Last updated on March 2nd, 2017
Dr. Chris Mabry of Ability Chiropractic talks us through 5 ways to alleviate upper and lower back pain while sleeping
You lose more and more sleep with the discomfort, and this, in turn, makes the body more sensitive to pain. It’s a violent cycle!
When you suffer from constant back pain, everyday activities seem much harder. Such pain is very common, but if you follow these certain tips, you will be off to enjoying life with no discomfort once again!
1) Choose the correct sleeping position
One way to alleviate back pain while sleeping is by making sure you are in a proper position. Yes, there are right and wrong ways to sleep! And, most of us do sleep the wrong way, on our stomachs.
I have many patients complaining about lower back pain and a majority of it can be attributed to the way you sleep. Stomach sleeping causes excessive strain on the muscles of the neck and also the lower back because you are forced to turn your head to one side. The lower back has a natural curve that is pushed in the wrong direction when in this position.
A better sleeping posture is on your side. This posture relieves any lower back or hip discomfort that could be caused by daily activities. I suggest placing a pillow in between the knees while sleeping to subside such pain. Also, another great position is on the back, in which discomfort is alleviated by using a cervical pillow, so the natural curve of the spine is induced.
2) Use a pillow that fits you
Back pain can also be attributed to the certain pillow that you use. Tri-Core pillows have two different sizes for different necks, so that it can support the curve of the neck while your head rests about to the height of the bed.
The pillow also allows for you to turn it to the side. You can then sleep on your side without having to buy a different pillow specifically for any such position. Placing the pillow under your knees can also cut that pressure in half by elevating your legs.
3) Sleep on a supportive mattress
Your mattress can also be the secret to alleviating your back pain. I typically recommends a firmer bed. A Tempur-Pedic mattress or a similar product is preferred.
Two mattresses that will help alleviate back pain are the Casper mattress, which you can buy online, and the Tuft & Needle mattress. Both firm products offer a 100-night sleep trial where you can sleep on the mattress for up to 100 days to determine if it is the right product for you. I say just try to find the most comfortable mattress that is right for you and that alleviates your discomfort.
4) Try some light exercises before sleeping
Even trying some light exercises before sleeping may help your back pain decrease. Try some soothing exercises in your bedroom to get your mind ready to sleep and ease your body into a resting position. Relaxation techniques will take your mind off from focusing on the pain, so you are not constantly worrying during the night when you are trying to sleep. Ask your health provider or chiropractor about some helpful exercises that can take away the misery.
5) Temperature therapy
Another way to alleviate back pain through sleep is by using some temperature therapy. When your back is in pain, the surrounding muscles become irritated and inflamed.
The muscles swell and place pressure on the neighboring ones. Using temperature packs can reduce the pain and spur the healing process. When using a cold pack, the cold application can reduce inflammation and slows down the nerve impulses to stop the nerves from firing. It simply acts as a local anesthetic.
Heat, on the other hand, stimulates the blood flow too and brings nutrients to the affected area to heal it. Also, it inhibits the pain messages to be sent to the brain. The best technique is to go back and forth between the two temperatures by placing a hot or cold pack right to the lower back.
Lower back pain is a very common issue to suffer from; however, the vicious cycle can be stopped! By changing sleeping positions, fixing your pillow and mattress foundations, fitting in some soothing exercises and using temperature therapy, such discomfort can become a thing of the past. Stop the tossing and turning and begin living life again with no back pain!
About the author
Dr. Chris Mabry, owner of Ability Chiropractic, is a graduate of The Ohio State University and earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life University in Marietta, Georgia.