Neck pain is a highly common problem, which has repercussions on various different aspects of daily life. It can cause frequent headaches and often doesn’t allow sufferers to rest in the best way and wake up refreshed and relaxed. The upper section of the spinal column may become inflamed for various reasons, which are all usually connected in some way to posture and lack of physical exercise.
In this article, I will be giving a brief summary of the anatomy of the spinal column, and then discussing an important topic in greater depth and answering the question that so many people ask me: how to sleep with inflammation in the neck area? Here is some useful advice.
Anatomy of the spinal column: brief notes
The human spinal column is made up of 33-34 vertebrae (called by a letter C if cervical, with D if dorsal, with L if lombar and S if sacral). For the purposes of this article I am focussing on the cervical area, which is made up of 7 vertebrae, in turn grouped into upper cervical spine (vertebrae C1 and C2) and lower cervical spine (vertebrae from C3 to C7).
How does cervical neck pain present and what does it depend on?
It is mostly adults betweens the ages of 40 and 60 years old who suffer from neck pain, and women seem to be more susceptible than men, in the same way that those who lead a more sedentary lifestyle are more likely to suffer than those with a more active lifestyle. The area where the pain presents includes both the neck and the head and shoulders, but may also extend to the arms: in these cases, making any movement at all becomes particularly difficult . In extreme cases, it is also possible to see dizziness and vomiting.
Cervical neck pain involves the muscles located around the upper and lower spine which become inflamed and contract. Among the causes, we find stress, incorrect posture, lack of or incorrect physical activity, with an overexertion of the spine.
Sleeping with neck pain: why don’t we rest well?
If you suffer from neck pain you will be well aware that sometimes it is difficult to get a good night’s sleep. When the cervical muscles and vertebrae are not in the ideal situation, such as when they contract, the body does not assume the correct position while we sleep: consequently, the contraction and thus the pain also increases when we wake up.
How to sleep with neck pain: some advice
When we sleep, our body tends to assume a relaxed and natural posture, which can guarantee as much rest as possible and recovery of energy. However, if we suffer from musculoskeletal problems, this does not happen and we can wake up tired, painful and suffering.
What should we do?
First of all, it may be useful to do a few simple exercises before going to bed, to relax the cervical muscles a little: standing up, you can lean your head down towards your shoulder, repeating the movement to the left and right. Starting from the same position, you can roll your head from right to left.
Furthermore, if you suffer from neck pain, you should not sleep on your front: actually, this position is the least recommended even for those who have no back pains or problems. If you really can’t sleep in any other position, remember not to use a pillow.
The pillow, however, is the fundamental element for anyone sleeping on your back or on their side. Choose a pillow that provides the correct support, but which is not too hard: the ideal model is the one which helps you to rest better and wake up pain-free.
Sleeping with neck pain: some help from magneto-therapy
One of the most effective treatments for cervical neck pain is magneto-therapy (LINK), which is performed using special appliances. Indeed, thanks to the relaxing effects this therapy has on muscle tissue, it helps to relieve the pain. The electromagnetic impulses also aid the relaxation of the muscle fibres, both in the case of contractions, and also by freeing the joints from the pressure the muscles are subject to.
Wellow Sleep: the cushion for neck pain with magneto-therapy
It is possible to have magneto-therapy treatment in a physiotherapist’s studio or in a specialist centre. Since there are significant advantages to this type of treatment, over the course of my medical career, I have thought of possible domestic applications for it. This is how Wellow Sleep (LINK) was created, the cervical cushion that can be used together with an appliance for Pulsed electro-magnetic therapy. In this way, during sleep, you can prevent and cure cervical neck pain thanks to an effective and safe method.
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