Our neck and shoulders are pressure points that hurt the most in an awkward sleeping position or because of an incompatible mattress. Pain can be a result of lifestyle, injury, muscle degradation, or even sustained use of an incompatible mattress and pillow. The best sleeping position is one where not only do you go to sleep without lying in bed too much, but your body feels relaxed. If you find yourself complaining there is not much support or pain in your back, some discomfort in your shoulders or neck is a bad sleeping environment.
However, you can improve your sleeping routine and posture by using a suitable mattress and pillow. Changing your sleeping position consciously in bed also gives excellent results and helps keep your body sleeping the same. The most suitable position, mattress, and pillow combination isn't a challenging task to accomplish. All it takes are little changes, and the health investment pays off in the long term.
Why do neck and shoulder pain trigger when asleep?
Our neck and shoulders are often the subjects of intense discomfort from a bad night's sleep. Bad posture, less exercise, age, injuries, and incompatible mattresses and pillows can cause your neck and shoulder muscles to degrade. This results in chronic pain, spondylosis (aka cervical neck pain), among other issues that arise due to age or lifestyle-related conditions. Here are the reasons why neck and shoulder pain intensify during sleep:
1. Sleeping Positions:
An improper sleeping position is one where your spine or neck isn't naturally inclined. Sleeping on the stomach can lead to your head being raised improperly and your body sunk to some extent. This unnatural curvature of the spine not only leads to paining neck muscles, even strained but affects your shoulder blades too. As a result of sleeping on the stomach on an incompatible mattress or pillow, it can lead to chronic neck and shoulder pain and long-term issues like cervical.
2. Wrong Pillow Type:
When you go to bed, the pillow is often ignored regarding how it orients your spine and shoulders. Your mattress and pillow arrangement must be such, in either back or side sleeping orientations, to align the spine properly. 'Waking up bad' or with pains frequently is an indication of an incompatible or low-quality pillow. When you go to sleep, your spine should be as relaxed as possible, and this includes your head position on the pillow.
3. Lifestyle Factors and Mattresses:
As mentioned above, a compatible mattress and pillow are quintessential in properly aligning your spine and shoulder blades. Disorientation or unnatural curvature sustained as a lifestyle would lead to injuries, muscle degradation, among other serious issues. The best way to prevent this is by using a proper mattress and pillow combination, exercising and stretching your muscles often, and consulting a doctor as soon as you see signs of neck and shoulder pains.
Why should one focus on proper spinal alignment?
Using proper spinal alignment helps make your back and shoulders more flexible and healthier in the long term. Back, shoulder, and neck pain are a worldwide issue that isn't taken care of pre-emptively. Only after we face any severe issues relating to spinal issues in the neck, lower back, or general areas associated with the spine, we take steps. It might be too late for some people to be cured of the issue entirely at that stage.
Taking care of proper spinal alignment is essential for taking care of your overall body. You can be free of those old age pains or middle age lower back pains if you take care of your core. An active lifestyle paired with the right sleeping environment helps sustain your body in a healthier shape than any post-diagnosis care can.
Best sleeping positions for neck and shoulder pains:
The best sleeping positions for your spine, neck, and shoulder pains are on the side or the back. You might have to use different pillow support options, but the best option is to let your spine align and be at rest. Our spine has a slightly natural S-shape that has to balance your entire body. Not taking care of your spine can have serious medical issues and intense pain in the shoulders, back, and neck area.
Here are the best sleeping positions for neck and shoulder pains:
- Back sleeping position: Sleeping on the back helps align your spine to stay as relaxed and straight as possible. From the neck, shoulders down to the lower back, your entire spine can be in a horizontal natural resting position. Using pillows (not too firm and not excessively soft) to help make your spine inclined can help if you have a softer mattress. This helps your body enjoy comfort and more support. However, there is a delicate balance of height and comfort involved here, and going wrong with it can lead to additional problems.
- Side sleeping position: In the side sleeping position, it is better to use a medium-firm mattress or pillow support in different body parts. A pillow supporting your shoulders and another supporting your neck can help. This way, you get the support and cushioning your shoulders and back need for proper relieving alignment. Moreover, hugging pillows can also help as it opens up your shoulder muscles, and the entire area can get some sense of relief. The best pillow to use in these scenarios would be a somewhat dense and responsive memory foam pillow or a light feather pillow to provide some elevation.
You can read more about pillows and usage for neck and shoulder pain below.
Mattresses for better spinal alignment:
Since the main issue that your neck, shoulders, and your back face is the pain from improper cushioning and support, it is a good idea to switch to a new mattress. A medium firm-to firm mattress that can support your body yet cushion with a comforting surface is ideal for neck and shoulder support. Here are mattresses best suited for neck and shoulder pain:
Chiropedic 10000: The Chiropedic 10000 is one of our best orthopedic mattresses and is approved by the international chiropractors association, USA, specialized to provide excellent support and comfort. The Chiropedic 10000 offers excellent comfort for your shoulder and back with the help of BodySink pure foam layers. Additionally, a latex foam layer provides core support and comfort to your body. So when you sleep on the Chiropedic 10000, you can be sure your vulnerable pressure points get the support and comfort they need.
The Double Heat Tempered Firm Bonnell innerspring system helps support and provide a flat sleeping experience where you can feel the support in back and side sleeping orientation. The Chiropedic 10000 mattress offers excellent spinal support in both the back and side sleeping positions. The upper PU and latex foam layers help cushion the support just enough to relieve pain. Moreover, this mattress also has a rigid casing protecting the internal spring system and foam encasement for longevity and edge protection.
The Chiropedic 10000 is one of the best companions for people looking for support and contouring cushion in one package. Where the innerspring mattresses help keep the mattress supportive, you can be sure that you're getting a medium-firm yet cushioning surface with our sleep-grade PU foam comfort and latex foam support layers.
Gravity: The Gravity mattress is the perfect option for people with a delicate neck, shoulder, and back pain diagnosis. This luxurious mattress supports and contours your body with the help of memory foam in the top quilting and high-density HR foam in the support layer and core. This helps this mattress to be a more gentle yet supportive option for people who find it difficult to sleep on firmer mattresses.
The Gravity mattress helps soften the support from the HR foam layers beneath and helps relieve pressure from your back and shoulders. Moreover, sleeping on the side or back also helps align your spine perfectly with a delicate touch that many innerspring mattresses might not be able to do. The cellular memory foam quilting helps regulate body temperature and comfort your delicate paining joints and muscles. The contouring experience helps you sleep quickly, forgetting your neck and shoulder pains to wake up fresh and pain-free.
The Gravity mattress is also a good option for the general Indian body frame as per our research and development analysis data. Offering a healthy balance of comfort and support, you can leave your neck and shoulder pains in the past with this contouring experience that supports your spine and shoulders too.
Physiopedic: The Physiopedic mattress offers one of our best in class contouring and support tailored for your body. Our FirmTech pocket coil innerspring system, and a fantastic combination of sleep-grade high-density memory foam, assure that you're getting the best comfort and support. The contouring experience and the memory foam layers in the quilted top help relieve all the pent-up pressure from your back and shoulders.
When sleeping on the Physiopedic mattress, your spine and muscles can rest in a calm and relaxing state that eliminates your pain and prevents it from worsening. The best in class double heat-tempered pocket coil innerspring acts with our NewSupport foam to offer incredible custom support as per your body frame. Getting a luxurious sleep for your neck and shoulders becomes more accessible and calming with the contouring and custom support of the Physiopedic mattress.
The Physiopedic mattress also sports a luxurious quilted top look with a hard edge casing to protect your mattress and offer edge protection. Getting full-body support with the help of our unique pocket coil system ensures your problems go away with maintenance and proper care.
How can pillows help avoid neck and shoulder pain?
After finalizing your mattress, choosing your sleeping orientation, there is more room to help relax your neck and shoulders. This is because our spine's bad posture, or alignment, is the main reason these areas hurt. Your neck can hurt because shoulders and shoulders can hurt because of pain in your shoulder muscles and spinal alignment in the upper body. Here is how pillows can help relax your spine and help relieve pain in neck and shoulder muscles:
Using a pillow to hug: Hugging a pillow when sleeping in the side sleeping orientation takes the pressure off your shoulder muscles by opening them up. It helps open and relax your shoulder and spine just enough to relieve pressure in mild to moderate cases of neck and shoulder pain. Moreover, hugging pillows also help bring a more comfortable sleeping position, which will help you feel fresher on waking up. Using low-density feather pillows to hug or keep beneath your arms can help relieve different degrees of neck and shoulder pains.
Headrest pillows: Getting rid of neck and shoulder pains can be a long-term process that needs proper support. The best way to ensure proper support is by making sure your neck vertebrae and upper body spine stay as relaxed and adequately aligned as possible. Where a medium-firm or firm supportive and cushioning can help support the upper body spine, high-density memory foam or gel memory foam can suit your headrest woes. The main objective here is to support the spine and offer relaxation. You can also use feather pillows beneath your shoulders and upper back or side for more comfort.
Issues related to neck and shoulder pain and back pain are most likely because of sedentary lifestyles with a bad posture. However, after diagnosis, not all cause is lost, and you can look to a healthy road to complete recovery as per your doctor's prescription of care and therapy. Our orthopedic mattresses and medium-firm supportive mattresses above can help prevent these pains and take care proactively too. In the end, it is up to you to take small steps like changing sleeping orientation, use a proper balance of pillows and mattresses, and go for proper medical support.