What is the trick on how to relieve neck pain from sleeping? The answer is in the question: sleep habits. We spend almost one-third of our lives sleeping, but we rarely put any sort of priority on our sleep habits. This includes sleep equipment (mattress, pillow, etc.), bodily posture or positioning, as well as approach to sleep (time allowed, routines, etc.).
As a chiropractic physician, I consult with patients daily about their lifestyle habits and preferences. I find that there is a definite correlation between neck pain and poor sleep habits, the easiest to identify being preferred sleeping position. Admittedly, it is easier and much more common to find ways to alleviate neck pain by improving posture while awake, sleeping posture must be addressed if the pain relief is going to be long lasting.
Let’s look at different sleep positions, their benefits, and their potential shortcomings.
- Sleeping on the back: This is a preferred position due to the uncomplicated nature of the spine and its curvature. If the neck is supported with an above average pillow ans the low back isn’t susceptible to stress this position might suit you well on almost any occasion.
- Side-sleeping: This is another good choice for healthly sleepers, but requires additional equipment. With the assistance of a pillow placed between the knees this posture allows for high levels of comfort. By placing the pillow between the knees the possibility of rotation in the lumbar spine (or low back) is diminished. One tendency with this position is to sleep with one arm under the head, which is not recommended and is not considered optimal for the shoulder or the neck. This positioning may create compression on the structures of the shoulder leading to numbness, tingling, or even weakness in the arm or hand. A supportive pillow is advised to help avoid this pitfall.
- Stomach-sleeping: Those who sleep in this position can experience neck pain, arm pain, low back pain, and more difficulties breathing at night. I have also found that those who prefer this position often find it extremely challenging to change this habit. If you sleep on your stomach and have yet to experience any neck or low back problems do not assume you are out of the woods here. Sometimes pain doesn’t express itself until after additional stress has been added. By then it may be much more difficult to change your sleeping position.
So how do you relieve neck pain from sleeping? First address your sleep habits. In our office, we can help walk you through this process by asking certain questions and evaluating your neck to see what is causing certain issues.
The next step in relieving neck pain from sleeping is to seek corrective care. Once you identify the problem it is time to fix it. We provide each patient with an in depth treatment plan which includes exact diagnoses, frequency of visits, modalities (treatment types) to be done during each visit, home care, useful recommended products, and treatment outcome markers and goals. These treatment plans target correcting the source of the problem, not just pain relief. Each patient has the option to chose a pain relief treatment plan or a corrective care plan. We strongly suggest to nearly all patients that a corrective care package is the most effective plan because the problem is addressed and corrected. With a pain releif plan sometimes the issue can return if the patient hasn’t completelycorrected lifestyle habits.
Our invitation to you is to setup an appointment with Dr. Reynolds to find out how to relieve neck pain from sleeping and discuss your sleep habits. We can also we can help you make correct changes to your lifestyle which can optimize the benefits of healthy sleep and eliminate all neck pain from sleeping. Call 801-810-4144 to schedule.