Neck pain is very prevalent. It can be due to several reasons. But with proper sleep positions, one can ensure good neck alignment while sleeping and can avoid any pain aggravation. Neck pain is often relieved by a good night’s sleep.
1. Back Sleeping (Sleeping on your back)–
- It is vital to support the normal lordotic curvature of the neck, and it is possible by using a neck pillow or rolled towel under your neck. Many custom-made pillows are also available. They have rounded neck support and flatter head support.
- Avoid any pillow that is thick or hard. It pushes your head into a flexed position and strains the neck.
- Use a thin pillow made up of feathers or memory foam as they support the neck curvature according to its alignment. These pillows provide excellent support.
- An optimum pillow should put your head in neutral alignment, neither too high nor too low.
- You can also insert a rolled towel in your pillowcase under your neck.
- Keep your hands by your side or below your chest to avoid strain on the neck.
- Place a pillow under your knees while sleeping on your back, as it naturally aligns the spine.
2. Side Sleeping (Sleeping on your side)-
- Pillow should be of such thickness that it promotes neutral neck alignment.
- Ensure that your spine is straight.
- Place a pillow to support the upper arm.
- Place one pillow between the legs. It keeps the hip, pelvis, and spine in alignment and takes the pressure off the spine.
3. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
- In this position, the head turns to one side. It excessively stretches the neck for a long duration.
- Poor sleeping posture and poor pillow support can aggravate your neck pain. As the right pillow is essential for a proper sleep posture similarly, a medium-firm mattress is crucial for whole-body support.
- Doing neck and shoulder stretches like neck isometrics, shoulder rolls, shoulder blade squeeze, upper trapezius and levator scapulae stretch before bed helps you sleep better.
- Using a heating pad will help relax the sore muscles.
- Additionally, a quick self-massage to the neck and upper back muscles loosens up and relaxes the muscles for a good night’s sleep.
- Avoid texting or browsing the web while in bed, as it increases stress on the cervical spine.
STAY HEALTHY! STAY FIT!