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​If you haven’t woken up with a stiff and painful neck yet, consider yourself one of the lucky few. Most people have (or will) experience neck pain in some form. Our lifestyles today have set us up for this. Even if you are not sitting hunched over your laptop all day, you are spending a lot of time looking down at your phone, straining and stretching your neck. Waking up with a stiff neck is all but inevitable but is there anything you can do to prevent it that doesn’t involve throwing your phone away? One quick fix that will ease the pain is to invest in a memory foam pillow, Elite Rest have a great one. But there is a little more you can do as well and we are going to discuss them in a little more detail below.

What Causes a Stiff Neck?

Before we look at what causes a stiff neck it is important to understand what exactly a stiff neck is. Generally a stiff neck is characterized by soreness and difficulty moving the neck from side to side. Headaches, shoulder pain and even arm pain can also be associated with a stiff neck.

Causes of a Stiff Neck

One of the most common causes of a stiff neck is muscle strain or soft tissue sprain. The levator scapulae muscle is the muscle that is the most susceptible to injury. It is located at the back and side of the neck and connects the neck’s cervical spine with the shoulder.

The following may cause strain to this muscle and result in a stiff neck.  

  • Sleeping with your neck at an awkward angle.
  • Falling.
  • A sudden impact that pushes the head to the side.
  • Repeatedly turning your head from side to side during activities like swimming.
  • Poor posture while sitting at your computer.
  • Excessive stress or anxiety.

Uncommon causes of stiff neck

Generally it is easy to pinpoint why you are suffering from a stiff neck but there are also a few uncommon causes of stiff neck.

  • Cervical herniated disc
  • Cervical degenerative disc disease
  • Cervical osteoarthritis.

How to Treat a Stiff Neck?

These are a few home remedies you can try to alleviate the pain associated with a stiff neck. If your stiff neck intensifies or does not ease then it is best to seek medical help.

  • Apply ice or heat. If you know what causes the strain in your neck, applying ice immediately afterwards could help to reduce the swelling. Heat therapies help to loosen and relax the neck muscles which can ease pain and help to improve the range of motion in your neck.
  • Gentle stretching can help to loosen your muscles and will offer some pain relief. You might find it hard to stretch your neck in the beginning, that is normal but the goal is to slowly increase the range as your neck becomes less stiff.
  • Gently massage your neck will also help to stretch and loosen the ligaments and muscles.
  • Improve posture. If you know what activity is causing the stiff neck, work on improving it. If you improve your posture or the way you are doing something, it will help to prevent your neck pain.

The Best Pillows  for a Stiff Neck

puredown Goose Down Pillow:

A stiff neck may be inevitable with everyone spending their days looking down at their phones but you do not need to suffer in silence.

Let the luxury and comfort of this feather pillow soothe your stiff neck. When you rest your head on this indulgent pillow it will feel like you are sleeping on top of the clouds and you will drift away into dreamland, safe in the knowledge your neck is supported while you sleep. Ideal for side sleepers, this pillow offers the best in terms of comfort, support and luxury, you can rest assured your neck is supported.

A stiff neck may be inevitable with everyone spending their days looking down at their phones but you do not need to suffer in silence.

Finally a pillow designed to make sleeping more comfortable for stomach sleepers. While this is not the best position to sleep in, for some it is what they find most comfortable. Stomach sleepers are prone to neck pain because their necks can easily be pushed back, placing strain on their muscles. It is for this reason that back sleepers must not sleep on a pillow that is too high. Elite Rest have a slim sleeper that is super thin, ensuring that stomach sleepers have the support that they need without their neck being pushed too far back.

A stiff neck may be inevitable with everyone spending their days looking down at their phones but you do not need to suffer in silence.

Let the power of water ease and soothe your neck pain. Water might not seem like an obvious fill material but this cervical pillow has been clinically proven to reduce neck pain. One of the advantages of this orthopedic pillow is that it is an adjustable pillow, you can add and remove water as you need to and this means that you can adjust the pillow to suit your specific set of needs. This also means that this pillow is suitable for every sleep position and will help with both neck and shoulder pain.

A stiff neck may be inevitable with everyone spending their days looking down at their phones but you do not need to suffer in silence.

You are in control with this adjustable pillow. Back and side sleepers love this pillow because they are able to add or remove memory foam until they have found the perfect height and comfort level. Tossing and turning is a thing of the past with this pillow. As soon as you lay your head on this soft, luxurious pillow your body will relax and you will fall asleep. The added benefit of this pillow is that it is a cooling pillow, so you will not have to worry about overheating while you sleep.

A stiff neck might be inevitable but that does not mean you have to suffer in silence or for extended periods of time. There are a few easy changes you can make to your lifestyle that can help to ease the pain associated with a stiff neck. One of these is making sure you are sleeping on the right kind of pillow. A memory foam pillow, think Elite Rest Contour Memory Foam Pillow, can make all the difference.