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Alcohol and Neck Pain: 3 Ways Drinking Can Be a Pain in the Neck!

In a previous article we discussed alcohol and back pain. In this article, we’re going to keep the focus on the neck. Some people find that they wake up with neck pain the morning after having a few drinks. Could they be related?

Let’s take a look at three ways drinking can be a literal “pain in the neck”.

1 – Alcohol Can Create a Stiff Neck Due to Dehydration

Alcohol can cause dehydration.  But how does this affect the neck?

alcohol and neck pain - are they related?In between each vertebrae of the spine is a disc. These discs act as cushions, absorbing impacts and reducing stress as the spine moves. However, discs are made up of a gelatinous material. Dehydration can cause these discs to tighten up, providing less cushion for the spine. When this occurs in the neck it can make your neck feel sore or stiff.

Re-hydrating is important after a night of drinking…and it may help resolve your neck pain too. Drink plenty of water the next morning, your body needs it.

2 – Drinking Can Affect Your Sleeping Position

Sleeping in a awkward position can cause you to wake up with a stiff neck. If you drank too much the night before and fell asleep in an odd location or with your neck in an awkward position this could certainly cause you to wake up with neck pain.

3 – Long Term Drinking and Alcohol Myopathy

If you’re more than just a casual drinker you should be aware of the significant way that alcohol can affect your body. Individuals who have a history of prolonged and excessive alcohol use can have damage to their liver, be malnourished and be at risk for developing alcohol myopathy.

Alcohol Myopathy is a serious condition in which the individual can have reduced muscle mass. This can result in muscle weakness, twitching and pain.  As your muscles weaken your spine plays a bigger role in supporting your weight. The additional strain on your cervical spine (in supporting the weight of your head) can result in neck pain.

So, Is Your Sore Neck Related to Drinking?

Alcohol and neck pain can be related. If you have a sore neck after a night out drinking, rehydrating and some light neck stretches may help with your pain. If you use alcohol excessively and experience pain in your neck (or other areas of your body) you may want to discuss your condition with a doctor.



*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery