Many Americans suffer from chronic neck pain which can interrupt sleep. However, there are steps you can take to prevent sleep disturbances.

How common is chronic neck pain?

To say that pain is widespread in the US is an understatement. In fact, 100 million people suffer from chronic pain. That’s far more than the total number diagnosed with cancer (12 million), heart disease (23 million), or diabetes (26 million). The American cost of pain is estimated at about $600 billion. Pain doesn’t just impact people during the day but at night, with one in five people saying that it makes it difficult to get sound sleep.

Among those who suffer from chronic pain, neck pain is one of the most common types:

·      Back pain – 27%

·      Neck pain – 15%

·      Migraine / headache – 15%

·      Face pain – 4%.

How to prevent sleep disturbances

The first and foremost way to avoid neck pain when sleeping is simple: get into the right position. That means sleeping on your side or back. Here are some specific recommendations:

1.    If you do sleep on your back, “choose a rounded pillow to support the natural curve of your neck, with a flatter pillow cushioning your head,” notes Harvard Medical School. You can either insert a neck roll into the pillowcase of another pillow or get a specially designed neck support pillow.

2.    Feather pillows are a good choice because they will adapt to your neck’s shape. Replace them annually.

3.    Pillows made of “memory foam” can also be helpful in getting the shape ideal for your body.

4.    You don’t want the pillow to be excessively big or firm since either quality can increase pressure.

5.    If you are lying on your side, you want the pillow to be higher beneath your neck.

6.    Traveling can often exacerbate neck issues. “A horseshoe-shaped pillow can support your neck and prevent your head from dropping to one side if you doze,” explains Harvard. “If the pillow is too large behind the neck, however, it will force your head forward.” This type of pillow can even be helpful on the couch when watching TV.

Correcting the underlying problem

Are you suffering from chronic neck pain that is making it difficult for you to sleep? At Advanced Wellness and Rehab, our patients are assured of receiving only the finest quality care, because we have a genuine concern for your well-being and long-term health. See our New Patient Offer.