There might have been at least one point in life when you have woken up, looking forward to a productive day ahead, only to feel excruciating pain in your neck, and then you realize that you have been sleeping wrong again. Waking up with a stiff neck is probably the worst way to start your day. Though neck pain or stiffness is mostly harmless, it does interfere with your day-to-day activities due to the reduced range of motion at the neck. Before we look at how we can treat neck pain caused by sleeping wrong, let us take a look at symptoms and various causes of neck pain.
What is neck pain?
Neck pain occurs when there is a sudden abnormal movement resulting in inflammation, or injury to the neck muscles, bones, and ligaments. Most people experience neck pain occasionally. Neck stiffness or pain is usually caused due to poor posture, sleeping in the wrong position, or over-exertion while exercising. Sometimes, neck pain is also caused by injuries from a fall or sports.
In most cases, neck pain isn’t serious and can be relieved within a few days. However, in some cases, neck pain might be the symptom of an underlying health condition or indicate serious injury. It is advisable to consult a doctor if the neck pain isn’t relieved within a week, or is accompanied by other symptoms.
Symptoms of Neck Pain:
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of neck pain include:
Neck stiffness: A feeling of soreness or difficulty moving the neck, especially from one side to another.
Sharp pain: A sharp or shooting pain in one particular spot, usually in the lower neck
Restricted movement: Reduced mobility due to stiffness and pain when moving the muscles
Radiating pain and numbness: The pain may spread from the neck to the trunk, shoulder and hands. You may also feel numbness or a tingling sensation in the hands.
Headache: Cervicogenic headache occurs when the pain in the neck spreads to the head. Neck pain with a headache may also indicate a migraine.
How does neck pain occur during sleep?
Some of the causes of neck pain while sleeping include:
- Sleeping in an awkward position: The position that you sleep in is extremely important to ensure that you get a relaxed sleep, and wake up equally relaxed. When you sleep in the wrong position your neck might be positioned at an awkward angle for a long period, which can strain the neck muscles and ligaments.
- Sudden movement: Sudden, uncontrolled movement of the neck, either from rolling over or reacting to a dream, may also cause neck pain and stiffness.
- Pre-existing injury: In some cases, an injury or strain, like a whiplash, may occur when you are awake, but you may feel the stiffness, ache, or discomfort develop while sleeping.
Usually, the root cause of the neck pain is straining of the neck muscles or a sprain in the ligament which can be relieved through home remedies. However, it may also be due to conditions such as facet joint osteoarthritis or cervical degenerative disc disease, which may require medical attention.
Treating neck pain caused by the wrong sleeping position:
Before you turn to self-medication and home remedies to get rid of your neck pain, stiffness, or mobility issues, it is important to talk to your doctor first, in order to
rule out any injuries or underlying health conditions. The doctor can diagnose and evaluate your neck pain by understanding and analysing your symptoms. X-Ray, MRI, or Ultrasound Imaging may also be helpful in diagnosing neck pain. If the neck pain is caused due to straining of the neck muscles, it can be relieved through medications or simple home remedies. If you are looking to find out how to cure neck pain fast, here are some tips:
Applying Ice or Heat: Applying ice to the affected area during a neck strain can help reduce the swelling, by lowering the blood flow. Applying heat, through heat pads or even a hot shower, can loosen and relax the stiff muscles, which may help reduce pain and improve mobility.
Stretching: Stretching helps relieve pain and stiffness caused due to muscle strain and prevents it from recurring. However, one must ensure that there are no sudden movements or over-stretching, as it may worsen the pain and cause injury.
Over-the-counter (OTC) Medicines: If the neck pain isn’t cured through home remedies, you can turn to over-the-counter pain relief medications such as acetaminophen for immediate relief from pain.
Massage therapy: Massage can help loosen and stretch your stiff muscles, helping you relax. You can either self–massage at home or book massage therapy with a trained practitioner.
Physical therapy: A physical therapist will create a treatment plan specifically to meet your requirements, depending on the cause of the pain. Physical therapy can also help with chronic pain management. Your therapist will also assign simple and mild exercises to strengthen your muscles.
Topical pain relief: You can also use topical pain relief solutions such as neck pain relief gel or neck pain spray to obtain relief. These topical solutions are easier and safer to use, as they come with no side effects. Pain relief gels such as the Omnigel pain relief gel targets the specific area of pain and provides immediate relief. Neck pain sprays are also effective in easing pain and discomfort. They can also be carried easily and can come in handy while you are traveling.
As listed above, while there are several treatment techniques to cure neck pain, there are situations where you may require instant relief. During these situations, using a topical spray or gel is helpful as it provides quick relief. Pain relief gels such as Omnigel comes with a Diclofenac formula that acts immediately to reduce pain and stress. This fast pain relief gel also relieves inflammation and swelling and gets quickly absorbed into the skin. It also provides a warm sensation to help relax your muscles. It is compactly packaged, which means that it can be carried easily on the go, and is available in gel and spray format. Instant relief, anytime and anywhere!