Is there a pain in your neck?


No, not the brother in law or mother in law kind, but a real honest neck pain?

We spend so much time looking up at the mountains and the beauty of Western Colorado (or down, at our cell phone screen) that we find ourselves with neck pain ranging from annoying to downright painful.

Here on the Western Slope we we work hard, we play hard, and, apparently sleep hard. Or is it hardly sleep? So our investigative team dove into this painful subject and we think we have a few ideas on how to sleep better and wake up without the pain in the neck.(insert joke here)

First, let’s look at a few causes.

Sleep angle

For me, this is the worst part of life. No matter what I do I can’t seem to sleep unless I have 35 pillows all on top of the other, stacked like pancakes. This, of course, lends itself to all sorts of muscle kinks in my neck, which never seem to go away. How does one combat this?

Memory foam pillows.

They come in all types, shapes and sizes depending on your needs. Heck, NASA even has one out. A few nights sleeping on one of these and BOOM no more neck pain, right?

Proper sleeping position

Experts state the best position to sleep in for your body is on your back, but again, pillow angle and body angle still have a lot to do with how well you’ll sleep and whether or not you’ll have that pain in the neck in the morning. (Insert joke here) If you DO sleep on your back, make sure the pillow is under your head and neck, not shoulders.

The worst position to sleep in is on your stomach, due to the strain it puts on your lower back. But if you do have to sleep on your stomach, be sure to put a pillow under your hips, and try to use a thin pillow or no pillow at all for your head. This will help keep your spine in alignment.

If you sleep on your side, like I do, try to avoid curling into a fetal position. Place a pillow lengthwise between your legs to give your lower back support and keep you from “folding up”.

Also, for side sleepers, try using a "body pillow". Hug yourself into the pillow and off you go. Just avoid throwing your whole leg over it.

Here are a few suggestions for exercises you can do to help fight neck pain as well as keep it from reoccurring.

Neck Stretches

Consulting with your chiropractor, if you have one, is the best suggestion for neck exercises, as they can target specifically the area you need to stretch most. But if you don’t have one, there are many suggestions you can find on line to stretch your neck, back and shoulders. is an excellent source for taking care of your neck, back and shoulders. A little preventative care-taking goes a long way.

Take these suggestions, add a few time-tested practices of your own and you will not only sleep better, but wake refreshed and free from the usual aches and pains!

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