When it comes to alcohol, it's obviously not great for your body to overdo it, but if you've ever found yourself in that situation, you probably already know that the morning after drinking has the potential to bring some major pain. Whether it's a raging headache or stiffness in a specific body part, day-after pain can make it hard for you to go through your regular routine. If you're wondering why your neck hurts after drinking, experts have some answers and a few suggestions for handling the pain as quickly as possible.
In an email interview with Elite Daily, physical therapist Matt Huey explains that the reason behind why your neck feels so sore might be something as simple as dehydration. "You can feel sore the next day due to mild dehydration from the alcohol," he says. "Taking that water from the connective tissue makes it harder to move. The neck can be sore from the dehydration, and the discs are not able to move as well."
If you had an extra glass of wine last night and are really feeling the effects on your neck the next day, be sure to give your body plenty of rest, suggests Huey. "First thing in the morning, you want to avoid extreme ranges of motion due to the disc being a little more stiff and put under greater pressure," he tells Elite Daily. You might feel tempted to do a lot of stretching to try to pull out any kinks, but according to Huey, this might just make things worse, so try your best to simply relax until the discomfort subsides.
But there could be another culprit to blame for your neck pain, says Dr. Alice Holland, director of Stride Strong Physical Therapy. "The drinker might fall asleep in a less-than-ideal position (on their belly with head rotated), and this would cause neck tightness and soreness after waking. Oftentimes we would describe this as 'waking up with a crick in your neck,'" she tells Elite Daily in an email. "Perhaps in the drinker's scenario, where they fall asleep in an uncomfortable position, they may not move very much in their drunken passed-out state."
Luckily, Dr. Holland's suggestions for recovering sound like great self-care rituals. "The best way to soothe the neck soreness is via moist heat," she explains. "Spending some extra time under a hot shower, hot tub, or using a hot moist pack directly on the neck would reduce tension."
Once you're nice and relaxed, start to replenish all of the liquids that your body lost overnight so that you won't stay dehydrated, Huey suggests. "Drinking fluids and getting in electrolytes to bring your hydration up will help," he tells Elite Daily. If downing a lot of water is hard for you to do, be sure you're fully hydrated by filling up on water-rich foods like butternut squash and cucumbers.
Once your muscles have had some time to chill, that's when you can start to stretch out your tight muscles, Huey explains. "The best move is called a cervical retraction or chin tuck," he says. "Sitting upright, you bring your chin and head straight back (like a double chin). Repeat several sets of 10 through the day." You can also try out some soothing yoga poses that specifically target neck pain for even more relief.
Whatever works to help you start feeling 100 percent again, take care of yourself with a hot bubble bath or a relaxing yoga session.