Do you have persistent neck pain? Maybe an annoying niggle or recurring flare ups? Neck pain can be debilitating and is one of the most common complaints we see in the clinic.
In this post we are going to explore neck pain and tension, with a focus on easy changes you can make at home to help prevent and ease neck pain and tension.
Our first tip? Check your pillow
Is your pillow the right height and providing enough support in your sleeping position? You can be doing all the right things to help your neck during the day, but if is not properly supported while you sleep, you will continue to have neck problems. This has innumerable follow on effects, including headaches and shoulder pain.
How to check
If side-sleeping, ask someone to check you position. Your neck and upper back should be in a straight line. The pillow should be tucked well into the neck and shoulder to support the head. There should be no gaps between the head, neck and shoulder.
In the first image above, you can see the neck is tilting down due to a low or highly compressible pillow. In the third image, the pillow is too high and is not adequately supporting the lower neck and shoulder. In both these instances, the neck is not in neutral and this puts increase strain on the surrounding structures. The second image shows a pillow that is the right height and compressibility, ensuring the shoulder and neck are supported.
If sleeping on your back, similar principles apply. You want the pillow to support your head and neck in a neutral position, without poking forward or falling back.
Avoid sleeping on your tummy, in this position, your neck is constantly rotated throughout the night, putting unnecessary strain on the structures.
If you would like to make sure your pillow is right for you, speak to one of us here at take2health and we can check it for you. We also have a loan pillow service, so if you’re looking to buy a new pillow you can be sure it is the right one for you before making the decision.
Look out for our next tip where we will look at how to modify your desk setup to support your neck.