Having Neck Pain after Sleep? 5 Tips to Help Relieve This Pain
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You had set an alarm for a Monday morning. You woke up right on time. But as you got up, you feel pain. Oops…Your neck hurts!
Perhaps, you slept the wrong way which caused strain to the neck. This strain may cause minor pain and stiffening in the tendons, muscles, and ligaments of your neck. The healing may take at least three days. While this isn’t considered a serious injury, it causes a lot of discomfort.
Before your stiff neck gets worse overtime and stops you from going to work, you should do something about it. Of course, it’s unimaginable to live life with this irritability.
So, what are your options to treat the neck strain?
A good night’s sleep should always be rewarding without causing pain in the neck. Apply these 5 useful tips to never feel the neck pain again.
Follow a Neck Exercise Regime
Simple stretches help ease the pressure off the stiffed neck. The following exercises are worth a try:
- Place one of your hands on the side (either right or left) of the neck. Softly push the hand against the neck. Rotate your head in all directions for at least five to ten seconds. Now, place your hand on the other side of the neck and repeat the same exercise.
- Push your head back in a way that your chin points towards the ceiling. After this, return to the neutral position.
- Bend your head in a way that your chin touches your chest. As you perform this exercise, make sure your shoulders are relaxed. Maintain this position for twenty seconds, and then, repeat.
- Lie straight. Bend your knees while supporting your neck and head by keeping a pillow underneath. Now, move your head as if you’re nodding. Hold this position for ten seconds. Relax and repeat this exercise ten times.
Since these stretches cause your neck to slightly move in circular motions, it will help rejuvenate your neck muscles while enhancing the blood flow throughout the tissue. This will provide immediate comfort to the neck.
If all this doesn’t treat the neck pain because you’re having pain on a consistent basis, consult a chiropractor for further advice. A chiropractor will check your X-rays and will suggest a treatment that provides permanent relief from neck pain caused by sleeping the wrong way.
Try Neck Massage
Massaging your neck with essential oils such as tea tree oil, citronella, and lavender isn’t only relaxing, it specifically alleviates tight neck muscles. If no one is around to give you a nice massage, you can apply the following self-massage techniques:
- Stretch your neck by tucking your chin toward your chest. Now, place three fingertips just below the neck (at the point where your shoulders and neck meet). Press this point firmly. Hold it for a few seconds and release till your neck muscles feel relaxed. Repeat. Enhance muscle flexibility by slowly moving your shoulders back and forward.
- Use the knuckles of your middle finger and the index finger of the right hand below the right ear. This will create a fist. Slowly inhale and exhale while turning your head to the left. After holding breath for a second, move your head to the center. Repeat this five to seven times on each side (remember to use middle and index finger of the left hand on the left side, and then, turn the head to the right). Don’t exert a lot of pressure with your knuckles.
Correct Your Sleeping Position
Having a wrong sleeping position may exert pressure on your neck muscles. Avoid further stiffness by following these tips:
- Maintain a balanced alignment between your neck and spine by sleeping on your back.
- Place a rolled towel between your knees. This will elevate the lower legs and reduce pressure on the neck.
- Choose an even sleeping surface that creates a balanced synergy with the supportive pillow.
- Get aides that provide cervical support to your sleeping posture.
Invest in a Contoured Pillow
What if your old pillow is the main culprit behind that cruel neck pain? Luckily, it’s easy to identify if your pillow is giving you neck strain during sleep:
- If the pillow is too high, it angles your neck upward which causes the imbalance between the neck and the spine.
- If the pillow is too low, it angles your neck downward which leads to the same effect.
It’s time to replace your pillow with the one that keeps your neck and spine in neutral alignment. Therapeutic and orthopedic pillows are specifically designed to support your neck posture, thus, eliminating the feeling of having a stiff neck after waking up.
To choose the pillow that helps relieve neck pain, follow these points:
- While there are various types of fillings, a good option is to prefer cervical contour pillows because they work best for those who often complain about having neck pain after sleeping the wrong way. Using a contour pillow means you’ll be resting your head in the slightly tilted area of the pillow while your neck will rest on an elevated side (depending on your sleeping position).
- Besides checking its softness, make sure the pillow is hypoallergenic and is made of antimicrobial or anti-mite materials.
- Not all neck pillows come with same properties. While buying one, check if it’s suitable for back sleeping or side sleeping.
Apply a Heating Pad on the Neck
Heat application is one of the traditional yet effective remedies to get rid of neck pain as it reduces neck stiffness caused by sleeping the wrong way.
While there are various methods to apply heat on the affected area, one of them is to use a hot water bottle. To begin, pour hot water into the hot water bottle. Make sure the water doesn’t leak from the bottle. Now, apply the hot compress on the neck for at least ten minutes or till the pain slowly vanishes.