In the world of advanced technology, our necks now have more strain than ever. Phones, tablets, computer, and television screens have us holding our necks at strange angles all day long. Add the strain of these odd angles to the normal strain of holding up our heads all day long, and it’s no wonder that many of us experience neck pain.
Neck pain can manifest itself in various ways – mild discomfort, trouble turning your head from side to side, or even muscle spasms. Though it is a common problem, neck pain is not normal, and if you are experiencing it, you should refer to neck pain doctors to help you alleviate this pain.
Besides the poor posture that tablets and phones cause us to adopt, neck pain has a myriad of other causes. Stress causes tension to build up in your shoulder and neck muscles, injury from sport or car accidents can cause neck pain, and poor sleeping positions lead to sore neck muscles.
1. Sleeping Positions
Two sleeping positions promote healthy neck posture – on your back and on your side. Combined with a proper pillow, your neck should be supported well throughout the night. The best pillow to use is a feather pillow or a memory foam pillow as they naturally conform to the shape of your head and neck. Feather pillows need to be replaced every year or so as they naturally flatten out.
When sleeping on your back, you should use a rounded pillow for your neck and a flatter one for your head to keep your spine aligned correctly. When on your side, use a higher pillow under your neck than your head. If you are traveling, make sure to purchase a horseshoe-shaped traveling pillow as this will prevent poor posture should you happen to doze off.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Not getting a proper sleep can cause neck problems as it leads to stress and disrupts the body’s natural muscle restorative process.
To achieve a good night’s sleep, minimize distractions from phones, tablets, and TVs before bed, keep your bedroom cool and clean, and make sure you have a comfortable bed and the proper pillows.
3. Neck Exercises
If you wake up with neck pain, there are some simple exercises that can cause temporary relief – hold your neck to the right and the left to the left for 20 seconds each and hold your chin to your chest for 20 seconds. Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day to hydrate the spinal discs that support your neck.
4. Heat and Massage
Heat applied to a sore neck can offer some relief, but if you experience more pain in applying heat make sure to remove the heat source.
A brief shoulder rub and neck massage can offer temporary relief from neck pain as well.
5. Posture and Pillow
Overall, the best way to avoid neck pain during sleep is proper sleeping posture and the correct pillows. While sleeping on your stomach is the worst possible position for spinal alignment, your back and side are the best options. In both positions you should use a pillow that supports both your neck and head; when sleeping on your side, add a pillow under your knees for added support.
If you still can’t find relief after following these tips, neck pain doctors in Garden City, MI can help you. We here at Michigan Chiropractor Specialists are trained in relieving neck pain among a variety of other muscle and spinal disorders.
If you are experiencing chronic neck pain, please reach out to us and we will help bring you relief!