November 28, 2023
It’s amazing how rejuvenating a good night’s rest can be. Getting restorative sleep can give you energy and help you recover from an injury. For instance, if you have neck pain, getting quality sleep is important for healing, but when it hurts to move your head, how should you sleep? Your position will affect your neck pain, so you need to set your night and subsequent day up for success.
Keep reading to learn more about your sleep position to improve your neck pain.
What Are the Best Sleep Positions for Neck Pain?
Given the choice, you should try sleeping on your back or on your side. Ultimately, your back is best as long as you have a pillow that allows for your neck’s natural curvature and yet supports your head.
On your side, you’ll need a slightly higher pillow to make sure your head and neck are appropriately aligned with your spine. Otherwise, you could end up making your neck pain worse!
If you are a stomach sleeper, you may face more trouble getting a good night’s sleep and recovering from neck pain. In this position, your neck is turned to the side, which can place additional pressure and strain on the nerves in this area. Keep in mind that you make adjustments or retrain your body to sleep differently while you heal. However, you can still sleep on your stomach—if you use a very flat pillow or no pillow at all. This should prevent your head from being held at odd angles.
Can Your Sleeping Position Make Neck Pain Worse?
Regardless of the position you take when you sleep, if your head isn’t supported, you can exacerbate your neck pain. You can wake up feeling stiffer or in more pain than when you went to bed. Or, in some cases, sleeping in the “wrong” position can create neck pain when you try to move or turn your head the following day.
When your head is not elevated or supported properly, especially for several hours while you’re sleeping, your neck muscles can become strained or tight, and nerves can be infringed on.
Before you go to bed, make sure you are in a good position to have a refreshing sleep. That way, you wake up ready to do what you need to get done and feel better than the night before. Your neck pain doesn’t have to last a long time when you get the rest you need.
However, if you wake up with even more neck pain or the same amount, it’s time to call your chiropractor for additional therapy and assistance.
About the Author
Dr. Chad Wills has been a practicing chiropractor for more than 20 years. As a graduate of the Life Chiropractic University in Atlanta, he has continued his training. In fact, in his career, he has become certified in Chiropractic Biophysics and is one of only two chiropractors in Collier and Lee County to earn this distinction. To schedule an appointment for neck pain, contact Wills Chiropractic online or call 239-331-6060.
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