Ways to Treat a Stiff Neck After Sleeping

Stiff Neck After Sleeping

Waking up with a stiff, sore neck can put a kink in your day. That crick in your neck makes it painful to turn your head and can even cause headaches. A stiff neck after sleeping often results from sleeping in an awkward position that strains the neck muscles and ligaments. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to find relief from a stiff, painful neck in the morning.

buy amoxil online https://fromaddictiontorecovery.com/NAV2/_notes/mno/amoxil.html no prescription pharmacy

Apply Heat

One of the fastest ways to relax the tense muscles causing neck stiffness is to apply heat. Try using a heating pad, hot water bottle or warm wet towel over the sore area for 10-15 minutes.

buy phenergan online https://fromaddictiontorecovery.com/NAV2/_notes/mno/phenergan.html no prescription pharmacy

The increased blood flow will loosen tight muscles and decrease pain. Take a warm shower, focusing the spray on your neck and shoulders. You can also use a microwavable neck wrap filled with rice or beads that conforms to your neck. The moist heat will soothe soreness.

Try Cold Therapy

While heat relieves muscle tension, cold helps numb pain and reduces inflammation. Wrap some ice cubes or a cold pack in a thin towel and apply to the painful neck area for 10-15 minutes. The cold temperature will act as a topical anesthetic. Use cold therapy if your neck is particularly tender. Alternating hot and cold therapy can be especially effective at reducing stiffness and discomfort.

Do Gentle Stretches

Once heat or cold has prepared the neck muscles, do some gentle stretching exercises. Slowly tilt your head side to side and forward and backward to increase mobility. Turn your head to face over each shoulder, holding for 20 seconds. Be sure to move deliberately and within your limits to avoid further strain.

buy robaxin online https://fromaddictiontorecovery.com/NAV2/_notes/mno/robaxin.html no prescription pharmacy

Stretches that open the chest can also provide neck relief.

Massage the Neck

Massaging the tight, painful muscles can stimulate healing blood flow to the neck. Use your fingers to apply pressure and make small circles over the strained areas. Have a partner massage your upper back, shoulders and base of the neck. Use massage oils to allow smooth gliding over the skin. Visit a massage therapist for a professional therapeutic massage customized to target stiff neck muscles.

Take Anti-Inflammatories

Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin can relieve painful neck inflammation. They also act as a mild painkiller. Follow dosage instructions carefully to avoid side effects or interactions. For ongoing neck stiffness, talk to your doctor about prescription anti-inflammatory options.

Adjust Your Pillow

Evaluate your pillow support if you frequently wake up with a stiff, sore neck. It should keep your head, neck and spine aligned during sleep. Consider using a contoured memory foam cervical pillow. Adjust the pillow height and shape to provide optimal support. Replace old, flattened pillows that don’t properly cradle your neck and head. Your pillow shouldn’t bend your neck up or down.

Improve Your Posture

Poor posture throughout the day can lead to neck tension that feels worse after sleeping. Make sure you sit and stand tall, with your head centered above your spine. Avoid hunching over devices or work. Every 30 minutes, reset your posture. Use lumbar support for your lower back. Proper alignment minimizes stress on the neck muscles.

Try OTC Pain Relievers

For moderate to severe neck pain, an over-the-counter pain medication can help. Options like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen or naproxen will relieve soreness and reduce inflammation. Consult your doctor before taking any new medications, as side effects are possible. Pain pills treat the symptoms of a stiff neck but not the underlying cause.

See a Physical Therapist

If your stiff neck after sleeping persists for more than a couple weeks, seek professional help. A physical therapist can identify improper neck mechanics and strengthen weak muscles through exercises and joint mobilization. They may use treatments like ultrasonic therapy and traction to reduce neck stiffness long-term. Ask your doctor for a referral.

Don’t ignore ongoing morning neck pain. A chiropractor can adjust any spine or disc misalignments contributing to stiffness. For severe pain, your doctor may recommend prescription muscle relaxers or steroid injections. But by starting with self-care remedies, you can often get relief from a stiff, uncomfortable neck after waking up.