Best Sleeping Positions When You Have Whiplash Pain


If you were recently in a car accident, then you might be struggling to find a way to get comfortable. An injury like whiplash can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep because of the pain and discomfort. The strong jostling to your head and neck during a car accident can cause your neck muscles to strain, leading to a whiplash injury. A stiff, sore neck and other painful symptoms can make it difficult to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. Here’s what you need to know if you have trouble sleeping after a car accident and the best sleeping positions to try when you have whiplash pain.

Trouble Sleeping After an Accident

The stress of a car accident can wreak havoc on your sleep even if you didn’t suffer an injury. When you add painful car accident injury symptoms to the stress and shock of such a traumatic event, you may experience trouble sleeping after a car accident. There are certain elements of your sleep routine that may need tweaking in order for you to get a good night’s sleep. Resting after a car accident is a key element of your recovery, so it is important to find ways to get comfortable enough to sleep. Reducing your pain and other symptoms can help you find the best sleeping position for you as you recover from whiplash.

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Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep with Whiplash

Here are some tips for a good night’s sleep when you are dealing with whiplash symptoms after a car accident.

Warm Compresses

Apply warm compresses to your neck and shoulders before settling in for the night. Warm compresses help relax and soothe aching muscles, helping prevent your neck from becoming stiff and sore. You can also try sleeping with a heating pad against your neck and shoulders to provide you with continued warmth and pressure as you try to sleep.

Neck Pillows

Certain neck pillows can also help provide support and stability to your head and neck as you recover from a whiplash injury. A neck pillow with a contoured shape will help you rest with your neck in a neutral position so there isn’t too much pressure on your spine.

Foam Rollers

Using a foam roller before bed can also help prevent stiffening neck muscles while you sleep. A foam roller can help release tension in your neck and upper back so that you are able to sleep more comfortably.

Best Sleeping Positions to Help with Whiplash Pain

Try these three sleeping positions to help when you have whiplash pain after a car accident.

Fetal Position

The fetal position can help stretch out your back and spine while you sleep, allowing for more space between each of the vertebrae. While resting your head on a supportive pillow in the fetal position, you can maintain a neutral spine and may experience some neck and back pain relief. Roll to your side and tuck your knees up close to your chest. Consider holding a pillow between your arms to keep your upper back and shoulders apart.

Reclined Position

You might find that you are able to get into the most comfortable position for a good night’s sleep in your recliner. Sleeping in a chair is not always advisable but can work temporarily if you are unable to sleep due to pain and discomfort from your injury. A reclined position offers you an angle that supports the legs, hips, and back along with your head and neck.

Neutral Spine Position

A neutral spine position while sleeping helps to take pressure off of your neck and upper back. If you are struggling with whiplash pain and can’t get comfortable, try lying on your back with a supportive pillow that maintains the natural curve of the spine in your neck. If you prefer to sleep on your side, then try placing a pillow between your knees to help maintain a neutral spine in your lower back as well.

Whiplash is a common accident injury in the neck and back. Visit The Accident Doctors to find a car accident doctor near you and get started on treatment for a whiplash injury. You can talk to your car accident doctor about your symptoms and learn more about pain management options to help you get a good night’s rest and support your healing and recovery process.