Like back pain, neck pain effects many people around the globe. The neck pain may be due to a number of things, such as a whiplash type injury, a neck sprain, a bulging disk, or because of bad posture. So how do we sleep through the night with the neck pain? In this article I will cover what pillows will help you with your neck pain, what sleeping position are best for your neck, and some neck exercises you can do at home to help stretch your neck muscles.
Having the right pillow to sleep with is just as important as picking out the perfect mattress. You can have the best mattress around; however, you will not get a peaceful night’s sleep if your pillow is hurting your neck. Having the correct neck posture is throughout the night is very important. When looking for the perfect pillow to buy you want to find one that keeps your neck in a neutral position, meaning it keeps its normal curve as if you are standing. You need to find a pillow that is neither too thick nor too thin. If it is to thin, you will not get the proper support you need in your spine. If it is too thick, it will place your head forward; straining your neck muscles. Some of the best pillows out there are the tempur-pedic pillows because they have the foam that forms to neck and head. They also allow minimal movement. The tempur-pedic pillows can be expensive but they are well worth the price.
Best Sleeping Positions
Sleeping on your back with a propped pillow under your knees may be one of the best positions to sleep if for someone with neck pain. If you sleep on your back, it may be a good idea to purchase a cervical support neck pillow. This position will give you great support for your back and neck, which will give you an easier time sleeping at night.
Sleeping on your side is another good position to sleep in. When you sleep on your side place a pillow in between your legs, this will create less stress on your body. Again, you need a pillow to keep your neck and head in its natural posture.
Stay away from sleeping on your stomach. If you sleep on your stomach, it is time to change your posture. This position places a lot of tension on your neck and causes the pain in your neck when you wake up.
The neck exercises are intended to stretch the muscles in your neck and increase the range of motion in your neck. This will also help loosen the muscles in your neck to help minimize your neck pain.
- Cervical Flexion/Extension – An exercise where you bring your chin to your chest then look back up to the ceiling. Start by gently tucking your chin in towards your chest trying to touch your chest with your chin. Then gently bend your head backwards as far as you can without hurting yourself. Do this exercise five times.
- Lateral Flexion – This is an exercise where you try touching your ear to the top of your shoulder. Start by gently trying to touch your right ear to your right shoulder and hold for a few seconds. Then bring your left ear to your left shoulder and hold for a few seconds. Do this exercise five times.
- Rotational of Cervical Spine – Start by rotating you’re your head and neck so your chin is above your right shoulder, and hold for a few seconds. Then rotate your head and neck towards your left shoulder as far as you can go and hold for a few seconds. It is important to keep in mind not to bring your shoulders up when you rotate your head. Again do this exercise five times.