I have woken up this morning with a very sore neck and judging from statistics I’m not alone. According to a British Medical Journal study in 2008, musculoskeletal problems, including back and neck pain, accounted for 49% of absences from work in the EU.
Left untreated, neck pain can cause loss of movement, headaches, soreness across the shoulders and even down into the arms and hands. This can have a profound effect on daily life and often reduces a person’s ability to preform even the most basic of functions.
My neck pain is down to poor sleeping position after an uncomfortable night but there is plenty you can do to ease stiffness and ensure a pain-free sleep.
Make sure you have just enough support to keep your neck and spine in alignment whilst lying on your side. Too many and your neck will be left at an awkward angle and too little and your head will not have enough support. Orthapedic pillows can be used to get the correct level of support for your neck.
The use of soft heat pads or a hot water bottle before you go to bed can help ease tight muscles and reduce pain.
Specific strengthening exercises can reduce pain by making your body stronger and more able to cope with stresses and strains. If you already have neck pain, talk to a professional before undertaking a programme.
Deep tissue massage can work to relax soft tissues surrounding the neck, easing pain and encouraging a good night’s sleep.
Short-term, anti inlammatory medication like ibuprofen can help relax the muscles surrounding your neck and reduce inflammation. If the pain continues, however, see a back care professional.