Stiff Neck After Sleeping: How To Treat And Prevent It

Treat and Prevent Neck Pain

Waking Up with a Stiff Neck?
Learn How to Treat and Prevent Neck Pain
with These Few Simple Methods

Muscle aches and pains in your neck can come from numerous sources, for a variety of reasons. Maybe you trained a little too hard at the gym; perhaps you over-exerted yourself on the job; or, you quite simply could have a stiff neck after sleeping or slept in a strange position that left you in knots.

It’s important for your health (and comfort) to understand the reasons behind your why you woke up with a sore neck. With it, you can avoid a potentially worse condition later on.

stiff neck

After all, waking up with neck and upper back pain is a bad start to your day, affecting your productivity and give you a foul mood for the rest of the day.

Time to make a change. Know what causes your neck pain and wake up every morning feeling fresh.


Recognize the Symptoms

We are so busy that even though we may wake up with a stiff neck, we ignore the symptoms, hoping it will dissipate over the course of the day.

Or perhaps you tight knot in your neck muscles or a tension headache. These create a stifling pain in both your head and neck for hours. If this happens constantly within a specific period, it’s best to pinpoint the source of your stiff muscles. To know more about what are the other causes of neck pain and quick treatment.

causes of neck pain

And surprise! A stiff neck can be a result of more than just a bad night’s rest, even coming out days after you slept uncomfortably nights before.

Ask yourself some important questions: What activities or tasks have you done that could have caused these aches? Does the ache occur every time you do the said activities? Or does the ache occur without any reason seem at all?

With your answers, you can pinpoint the source of your pain.

Understanding the cause of your symptoms is highly beneficial if the pain persists. Note that this helps your doctor identify the right treatment and steps to prevent same occurrences in the future.

Essentially, your stiff neck could be due to anything from a simple muscle spasm, overextension, or a poor sleeping position (including the lack of a supportive pillow). Worst case is it could be a sign of the start of osteoarthritis or excessive tension headaches or migraines.

That’s why for recurring symptoms, it’s vital that you see a physician to have a complete picture of your health and correctly pinpoint the causes of neck or upper back pain.


Treat the Diagnosis

For a stiff neck that’s minor and rarely occurs, take a warm to a hot shower after waking to soothe your muscles, relieving any tender spots or aches. With the heat and steam, your body releases tension, alleviating any quick, overnight strains or sore areas.

to treat stiff neck

Doing some light stretches helps in the early treatment.  Simply looking left to right and up and down can restore flexibility, stretching and setting the muscles into better maneuverability.

For a more severe pain, take some light pain relievers for immediate relief.

However, if you become immobile and can’t do your activities because of the stiff neck, seek the help of a doctor or health professional.

Apart from the diagnosis and prescribing the treatment, physicians may even see the need for you to consult a chiropractor or physical therapist to solve the problem.


Educate Yourself on Preventative Methods

Most people only discuss stiff neck or sore muscles after experiencing them. Besides doing the necessary treatment, look to prevent future attacks and symptoms.

muscle ache symptoms

An initial step is to look at how you move your body on your daily activities. Simple things such as bad posture and poor muscle strength can be serious indicators for consistent pains that warrant further investigation.

If you sit in an office chair all day, your neck muscles could be improperly tweaked for hours as you hunch over your computer. Or, if you’re on your feet most of the time, moving and twisting without proper stretching or muscle engagement, you could be unwittingly causing strains and stiffness that could come out the morning after.

Focus on proper alignment and keep your neck muscles stable and flexible with necessary stretches or massages before bed.

stretches or massages before bed

Be conscious of these when you exercise or doing the heavy lifting so you will recognize how you manage your body’s mobility. Include yoga or strength-building exercises in your workout.  

If your stiff neck or aching muscles come from a poor sleeping position, you can stop the symptoms by having a supportive mattress, along with pillows that support your head, neck and spine alignment throughout the night.

Finally, if you feel that your stiff neck could be a sign of something more severe, such as osteoarthritis or tension headaches, find a doctor or health professional who can prescribe pain medications and give advice for future incidents.

Don’t let yourself wake up to another bad day because of a stiff neck; take action and rise from a good night’s sleep feeling limber and energetic.