Sleeping Tips for Easing Neck and Shoulder Stress
Dr. Chuck Fulanovich founded Palo Alto Chiropractic Offices in 1977 and Palo Alto SpineMED in 2005. He specializes in wellness oriented chiropractic care and the non-surgical treatment of lumbar disc herniation and sciatica. He is recognized as an expert in his field.
Dr. Chuck, as he is known to many of his clients, explains that sleeping positions have a great deal to do with neck and shoulder-related stress. “As part of my initial consultation I always ask people about their sleeping posture – side, back or stomach. I also ask them about the age of their mattress and what type of pillow they use. All three are important for good rest and proper spinal support.”
He recommends side sleeping for the most restful sleep and also as the least stressful to the spine, adding that less stress is especially true when people are sleeping on a good mattress such as a McRoskey mattress.
Here are more tips from Dr. Chuck related to dealing with shoulder, neck and back stress and pain.
1. Don't Panic: The good news is that most episodes of back or neck pain resolve on their own within a few days to a week. It’s best to avoid physical activity that stresses the painful area, take it easy for a few days and get some extra rest.
See a spine specialist when:
- Back or neck pain follows a trauma, such as a car accident or fall
- When the pain is constant or getting worse
- When the pain has persisted for 4-6 weeks
- When there is severe pain at night that wakes you from sleep
- When abdominal pain accompanies back pain
- When there is back pain with weakness, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
2. Keep Moving: It’s best to try and keep moving. Gentle stretching and placing the painful areas through passive ranges of motion stimulates blood flow, relaxes tightened muscles and generally feels good. When done in a controlled, gradual and progressive manner, stretching can help keep muscles, ligaments and joints healthy.