Did you know that 10% of the adult population at any time is suffering from neck pain, such as a stiff neck? As a global problem especially in the industrialized world, neck pain affects 45% of workers today.
A vast majority of people who have experienced neck pain after waking up understand how extremely painful it. At times, the pain is so severe that you are unable to move your head without feeling a sharp pain shooting up and down the neck area.
It is quite common to find people with neck pain using their hands to rub the affected area or even lift their heads but all they end up doing is experiencing more pain. Moving the head either left or right only makes the pain more excruciating.
A vast majority of the people think that neck pain in the morning is only as a result of sleeping in an awkward position. Well, they are wrong. Neck pain occurs due to the strain on the neck muscles. The problem may be as a result of sleeping on a pillow that is too high or too firm. Experiencing pain around your neck will surely disrupt your daily activities.
Did you know that using too many pillows can place a lot of pressure around the neck area resulting in chronuc neck pain? Not only will it result in the stiffening of the neck but it will lead to muscular pain and minor ligaments as well.
The good news is that there are solutions available to treat neck pain that will help you fix the problem.
Change your sleeping position
How you sleep at night can ensure that your neck rests well on the mattress or pillow thus avoiding neck pain. One of the best sleeping positions designed to avoid neck strain is sleeping on the side.
For this position to be successful, you need a soft pillow (feather pillow is recommended. You can also use memory foam pillows) to keep your head in the right position. Using a pillow is not enough. You need to ensure that it’s of the right height. A high pillow will strain the muscles around your neck resulting in neck pain.
Another sleeping position that you should practice is sleeping on your back. Using this sleeping position with a good pillow below your head will ensure that your spine is aligned well and so will your neck muscles.
To avoid neck pain in the morning, avoid sleeping on your stomach. If can’t avoid it, buy a body pillow. This will prevent you from tossing and turning during the night.
Use a warm compress
Using a warm compress around the affected area helps to improve blood circulation. As a result, it reduces joint stiffness and muscle spasm. This helps to loosen the muscles finally getting rid of neck pain. To ensure relief, use a warm compress during the first 48 hours following the injury. There are two types of warm compresses:
- Warm water with towel – To get started, warm a liter of water, dip a towel in it, squeeze out the excess water and place the warm towel over the affected area. This will help to relieve muscle spasm.
- Heating pad – it is effective in improving circulation around the affected area but you should avoid coming into contact with direct skin. If you want to do so, protect the heating pad first. This will help you avoid burns.
Use a cold pack
The reason why a cold pack will work is because the affected area is inflamed. What you ought to know is that there is no time period for how long the cold pack should be in contact with the affected area.
The good news is that it has the potential of providing long term relief.
There are several types of cold packs:
- Cold compress or ice pack – start by placing ice in a plastic sealable bag, fill it partially with water, seal the bag and squeeze the air out. Proceed to wrap the bag with a damp towel before placing it on the affected area.
- Ice towel – dampen your towel with cold water, fold the towel and place in a sealable bag (plastic). Proceed to place the sealable bag in the freezer for a period of 15 minutes before removing it and placing it on the affected area.
Apply ointment or balm
What you ought to know is that neck pain will affect your day to day routine. This affects your mood. Ever wondered why most people are unpleasant during most mornings? Well, they probably are suffering from neck pain.
Using balm or ointment from the nearest drug store can help to relieve muscle pain. Many people have used the ointments and balms to get relief before heading out to work.
Majority of balms and ointments contain the following ingredients for pain relief:
- Capsaicin -makes your skin warm
- Eucalyptus or menthol – great for cooling
- Methyl salicylate from wintergreen oil
The ingredients above help to provide the much needed heat and warmth around the skin. As a result, they promote circulation which in turn results in pain relief. They also act as counter irritants as they help the nerves and brain to experience less pain sensation. To ensure faster relief, rub the ointment on the affected area and keep massaging the area with your finger tips.
Have a massage
- DIY massage
- Booking an appointment with a professional massage therapist
DIY massage can be accomplished at home and even at work in your office. The first step is to apply warm oil like Chamomile or lavender. This will help to keep you relaxed and soothe the affected area. Using your finger tips, massage the affected area for a few minutes.
Book an appointment with a professional masseuse. A professional masseuse is trained in different massage techniques. By simply informing them where the problem is, they will target the area using a rhythmic motion leaving you pain free.