Who knew that sleep could present so many dangers? Sleep scientists have found that the position you sleep in can have both short and long term effects on your health, comfort, and posture.
In this article, we’re going to provide some advice about preventing shoulder or neck pain, as well as some good ways to treat it if you’re suffering.
Get a good pillow
A good quality feather pillow can do the job, as it’s important that your head and neck are cradled sufficiently. An even better idea is to get a high-quality memory foam pillow, which offers better support and more longevity.
High or stiff pillows are half of the problem too. A high pillow creates an unnatural neck and spine shape, which means you will sleep for hours in a position that your body does not agree with. A stiff pillow will fail to cradle you, and so you will have to adapt to the shape of the pillow.
Tip: Try also putting a pillow between your legs to help align your spine.
Your mattress is the second pillar of support
When you are a side sleeper, you need to take extra precaution to support your curved areas: the neck and waist.
Muscles and ligaments work hard to heal themselves while you sleep, but they can’t do their regenerative magic if they are not being supported. An orthopaedic mattress will take care of this.
Do you fall asleep sitting up?
If you’re one of many people that fall asleep sitting up, or reclined, such as on a plane, in front of the tv, or just in any comfy chair, then a horseshoe pillow can give you the support you need to keep your neck aligned with your spine. Uh oh, it’s too late, you’ve hurt your shoulder or neck
The rotator cuff in your shoulder is put under a lot of pressure when you sleep on your side, so you can try and prevent it by following the previous pointers, however, if it’s too late and you’re already injured, try wearing a sling to bed.
Before you get into bed, try doing ten minutes of shoulder stretches, such as head rolls, shoulder rolls, and shrugs. Get a massage too, if you have access to a trained masseuse.
If the pain is still too much, apply ice to the sore areas for two days, then follow it up with heat treatments until the pain is gone.