I woke up today and my shoulders and neck are so tight, I have pain radiating through my neck, upper back, shoulder and down my arm. I have very limited range of motion. It is sharp and some of the most relentless pain I've had with this yet. What the heck is going on? !
I have severe osteoarthritis in the neck and have much of the same symptoms. This gives me excrutiating headaches. I have tried all kinds of pillows and even bought an electronic bed. The best thing I found for some release is to put a swimming noodle cut to about 16 inches behind my neck when laying down - really helps and it only costs about $1.99! Give it a try. Try different sizes - I had an 11 inch diameter one but maybe a smaller one may be better. Try both and see which one helps you most. I bought something called a cranial cradle for $80.00 and the noodle works way better.
the airplane pillow may be too soft - you need something to press harder on the back of the neck just at the spot the head joins the neck - there are two hard round spots that should be pressed right underneath - helps me for a little while anyway
I used a tens unit for years to message my muscles and eliminate pain messages to get to my brain. I go to a bone and joint clinic and got it thru them.
I just had something very similar happen. I have a muscle that gets inflamed from time to time; when it is inflamed, it usually puts pressure on a nerve which causes symptoms like what you describe. I woke up Monday and when I turned to get out of bed I pulled that muscle. Was very painful and I ended up seeing my doctor that day because it hurt so much.
My doctor described it as like a knot in your muscle, but an entire area of muscle. This not only had a dull pain in the muscle, but it also pinched the nerve a lot more and caused sharp pains when moving. I ended up getting a steroid shot and prescriptions for steroids, muscle relaxers, and Flector patches. I think the medicine helped a good amount because the next day it was still noticeable but a lot better in terms of discomfort.
I found this item to be useful. At $7.99 plus shipping from Amazon it has saved me. Severe headaches are drastically reduced. I hope I am not breaking any board rules. I do not profit from this, only trying to help