6 ways to relieve and prevent neck pain from sleeping

by | Jun 25, 2024 | Neck Pain

Many everyday activities and unconscious behaviors can lead to neck pain, such as a slouched posture while working on your computer or turning your head too quickly as you reverse your car. But a common cause of neck pain is something that’s essential for our health and well-being: sleep.

Sleeping helps your mind and body reset for the following day. However, if you sleep with unsupportive pillows or in an awkward position, you might wake up with an ache in your neck. It’s important to alleviate your neck pain from sleeping as soon as possible. You should also take the proper measures to reduce it in the future.

We’ll talk about ways to relieve your neck pain from sleeping as well as preventing it from recurring. 

6 options to alleviate and prevent neck pain from sleeping

When you wake up in the morning with neck pain, it can make you want to lie right back down. It’s especially true if it comes along with stiffness and reduced neck mobility. But since life doesn’t stop for neck pain, it’s important to know the safest and most effective treatment options to alleviate it. You also want to be proactive about reducing the risk of it happening again.

There are many different courses of action to relieve and prevent neck pain from sleeping. Some options can be done on your own, while others may require the insight and assistance of a health care professional, such as a physician or physical therapist. 

Here are six ways to relieve and prevent neck pain from sleeping:

  • Ice and heat therapy — Using ice packs and hot compresses are tried-and-true methods for pain relief because they are effective in reducing pain while helping your neck recover. Applying ice packs for 20-minute increments can help numb the area and reduce inflammation. Ice can be alternated with warm compresses, which increase the blood circulation and help the area recover.
  • Medication — For temporary neck pain relief, talk to your doctor about trying over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Common NSAIDs for neck pain are ibuprofen and naproxen. They work to decrease your pain as well as potential inflammation. 
  • Supportive pillow — Neck pain from sleeping is often due to unsupportive pillows that put excessive strain on your neck muscles. Try swapping your current pillow out for one with firm support that will help keep your neck in a comfortable position as you sleep. Many experts recommend cervical pillows, which feature dips where your head goes for effective support.
  • Neck exercises — A physical therapist can guide you through safe and effective exercises that can reduce your neck pain by stretching the affected muscles to improve their range of motion. They can also show you neck strengthening exercises to boost the neck’s stability and spine support. These exercises can be performed at home for future flare-ups, or between appointments.
  • Position adjustments — It’s important that your neck is properly supported while you sleep to reduce the strain on the muscles, and that often comes down to the position of your body. A physical therapist can suggest sleeping positions that can help reduce your current neck pain while decreasing pain in the future. They can also help you make postural adjustments that can reduce neck pain while you sit, stand and walk as well. 
  • Manual therapy — One of the most effective courses of action for neck pain is manual therapy, which is hands-on treatment by a physical therapist. A common manual therapy technique for neck pain is soft tissue mobilization, which involves the therapist using their hands to find and break up the tight muscle knots that are contributing to your pain and stiffness.

If you’re consistently waking up with neck pain, talk to your doctor about possible conditions or injuries that could be causing your symptoms.

Forever Fit has a variety of treatments to help reduce and prevent neck pain from sleeping

While it can feel like waking up with neck pain will ruin your day, there are plenty of ways that you can reduce your pain so that you can continue on with your daily routines. But if it becomes a consistent issue, then physical therapy is an effective option. When initiated within a few days of symptom onset, such neck pain can frequently be eliminated in less than a handful of sessions.

At Forever Fit, our physical therapists can help treat your neck pain as well as help you improve the overall quality of the area to prevent it from recurring. With treatments like postural adjustments, soft tissue mobilization and therapeutic exercises, we can help you move throughout your day more comfortably without wincing every time you turn your head.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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