Sometimes, just a slight turn to one side or the other while sleeping at night can create a crick in the neck area. The “crick” is due to stiffened muscles in the lower neck and shoulders after the neck has supported the head in an awkward position while lying down.
Because the head weighs approximately 10 pounds, the neck muscles truly have a heavy load to support. Neck pain is often associated with poor sleeping habits, as we may awaken in the morning with a stiff and sore neck. The neck pain can also affect the neck’s range of motion during the rest of the day.
Changing how and where you fall asleep every night will help to alleviate your neck pain. Let’s talk about some basic sleep changes you can make and who can help you address your sleep issues if they continue.
Neck Pain and Sleep Position
If you commonly sleep on your stomach rather than on your back or side, this will contribute to neck pain. Sleeping on the stomach forces your head to be turned fully to the left or to the right, and this is not a natural sleeping position for the neck and shoulder muscles.
Depending on how often you turn during sleep, and how long you sleep in each position, the position could impinge on your neck. The position may initially feel comfortable, but upon awakening, the pain will have settled in the neck and shoulder muscles.
Solution: See an orthopedist find out how to avoid sleeping on your stomach. Because it is unnatural to suddenly sleep in a different position, there are methods you can employ in order to train your body to sleep in a healthier position in order to avoid neck pain.
Where You Sleep
Sleeping in a location other than a bed, such as an easy chair or a couch, can also contribute to neck pain. A chair or a couch does not have room for you to move around and allow your head to be in a comfortable position as does a bed.
Even though you may have a perfectly good bed, you may be in the habit of falling asleep while watching TV in the living room. Train yourself to fall asleep in bed; ask your roommates or family members to let you know if you fall asleep somewhere other than the bed so you can move to the bedroom when you’re ready to fall asleep.
Solution: If you’re prone to neck pain, avoid sleeping on the floor, chair, couch, or any place other than your bed.
Treatment for Sleep Problems in West Jersey
If you often awaken with neck pain, see an experienced orthopedist. The doctor will evaluate your nightly habits and recommend treatment that will work to alleviate the pain for good.
Here at the Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey, our medical team has extensive experience with medical conditions related to neck pain and all other types of musculoskeletal pain. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call us today at (973) 989-0888, or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you find relief from your neck pain and get a comfortable night’s sleep every night.