Neck Pain A Result of Sleep Position
Recently I have seen several people with the complaint of neck and shoulder pain. The cases were very similar. The onset had been gradual over a few weeks and there was not acute injury identified. A patient history and range of motion exam can provide important clues to the cause of muscle pain and restriction when there is no apparent injury. In all of these cases the clients identified that they slept on their stomach with their head turned to the affected side and their arm elevated over their head for most of their lives.
Sleeping in this position makes it difficult to maintain a neutral spine putting pressure on the joints and muscles. The pressure can result in numbness and tingling in the affected arm, hand and fingers. Shortening of the affected muscles can result in the formation of myofascial trigger points resulting in pain and restriction. Laying on the stomach with the head turned to the side will shorten the trapezius and levator scapulae resulting in a sharp pinching to dull pain in the affected side of the neck and along the scapula. Shortening the stenocleidomastoid and scalenes by turning the head for a prolonged period can result in headaches and pain in the shoulder and upper arms. Sleeping with the arm elevated overhead will lead to pain in the upper arm and along the shoulder blade.
The best treatment for pain caused by sleeping on the stomach is to change your sleep position and get the affected muscles treated. A Nationally Certified Trigger Point Therapist is prepared to address your muscle pain and help you change your sleep position. Call Christine for an appointment at 228-8955 or visit www.triggerpointreleasetherapy.com.