That’s typically a sign that you have mechanical issues and likely have misalignments in your neck and or upper back.
Dr. Josh Cohen
How I would treat this is through myofascial release, active release technique, and chiropractic manipulation. You need to loosen the muscles up by stretching, hot shower, nutrition, Heat/ice, or traction.
In your case it very well could be a pinched nerve or subluxation of one or more of the vertibrae in your neck. It sounds like a chiropractic problem that could be fixed with proper cervical adjustments.
That could actually be a number of things. I would suggest you contact your primary care physician regarding this concern as soon as possible. If you have high blood pressure, I’d suggest going in immediately.
Dr. Caitlin Zietz, B.Sc., D.C.
This could be from several reasons, and you should be checked by a chiropractor to see what exactly is going on. Since it happens when you lay down, I would check your pillow as a possible aggravating factor. Your pillow should support your neck, but let your head fall back a little. I like "My Pillow," but make sure you get the correct size. We even sell them in our office.
Normally, this should not happen. There is probably misalignment of the vertebrae pinching or irritating nerves, or there could be degenerative changes like disc narrowing or arthritis. These things get worse if they aren't taken care of, even if changing the pillow helps, so an appointment is a really good idea.
Dr. Steven Moon, Concord Chiropractic, Inc.