I woke up with a terrible pain in my neck when I move it. Must have fallen asleep in bad position. Help?
Posted Jun 05 2009 3:31pm
Question: This morning I woke up and when I move my neck I have a terrible pain!! I know I must have fallen asleep in a bad position but it has never hurt so bad. I can't look both sides. I have to keep my head tilted down. If I lift it up straight, it hurts terribly. It hurts to try to get my head on the pillow. Has this happened to any of you?? Will Tylenol help?? I hate taking meds unless I think it really works! HELP!
Answer: Yes, this happens to everybody at some time in their life. Sometimes sleeping in an awkward position strains our neck muscles to the point that it causes stiffness and pain. Sleeping on a couch or in a weird position is not healthy for ones neck. My recommendation would be to use a heating pack and also do to neck stretches. Right now, you may not be able to move your head too much- but only do the stretches to the point of feeling a stretch, not to the point of pain. The best thing would be do them while having a hot shower (let the water hit the back of the neck and upper back), as this will help to loosen up the muscles.
Also, you should get a good neck pillow to sleep on. Specifically one that will align your head and neck in a good position for sleeping. Check out Arc 4 Life’s Linear Gravity Neck Pillow - This is a great cervical support pillow. It has two different neck rolls for you too choose from. A pillow that does not give you support or one that raises your head too much can cause neck pain and stiffness in the morning. It is tough to find the right balance, but very important for getting a good nights sleep. Sleeping on a supportive neck pillow is also good for your neck posture.
Also, you should work on the tight muscles of your neck - use a pain relief gel like ben gay or biofreeze to alleviate the pain.
I think that taking the Tylenol may help you temporarily- but this is not a long term solution at all, so I do not recommend it. If you want to use a natural muscle relaxer, try Formula 303
Finally, I highly recommend that you see a chiropractor. They will be able to some gentle mobilization on your cervical spine and check to see if you have a misalignment. They can do therapy in the office as well ( like heat, ice or e-stim). Trigger point therapy will also be beneficial for you.