Health blog

How can I sleep with a stiff neck and shoulder?

January 4th, 2021
how to sleep with a stiff neck and shoulder

Neck pain or shoulder pain affects you in many ways. It may be more difficult to change clothes, do household chores or drive a car. One way neck or shoulder pain might affect you that may be a surprise is sleeping comfortably.

When you have a stiff neck and shoulder, it can be challenging to find a comfortable position for a full night of sleep. It’s helpful to visit a physical therapist for reducing your neck and shoulder pain, but there are some changes you can make to the way you sleep and in your daily life that can help you get a better sleep.

Tips for sleeping with a stiff neck and shoulder

  • Improve your posture — Sleeping with poor posture puts pressure on your neck and shoulders. This not only makes it hard to sleep when you already have shoulder or neck pain, but it might even be the cause of your pain.

    Sleep on your side or on your back on a supportive mattress to help reduce neck and shoulder pain at night. Avoid sleeping on your stomach because this causes you to twist your neck for hours at a time.
  • Use a better pillow — The value of a good pillow is too often overlooked. Pillows that are too flat or too big can cause your back and neck to be out of alignment while sleeping. Find a pillow that has the right amount of support to help you get a better night’s sleep and less pain and stiffness in the morning.
  • Stretch and exercise — Daily stretches and exercises help keep your muscles strong and flexible. Stronger and more flexible muscles are less vulnerable to pain, which can help you get better sleep. 

Treating neck and shoulder pain with physical therapy

Changing your sleeping habits is very helpful, but this alone is not enough to treat chronic neck or shoulder pain. A physical therapist can examine your condition and develop a personalized treatment routine to help manage your pain. 

Physical therapy treatments vary depending on your needs, but typically they include:

  • Gentle stretches and therapeutic exercises
  • Hands-on therapy
  • Posture assessment and more

Visit Rehab Access today for neck and shoulder pain treatment

Do you have neck and shoulder pain that makes it difficult to sleep at night? Our team at Rehab Access is here to help. We can examine your neck and shoulders and develop a personalized treatment to help you reach your recovery goals. Contact our team today for more information about neck and shoulder pain or to schedule an initial appointment