I sprained my neck due to sleeping in an odd position on my new high pillow. What can I do right now to help heal or manage this? Its the weekend, if I go in urgent care; then after hours of uncomfortable wait the Doctor will most probably prescribe pain killers and warmth etc- Taken 2 200mg Ibuprofen medicine and now using a heating pad,but no relief yet.
Sorry to hear about your dilemma and pain- this actually happens to a lot of people who order specialized neck pillows on the internet. You cannot always try them out online, so you have to take your chances. Although truth be told, even trying it out at the store is not enough sometimes. You have to put it on your bed and properly experience it. The other problem is that a lot of people use the pillows the whole night, the first night thru. A brand new fiber pillow sometimes has a high profile and will be more firmer. Off course over time the pillow fibers will break down and the pillow will become flatter. This higher profile can seem to bring your head forward and also cause added stress to the muscles in the neck and the head.
Next time, my suggestion is don't use the pillow the whole night through. Sleep on it for no more than 10-25 minutes. Then put it away and bring out a pillow you are used to. The next time, try it for 30-35 minutes, then put it away and bring out your old pillow. Keep increasing the time of usage on the pillow. With a a new pillow comes the added effort of getting used to it. A pillow with contours on it will be engaging different muscles and yes some people will experience soreness, muscle spasm, tightness and pain the next day. This is very normal actually.
, often times, these contoured specialty neck pillows will have two rolls on them: try the softer broader neck roll first, as it will be easier to get used to. This is how the linear gravity contoured neck pillow is designed.
Finally, one more thing. Your pillow should not be bringing your head forward so much. Make sure you have the right size of pillow. If you are 5'0 and using a large size pillow that will cause problems for you.
Okay so what can you do if this scenario happens to you?
- The next morning, while you are in the warm/hot shower do gentle neck stretches. Bring your head forward, backward, bring your ear to your shoulder on the right and on the left. Finally turn your head to the right and to the left. For all stretches only do it to the point to feeling the stretch, not to the point of feeling pain. This is hard to do, but you don't want to inflict further pain on yourself. Let the water hit your neck and upper shoulders while doing this.
- Visit your chiropractor. They will make sure that your spine is aligned and also work directly on the muscles in the neck and upper back.
- Use a topical massage cream like biofreeze and do some muscle work at home. Ideally have someone help you with this if at all possible. Use just the amount of pressure that you can stand. Biofreeze will feel cool then hot.
- Make sure you have the right pillow.
- Keep using the heating pad during the day.This will keep the muscles relaxed and keep the muscles mobile.
- Getting the right pillow for your neck
- Fiber neck pillow that are contoured for a reason
- The importance of neck exercises to a healthy neck
- What's the difference between a neck sprain and neck strain?
- Neck Pain Relief on Facebook