Neck Pain from Pillow
The last thing you would expect to cause neck pain might be the soft, snuggly pillow you rest your head and neck on each night. Yet, it’s entirely possible that this is the case, especially if the natural curve of your neck is not supported. Of course, there are quite a few other reasons why you might be experiencing neck pain, and all these possibilities will be discussed in the information below. No one should have to endure persistent neck pain, so if you can take the time to figure out which of these might be the culprit, you’ll probably have a lot more pain-free days.
Is it the pillow?
Neck pain from a pillow is possible if you haven’t found quite the right pillow to complement your preferred sleeping position.
- If you tend to sleep on your back, a flat pillow is probably best for you. Alternatively, you could be more comfortable with an orthopedic pillow that provides extra support for the neck, and has a deeper depression where the head goes.
- If you tend to lay more on your side, you may need a pillow that provides additional support for your neck, so as to keep it in alignment.
- Some people prefer to rest on a recliner, with the upper portion of the body positioned at an incline. This is best complemented by a small or relatively flat pillow.
- If you’re a restless sleeper, you might want to have several pillows on hand to accommodate the different positions you move to during the course of a night’s sleep.
Optimal sleeping position
If you don’t find it too uncomfortable, it’s best to sleep on your back, because that’s the one position that rests your spine the most comfortably. Some people who have neck pain have found that sleeping on their back helps out a lot, especially when they place a pillow under each arm. This relieves strain from the neck, and promotes more comfortable sleeping. If side sleeping is more to your liking, try to make sure that your pillow is not too thick. It should only be about 4 to 6 inches thick, because anything greater than that might cause your neck or head to turn or bend unnaturally to one side or the other. Keep in mind that if it doesn’t feel comfortable to you, it’s just not a good fit.
Do some stretches
It’s always a good idea to keep your neck muscles loose and strong by performing some stretching and strengthening exercises during the daytime. Some of the best neck stretching exercises can be found on the Internet, and if you make a point of performing these somewhat regularly, it should help to avoid stress and strain on the neck.
Keep your computer at eye level
Since most people are positioned at their computers for several hours each day, it becomes very important to make sure that your computer’s monitor is at eye level. This is even more important if you have a laptop, because most laptops require you to look downward for long periods of time. Perform this simple test to ensure that you’re not straining your neck. Close your eyes while sitting in front of your computer, and then open them. Your gaze should be centered directly in the middle of your computer screen, and if it’s not, chances are you are sustaining some level of neck strain.
Keep a supportive posture
Pain can definitely be caused by poor posture, because that places undue strain on the ligaments and muscles which support the neck. When your neck is slanted forward, this is an example of poor posture which contributes to neck pain. Keep in mind that for every inch the head is slanted forwards, that causes an extra 10 pounds of weight to be placed on the neck and the upper back. If you’re slanted forward as much as 5 inches, that will result in an extra 50 pounds of force being exerted on your back and your neck. Stand erect as often as you can think about it, and keep your chin tucked inward to help avoid adding this extra stress on your neck.
If you are experiencing any kind of neck pain, be it from poor posture while working, sleeping wrong on a pillow, being hunched over a device, or any other reason, give us a call at Wolke Chiropractic & Rehabilitation. Let us help you get back to a pain free life! Schedule online or give us a call @ (973) 542-9944