may stretch their neck using yoga or other movements to loosen the muscle tightness that causes so much neck pain.
However, such actions are treating the symptoms of the problem without managing the issue at the source. And this treatment failure is a problem because persistent neck pain problems may cause damaging and troubling strain in the muscles.
Strained muscles are more likely to experience worse pain and to tighten up more quickly due to poor sleeping patterns. Just as problematically, continually strained muscles in the neck could cause pain issues that spread into the shoulders and the back.
Sadly, neck pain of this intensity may cause further complications that make a person wake up with neck pain nearly every day. Therefore, people who suffer from sleep-related neck pain need to take proactive steps to manage these issues as soon as possible. Thankfully, most pain management methods for neck pain caused by sleep are relatively simple.
Adjusted Sleep Patterns May Help
Anyone suffering from daily neck pain when waking up should adjust their sleeping patterns to manage this issue. For example, a neck-supporting foam pillow will shape to the unique shape of a person's head and neck. In this way, the neck will stay straight, and the chances of strain will be minimized as much as possible.
Consistency is also critical for managing sleep-related neck pain. People should try to avoid staying in bed longer than necessary every morning. Lying in bed for over 10 hours is likely to put excess strain on the neck that could easily lead to neck pain, even with the use of supporting pillows.
Professional Help May Be Necessary
Adjusted sleep patterns should help most people avoid neck pain and sleep more comfortably. However, other individuals may experience persistent neck pain that requires professional care to manage. If you are in this situation, contact Specialists in Pain Management to learn more about proper care methods for neck pain.