Neck pain is a chronic disease that plagues many people. It is not serious enough to affect your life, but it will always affect your quality of life. Besides of neck pain, it is often accompanied by back pain, upper extremity weakness, numbness in the fingers, and some patients also experience dizziness, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and difficulty swallowing. Chronic strain is an important cause of neck pain, which is mainly related to our improper working, exercise posture and poor sleeping position. For example, looking at the computer with your neck hooked, working with your head down for a long time, etc.
How does sleep position affect our cervical spine health?
When we sleep, our brains rest as well, so we cannot adjust the bad sleeping position in time, or consciously change the posture to a "proper sleeping position". Regardless of the length of sleep, our paravertebral muscles, ligaments and joints will be stretched, compressed and stretched, and we lose our physiological position. The basic requirement for a suitable sleeping position is to ensure that the spine is in the neutral position and the physiological curve is natural.
But poor sleeping position disrupts the normal alignment of the spine, resulting in a skewed spine. Changes in the physiological curvature of the cervical spine, ligament pulling and joint stretching can gradually lead to stiffness, torticollis and shoulder and neck pain.
The worst sleeping position is to sleep on your stomach, which not only makes the spine lose the support of the bed and cannot maintain its normal position, but also directly damages the curvature of the thoracic, lumbar, and coccygeal vertebrae. What’s worse, sleeping with your head tilted will sharply increase the traction on the cervical spine, causing cervical spine pain.
How to sleep with neck pain?
1. Choose your sleeping position
There are two points to consider when choosing a sleeping position:
- Firstly, whether it is suitable for maintaining the physiological curvature of the spine;
- Secondly, whether the muscles of the whole body can be relaxed.
If you are suffering from neck pain, sleeping on your back and sleeping on your side can be better options, which help distribute the weight of your entire body evenly and avoids unnatural curvature of the spine. Place a pillow under the neck to support the cervical spine. If necessary, place a small pillow between your legs to reduce the load on your lower limbs.
2. Select your mattress
Whether the mattress is too hard or too soft, it will affect the cervical spine. Therefore, when choosing a mattress, it needs to maintain the balance of the spine. It’s wise to place an elastic mattress on the bed, which can adjust the physiological curve of the spine at any time.
3. Pick your pillow
The most important thing that affects the curve of the cervical spine during sleep is the pillow. An ideal pillow should be soft in texture, low in the middle, and high at both ends, which can not only meet the physiological curve requirements of the cervical spine, but also relatively fix or immobilize the neck to reduce abnormal head and neck movements during sleep. For example, Zamat Cervical Pillow is specially shaped by in-house ergonomists, optimally aligns your neck and body and alleviates all strains.
The bottom line
If you want to have a good sleep quality, you must pay attention to your own habits, change your bad sleeping position, choose a pillow that suits you, and reduce the invasion of neck pain. When neck pain cannot be relieved for a long time or it’s even getting worse, you need to go to a hospital as soon as possible, so as to better restore your health.