Video Transcript

Remedies for a Stiff Neck After Sleeping

We’ve all been there. You go to sleep feeling fine, then wake up with a painful, stiff neck.

Some common ways for this to happen include:

  • Sleeping at an awkward angle.
  • Sudden movements.
  • Delayed reactions to an injury from the previous day.

Here are some tips to start getting relief:

  • Apply ice to help reduce swelling.
  • Try heat therapy such as taking a warm shower or using a heating pad to loosen and relax muscles.
  • Consider an over the counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen, which may offer some relief.
  • Try gentle neck stretches or massages, which may loosen the neck’s soft tissues for improved function. If any movement increases the pain, stop it and try a different movement.

After being awake for a while and trying some of these remedies, see how your neck responds. If turning your head or other movements still cause pain, go easy. Modify your activities during the day to give your neck a chance to rest and heal.

If a stiff neck is accompanied by a severe headache, fever, arm tingling or weakness, or other troubling symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.