Three tips on how to sleep with a stiff neck and shoulder

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The healing value of a good night’s sleep can’t be overstated. However, figuring out how to sleep well with a stiff neck and shoulder can be a challenge. 

Stiffness and pain are symptoms that often occur in both the neck and shoulders. One reason is that these body structures are connected by both nerves and muscles. Another is that they’re both heavily involved in normal daily activities, ranging from typing to reaching up to grab an object above your head. A physical therapist can offer tips to help you figure out how to sleep comfortably with a stiff neck and shoulder. Additionally, these specialists can help treat many common causes of neck pain and shoulder pain. 

Figuring out how to sleep with a stiff neck and shoulder can be as easy as using these three tips

Neck and shoulder stiffness and pain can spring from many sources. They can be related to a hard workout you did that day, or they could be caused by poor posture. Injuries to the neck or shoulders, such as whiplash, can also cause these symptoms. 

In addition, sleeping in an awkward or unsupportive position can trigger shoulder and neck stiffness and discomfort. Here are three tips that can help you figure out how to sleep more comfortably with neck and shoulder stiffness: 

  1. Change sleeping positions — Sleeping on your stomach can cause both the neck and shoulders to feel stiff or sore when you wake up. Also, sleeping on one side can lead to these same symptoms. In either case, you may want to consider sleeping on your back. This position tends to be more supportive and less stressful for your neck and shoulders. 
  1. Use pillows differently — Pillows are sleeping aids that most of us simply stick under our heads. However, they can be used in other ways, too. Adding or removing pillows from under your head can provide better support for your neck. Placing a pillow under you while sleeping on your side can help reduce stress on the shoulders. 
  1. Breathe deeply before sleeping — Taking some gentle, deep breaths when you first lie down to sleep can be very beneficial. Doing so allows more oxygen to get to your neck and shoulder muscles. In turn, this can help them relax. Furthermore, deep breathing can increase the amount of oxygen available to your body’s natural healing mechanisms. 

Armor Physical Therapy can help treat your stiff neck and shoulders

Want to learn more about how to sleep properly with a stiff neck and shoulder? Our specialists at Armor PT can offer more tips to help improve your ability to sleep. Also, we can help you find effective treatment for the root cause of your neck and shoulder symptoms. 

We can start by performing a free screening on your neck and shoulders. Then, our physical therapists can build you a personalized therapy plan designed to reduce your symptoms and prevent them from coming back. We can even use our at-home care and virtual therapy services to treat you from your home. 

Contact us today for more information about the services we offer for neck and shoulder issues or to schedule an initial appointment. 

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