A painful neck can be burdensome, especially when leading a hectic lifestyle. Unfortunately, it can also trigger health problems, including headaches, vertigo attacks, and back pain. Thankfully, people who have achy necks have several options for relief. One of them is improving how you sleep. Discover the secret tips to preventing neck pain with our list of sleeping tips and natural remedies for neck pain, like fixing an atlas subluxation.
Neck Pain and Its Common Causes
Nothing can be more horrible than waking up to a painful neck. But unfortunately, this is the reality of many people in the US. According to statistics, neck pain afflicts about 50 percent of adults, regardless of occupation, age, and sex. Notably, it can stem from a myriad of problems, ranging from wear and tear of the joints to neck bone misalignments. Let’s look a closer look at them.
Muscle and joint strain
Just like other tissues in the body, muscles and joints can wear out too. However, they can wear out faster than usual if you have poor habits such as slouching while sitting on your chair and looking down on your phone. Additionally, the joints can also deteriorate if you have diseases like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and spinal stenosis.
Unfortunately, if you have worn-out muscles and joints in the cervical spine, you have a high chance of experiencing neck pain. Moreover, this can increase your susceptibility to herniated or bulging discs – one of the leading causes of chronic neck pain.
Physical and psychological stress can lead to a painful neck. Both types of stress can cause the muscles and nerves to tense up. This leads to stiffness and pain that can last for a few days. However, if you unlike other causes of neck pain, they can resolve on their own once you relax your body.
A large fraction of reported neck cases stems from atlas subluxation. Upper cervical chiropractic doctors explain that the atlas and axis bones or two bones directly underneath the skull are highly susceptible to shifting away from their alignment. Notably, the slightest force can pressure the bones to fuse or slide a few millimeters away from the body’s central axis. In addition, the misaligned bones can pinch nearby muscles and nerve roots and force other vertebral bones to adjust to keep the head upright.
Sleeping Tips to Avoid Experiencing Neck Pain
Now that you have a bit of idea of your neck pain’s possible triggers, let’s deep dive into some helpful sleeping tips to help minimize your discomfort. These tips make an excellent addition to your usual patient care routine, mainly because you spend around 7 to 8 hours sleeping.
1. Run a warm bath before heading to bed
Soaking for a few minutes in the tub can help relax your nerves and muscles. It can also help you calm your mind, so you experience little to no disruptions once you lay on your bed. We recommend opting for warm water when running a bath because it helps sore and stiff muscles. Additionally, using just enough heat can help promote faster healing of damaged, compressed or irritated tissues.
2. Choose a pillow and bed suitable for you
The firmness of a bed and pillow can directly impact your spine’s structure while you sleep. So, when you shop for beddings, it’s crucial to consider your sleeping position. As much as possible, you should steer clear of pillows that are too soft or firm because they might only aggravate your neck-pain-causing condition.
The same rule applies when shopping for a mattress. Ideally, you should pick one made from breathable materials. Additionally, your chosen bed should provide enough structural support on your neck and back.
3. Mind your sleep posture
If you often notice discomfort or stiffness in your cervical spine, we suggest changing your sleeping position. According to a study, you should consider sleeping on your side or back to reduce your neck and shoulders pressure. You might also find it helpful to prop a small pillow under the neck or between your knees.
4. Do some gentle neck stretches a few hours before bedtime
Simple neck stretches can help release tension in the muscle fibers. Additionally, they can help you condition your body to prevent further damage to your neck bones, muscles, and joints. We suggest dedicating at least 10 minutes to stretch your neck before hitting the sack.
5. Address your postural imbalance
What better way to ease your body to heal an achy neck than addressing an atlas subluxation? If you previously got into an accident that forced your neck bones to slide away from their normal alignment, we strongly recommend trying upper cervical chiropractic.
Essentially, upper cervical care aims to correct atlas subluxation using gentle neck toggles. It also follows a strict and precise procedure to check the degree of neck bone misalignment and how the cervical spine structure changes affect the body.
Many patients have tapped into upper cervical chiropractic adjustments to help their body heal from a cervical subluxation. Additionally, plenty have seen improvements in their neck-pain causing conditions after receiving adjustments. So, if you often feel aching in your neck or shoulders, we suggest booking a schedule with a neck chiropractor. This way, you can determine if you have an atlas subluxation and start receiving chiropractic adjustments.
Take advantage of this natural and holistic path to healing an achy neck. We encourage you to talk to a local cervical chiropractor to schedule your first C1 and C2 bone assessment.