Most of us have probably woken up with a stiff neck at one point in our lives, but if this is a common occurrence, it pays to look into the causes and remedies. A stiff neck can cause a sudden sharp pain to shoot through you with every move, which can cause issues when you still have the day’s activities ahead of you to get through. If you suffer from neck pain and you find it usually happens when you wake, read on to find out what can be done about it.
Why Does it Happen When You Sleep?
First of all, it is a good idea to understand why neck pain is happening in the first place. During sleep, a stiff neck can develop if you sleep at an awkward angle or you make sudden movements. Sleeping at an awkward angle for hours on end can cause the muscles, joints, and ligaments to stretch beyond what they would normally be capable of. You may also cause pain by rolling over or other sudden movements you might make while you are dreaming. Additionally, if you have suffered an injury during the daytime, it can take a few hours for pain and stiffness to develop, and this usually happens in your sleep. Other causes to look into are cervical degenerative disease and facet joint osteoarthritis.
What Can You do to Alleviate Pain Upon Waking?
If you wake up with neck pain, you can use over the counter medication, heat or ice therapy, or a gentle massage. With a few ice packs ready in the freezer the night before, you can apply one to your neck for 10-20 minutes to reduce any swelling in the morning. Afterward, consider taking a warm shower to relax and loosen the muscles. If you need addition