Waking up with neck pain is not a great way to start your day! Whether your neck is stiff, sore, or you feel sharp pain, it can really mess with your plan for the day and ability to go about your normal routine. While the occasional mild discomfort after a night’s sleep happens to everyone once in a while, severe neck pain from sleeping can be a more serious issue. Whether you are receiving treatment for neck injuries or dealing with poor posture, there are certain things you can do to adjust your sleep habits. Once you understand what is causing your neck pain, you can try these tips for pain relief and a better night’s sleep.
What Can Cause Neck Pain from Sleeping?
If your neck hurts after sleeping, then there could be several causes. The most obvious cause of neck pain after a night’s sleep is that you were sleeping in an awkward or uncomfortable position. This can cause your neck to feel stiff and even reduce the range of motion in your neck. However, there are other causes of neck pain after sleeping that may result in severe neck pain. You may have severe neck and shoulder pain if you were recently in a car accident and suffered a neck injury like whiplash. You could also have severe neck pain from chronic poor posture or weakened, strained muscles in your neck. If you experience tingling and numbness along with severe pain, then you may be dealing with a pinched nerve or spinal disc issue.
10 Tips for Severe Neck Pain After Sleeping
Check out these tips for how to experience relief from severe neck pain after sleeping and how to prevent pain and discomfort in the future.
Cold & Warm Compresses
If you woke up with a stiff, sore neck that is causing you pain, then you may want to try applying a warm compress. Applying heat to your neck and shoulders can help relax and soothe stiff, sore muscles. If you are dealing with a neck injury, then cold compresses can also help reduce inflammation that may be making your pain worse.
Change Sleep Positions
The way you sleep can also impact neck pain after sleeping. If you tend to sleep on your stomach, this can put additional stress and pressure on the spine in your neck and lead to neck pain. Try sleeping on your back or side so your spine can be in a neutral position while you sleep.
Try a Different Pillow
Finding the right pillow can significantly improve your sleep quality. If you are constantly waking up with severe neck pain after sleeping, you may not have enough neck support. A cervical pillow is designed to help better support your neck while you sleep. You may also try a rolled-up towel or additional pillow to provide additional support.
Invest in a Firm Mattress
A firm mattress helps prevent your body from sinking into an uncomfortable position while you sleep. You will have more support when sleeping on a firm mattress, and it will allow your spine to rest in a more neutral position without over-extending or stretching the arch in your neck and lower back.
Manage Your Stress
Managing your stress levels can also help you get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Severe neck pain can occur when you carry around a lot of tension in your shoulders and neck. When your stress levels are high, it impacts you physically and can cause you to sleep poorly.
Gently Stretch Before Bed
Doing gentle stretches before bed can help you stretch out your muscles. Whether you had a long day full of activities or spent it hunched over a computer, stretching can help loosen muscles and relieve tension in your neck and back. Gentle exercises like yoga can help you slowly improve your strength and flexibility.
Gently Stretch in the Morning
Doing gentle stretches in the morning can also help reduce any stiffness you may experience. If you notice your neck pain is preventing you from turning your head in certain directions, then gentle stretches can help gradually improve your flexibility. You may also try yoga in the mornings to help stretch out your muscles before you get started on your day.
Strengthen Neck Muscles
Strengthening the muscles in your neck can also help you avoid poor sleep positions that exacerbate your neck pain. Stretches and exercises can help strengthen your neck muscles naturally and provide more support for your head, neck, and upper back. A physical therapist can also walk you through strengthening exercises to help address your severe neck pain.
Undergo Therapeutic Massage
Therapeutic massage can help address stiffness and soreness deep in the tissues of your neck and back. A professional can provide you with massage therapy as you relieve stress and tension or recover from a neck injury. Hands-on treatment can help gently massage a sore, stiff neck and increase blood flow to the area.
Get Under Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care offers an all-natural alternative to pain medications and can provide lasting relief from severe neck pain. A chiropractor can help you improve your posture throughout your day and also help you find the best sleep position to support your neck while sleeping. Chiropractors also find misalignments in the spine that may be causing you pain.
Neck Injuries and Trouble Sleeping
If you keep waking up with severe neck pain after sleeping, then you may want to talk to a doctor at AICA Orthopedics in Snellville. Our team of doctors includes those who specialize in treatment for neck injuries caused by car accidents, while playing sports, or due to general wear and tear on the body. Find out what is causing your neck pain from sleeping and how you can experience lasting pain relief with our team at AICA Orthopedics. Our neck doctors will provide you with a personalized treatment plan to address your specific needs and help you start to wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free.