You wouldn’t believe the number of patients who come in to our office here in Lacey, complaining of the neck pain that’s keeping them from sleeping at night. Indeed, restless nights are more commonplace than you might imagine and apart from the pain, not getting enough sleep is not only bad for your general day to day functioning, but also bad for your health. When we see patients with this problem, we are able to offer them some good advice to help with the problem.
Naturally, the first thing we do is to treat the pain with a chiropractic adjustment to help loosen up the area, reduce inflammation and improve the range of motion. Depending on the severity we may suggest some exercises (you can see a selection of them here) and stretches to do at home. You may have to come in one or two more times to really resolve the issue. Everyone is different and we treat everyone on an individual case basis.
The crux of neck pain and poor sleep is likely to do with your sleeping posture. This is something that needs to be addressed to help prevent the condition returning or even getting worse. As a general rule of thumb, depending on your favored sleep position, ensure you follow these simple “fixes”.
- If you sleep on your back, ensure that your head is not pushed forwards towards your chest (hyperflexion) or stretched back which leads to hyper extension.
- If you sleep on your side, try and ensure that your neck is in a neutral position and not forced up or down.
- Stomach sleepers, a very thin pillow, or no pillow at all is best for this position. Ultimately, stomach sleeping is not the best position anyway, and should be avoided if possible.
The best suggested sleeping position is actually one that mimics a good upright posture, so if you can achieve that, you are in a good place.
The material of your pillow is also extremely important to note. There is a wide selection to choose from including memory foam, feathers, water and many others. There probably isn’t a best type out there, although the cheaper pillows are probably best avoided, you get what you pay for after all. There are many characteristics to be aware of in each type, so memory foam holds the contours of the head and neck, but can be generate odors. Feathers are also very supportive, but after a while they can lose their shape as they are pushed out by use.
Another factor is the firmness of your mattress and this can also affect the decision behind your pillow purchase too. A firmer mattress will have less give which in turn will affect the thickness of the pillow you would ideally need.
When you come in, these are some of the things we can discuss and help you with. Understanding your neck pain and your current sleeping position and mattress and pillow, we can help advice or suggest the best way for you to go to prevent future pain and problems.
If you have any questions about neck pain affecting you sleep, do not be afraid to ask us for advice and remember that we are walk in friendly as well. We’re open Monday to Thursday, 9am to 6pm and are here to help you get out of pain.