Sleeping In A Poor Posture Can Cause Neck Pain
Since we spend about one third of our life sleeping, neck pain should be considered when going to sleep. A poor posture of the neck can result in continuous stress on the structures of the neck which can cause problems leading to pain.
In healthy individuals, relaxation od soft tissues during sleep puts the neck at risk due to stress from poorly controlled movement and improper support. In persons that have neck disorders, the risk is compounded by weakness or from structures that have been stretched.
Improper sleeping posture represents a form of sustained stress that can lead to neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches. A person who reads in bed every night with their head bent forward may unknowingly create a disruption of the normal curve in the neck. This is similar to sleeping on your back with a pillow that is too high and forces the head forward. This position hyperflexes the neck or pushes the head forward, disrupting the normal curve and stretching the muscles and ligaments in the back of the neck. The longer you sleep like this, the more damage can be casued.
Similarly, sleeping on your side with a pillow that is too high or too low can cause problems with the soft tissues that can effect, muscles, ligaments and nerves and blood flow. For example, with sustained stretching of the muscles while sleeping, in order to prevent instability in the spine, the muscles must work harder and they become fatigued. This can lead to loss of strength in the muscle and make spinal instability more likely which can have negative effects on the deeper tissues like the discs between the neck bones.
In general, you are not completely still while sleeping for the whole night as your body changes positions, however, it does not take long for the negative effects of poor sleeping posture, like neck pain. You must also keep in mind that certain medications will allow the body to remain in one position longer and some conditions like having a draft froma window or ceiling fan on your neck can cause the muscles to tighten more quickly and of a greater intensity while you sleep.
Use of special pillows like the PostureMed Orthopedic Pillow can help keep your neck in the proper position while sleeping. These types of pillows have separate areas for back and side sleeping that are aligned to your size and often come in different height levels which you can measure for a good fit.
To sleep effectively with these types of pillow, you should be able to change positions consciously. If you can do this, it can be a solution in seeking the best pillow for neck pain.
Sleeping in poor positions causes extended periods of time with incorrect neck posture. Night after night, this can complicate or help to foster neck pain conditions like degenerative disc disease or cervical spondylosis, neck spasms or what some people call a crick in the neck, tension neck syndrome, trapezius myalgia. It also increases the risk factors for neck pain.
Significant neck pain while sleeping, regardless of posture, should be checked out by a health care professional, especially with a fever. In general, the way you sleep can contribute to or even cause neck pain.
Taking some basic precautions while sleeping can help. Make sure there is no cold draft on your neck and help maintain good posture while you sleep by using special neck pillows.