It’s probably safe to say that most of us at some point in time have woken up with pain or can recall an event or injury that resulted in neck pain. Neck pain usually arises from muscles, tendons. Muscles strain and resulting muscle spasm is often caused by an underlying neck problem, such as spinal stenosis, arthritis, or disc degeneration and can be triggered from trauma but frequently occurs insidiously, or for no obvious or identifiable reason. Whether your neck pain is from a chronic condition or you’ve just woken up with a stiff neck.
Stretch your neck before bed
Poor posture habits can tighten your neck muscles and provoke neck pain. This pain can persist well into the evening and make it difficult to fall asleep at night. Stretching your neck loosens your tight muscles and may help relieve neck pain. Here is one easy neck stretch you can try before bed to loosen your levator scapula muscle (the muscle that connects your neck to your shoulder blade):
Position yourself perpendicular to a wall-allowing for roughly 12 inches of space between your shoulder and the wall.
Raise your arms as high as you can over your head. Chain down towards the floor until you feel a slight stretch in the back of your neck. Next, place your hand is flush against it.
Turn your head away from the wall and bring your chin down towards the floor until you feel a slight stretch in your neck. Next, place your free hand on the top of your head and pull your head forward to increase the stretch slightly.
Hold the final position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Use of pillows and sleeping position
Two sleeping positions are easiest on the neck and help how to get rid of neck pain: on your side or on your back. If you sleep on your back, choose a rounded pillow to support the natural curve of your neck, with a flatter pillow cushioning your head. This can be achieved by tucking a small neck roll into the pillowcase of a flatter, softer pillow, or by using a special pillow that has a built-in neck support with an indentation for the head to rest in. Here are some additional tips to get rid of neck pain.
Try using a feather pillow, which easily conforms to the shape of the neck. Feather pillows will collapse over time, however, and should be replaced every year or so.
If you sleep on your side, keep your spine straight by using a pillow that is higher under your neck than your head.
Avoid using too high or stiff a pillow, which keeps the neck flexed overnight and can result in morning pain and stiffness.
For neck pain, it is helpful to use a small rolled up hand towel right under the neck for added support. The towel can be placed inside the pillowcase to help it stay in place and relieve neck pain.