Sleeping is a pain in the neck

Literally. I’m a tall guy with broad shoulders. At some point in my life I seem to have gotten into the habit of sleeping on my side. Occasionally, this seems to cause me to wake up with pain in my neck, shoulders, and upper back (usually in the shoulder blade area). It used to only happen occasionally, but now it seems like it’s getting more frequent. Sometimes, not even sleeping on my back helps.

Has anyone else had problems like this? What can I do to prevent it? If the answer is as simple as “sleep on your back”, how do you train yourself to not roll over in your sleep?

Grumpily and stiffly yours,

I’ve had the same problem on and off. I’ve found that it’s somewhat correlated to the age of my pillow. I bought a new firmer, thicker one, and it seemed to reduce the frequency of painful mornings.

Woah, you’re a guy? For some reason I always thought otherwise.

I have problems with neck, shoulder, and upper back pain, mostly stemming from when I broke my collarbone years ago and arthritis in my cervical vertebrae (the ones closest to the skull). I’ve tried every pillow in existence, with little change. Going to the chiropractor has helped temporarily, but I don’t have the kind of money to go as often as I’d like.

One thing that has consistently helped though, is sleeping on the floor. We don’t have concrete under our floors, which helps. We pile a couple of comforters on top of our flocati rug and make camp there when our backs are acting up (my boyfriend has similar issues). Also, I try to stay away from really soft, squishy pillows. If you find you need more neck support, a good trick is to roll up a small towel and place it inside your pillowcusion toward the bottom, so your head rests on the pillow and the towel supports your neck. It makes a huge difference.

Corollary question: Why do people on the SDMB always think I’m female?

Oh, and thanks for the answers, y’all! I’m definitely trying the towel trick!

Because names ending in “ca” are almost always female, and names ending in “a” usually are.

Because your name makes them think “Veronica”. It’s the same phenomenon that makes it possible to read the following paragraph:

It makes me think of a combination of vibrator and Veronica. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

OK, I can see the Veronica thing.

FTR, my username comes from a villian in a “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” cartoon.

And my neck still hurts.

Personally, I liked to think of you as a vibrator-wielding action hero. I suppose I still can, with a few key anatomical edits.

I have the same problem but dunno how to fix it. I have tried various pillows and sometimes a new firmer pillow helps for a while, but not for long.

I tried the towel trick last night, and I found it surprisingly comfortable. I still have some pain this morning, but I think it’s residual from yesterday. The only thing was that when I wanted to roll over and sleep on my back (I’m an athletic sleeper, apparently) I had to adjust the pillows. Perhaps I can learn to do that in sleep.

Hello, ladies!

Another trick I’ve read, to keep from sleeping on your back is to sew something like a tennis ball to the back of a shirt and wear that to sleep. A tennis ball sounds rather obtrusive (and I guess that’s the point), but you might be able to modify this idea in some way. Haven’t tried it yet myself though.