If you’re like most people, you experience occasional neck pain and discomfort. And because many of us have poor sleep habits, it’s possible you’ve experienced a neck stiffness after sleeping as well.
The truth is, a stiff neck can be caused by a whole host of reasons. Some of these can be related to the sleep itself, while for others, sleep may simply be the aggravator.
And neck pain won’t show up the same for everyone. Depending on the cause of your neck pain, there can be a whole host of symptoms, including:
- Decreased range of motion
- Difficulty lifting or gripping objects
- Grinding, cracking, or popping of bones
- Jaw stiffness and pain
- Radiating pain
- Sharp pain
- Sleeping issues
- Weakness of grip
If you experience neck stiffness after sleeping, read on to learn:
- The causes of a stiff neck after sleeping.
- How to relieve your stiff neck (including one way to cure neck stiffness instantly).
- How to prevent neck pain in the future.
Plus, you’ll learn about a super easy-to-use device that can treat neck pain and stiffness painlessly. Read to the bottom to learn more.
What Causes Neck Stiffness After Sleeping?
No matter when you first start feeling your neck pain or stiffness, there’s always a cause. When you feel neck stiffness first thing upon waking up, you may assume it to be directly caused by an incorrect sleeping position.
But the truth is, neck stiffness after sleeping can be influenced by quite a few factors. Some of these include:
Unfortunately, knowing the causes of neck stiffness isn’t enough to end it forever. You also have to know what to do when you get it.
How to Relieve a Stiff and Sore Neck
When it comes to neck pain relief, there are many options out there and many of them can be effective depending on the specifics of your case.
You can experiment with a combination of treatments or you can start by using an effective and easy to use cervical traction device (more on that below).
In addition to treating your neck stiffness, it’s important to stop the source. For example, if stress is the cause of your neck stiffness, then it’s important to take time to relax and unwind.
Be sure to consult your doctor to make sure the following treatments and neck exercises are safe for you.
For many people that experience neck pain and stiffness, the first thing they do is stretch their sore neck. This can be effective in the short run, but many people end up yanking on their neck, which can further aggravate the stiffness and increase inflammation.
But because the yanking causes momentary relief, it can cause a vicious cycle of yanking and stiffness, and could potentially lead to a neck strain. Trust us, don’t yank your neck.
But you can do some gentle stretching. Some simple stretches for neck strain and stiffness are:
If any stretches begin to hurt or feel uncomfortable, stop immediately. If the stretching exercises are comfortable for you, you can do them multiple times or hold them for longer periods.
But stretching isn’t the only type of movement that will help reduce severe neck pain. Read on to learn some other exercises you can add to your daily routine.
Range of Motion Exercises
In addition to stretching the muscles of the neck, you can do some range of motion exercises designed to keep your neck mobile.
These exercises will keep muscles strong and relaxed, and encourage blood flow to constricted muscles. You can try:
You may have noticed that two of the exercises above were based on increasing range of motion in the shoulders and not the neck. This is because the health and comfort of the neck are largely connected to the health of your shoulders.
As I’m sure you can guess, the neck rests on the shoulders. So if you have tight or unstable shoulders, the neck can become tight or unstable.
So if you have a tight neck, it’s a good idea to give your shoulders some attention too.
Professional or Personal Massage
It’s been known for centuries that massage can alleviate a lot of the pain and symptoms associated with a stiff neck. The healing effects are due to a few different things.
First, the pressure of the massage can relieve some of the muscle tension that is so often held in the muscles of our neck.
In addition, the pressure will stimulate the circulation of blood and lymph, which oxygenates the muscles and speeds recovery.
You may not always have the time or means to go in and pay for a massage, but you can always perform a self-massage using a personal massager, a tennis or lacrosse ball, or even your hands.
A great self-massage technique for neck stiffness is to take a tennis ball and place it in between your upper shoulder and a wall. Using the weight of your body, place pressure on the ball and move in small circles.
Go slow. You should be able to feel some tension in your shoulder, and if done for long enough, some of that tension should melt away.
Switch sides, then take a break. Feel free to do this as often as you need to achieve relief.
Remember we mentioned the one way to cure neck stiffness instantly? Well, cervical traction is the answer.
Cervical traction is a highly effective method used to treat and prevent neck pain. It works by applying a light force, gently pulling the head away from the neck.
This allows the muscles along the spinal cord to relax and gradually stretch. In doing so, the ligaments around the spine also begin to stretch.
In addition, cervical traction brings increased blood flow and oxygenation, which will decrease discomfort and aid healing.
Preventing Neck Pain After Sleeping
Though treating neck pain is great, stopping neck pain from developing in the first place is the way to go. Using a cervical traction device regularly can help prevent neck pain from appearing in the first place.
But there are some other things you can do to help prevent neck pain as well. Here are some common tips recommended for preventing neck pain after sleep:
Treating Neck Stiffness Every Day
The fact is that there’s no one-time solution to neck stiffness. Because we demand a lot of our bodies, sometimes our bodies need to rest, and they tell us this by crying out in pain or stiffness.
But, by incorporating a few of the above measures every day, you can help to prevent neck stiffness before it begins.
For example, using a cervical traction device daily can ease tension in the muscles that cause neck stiffness, while stimulating blood circulation, oxygenation, and healing.
Find out more about cervical traction and how it can help treat your chronic neck stiffness.
If your neck stiffness just won’t go away, read more about when to see a doctor.