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Back pain can make sleeping through the night extremely difficult, and waking up feeling achy and sore is the last thing you want to deal with in the morning. It doesn’t have to be this way! There are several steps you can take to minimize your back pain. Achieve pain-free sleep and wake up feeling refreshed with these tips and tricks:
If you experience chronic back pain, you know how difficult it can be to sleep comfortably through the night. It’s important, however, to make sure you’re sleeping in the right position — not just whatever position seems to alleviate the pain best.
Certain sleeping positions can put pressure on your spine throughout the night. Often times, you won’t notice the pressure until you wake up with even worse back pain in the morning. The most common mistake people make is sleeping on the stomach, says Dr. Santhosh Thomas, a spine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.
“Sleeping on your stomach can flatten the natural curve of your spine, putting some additional strain on your back muscles,” says Dr. Thomas. If you do typically sleep on your stomach, try putting a pillow under your pelvis to help maintain the natural curve of your spine throughout the night.
Here are some other sleep positions that can help reduce back pain:
Back pain in the morning can be intensified by the way we get out of bed. “The greatest incidence of slipped discs occurs within 30 to 60 minutes after we wake up. That’s because we get out of bed and immediately hit the ground running, “ says Dr. Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute.
Most people sit up and immediately stand, generally using their back muscles to hoist themselves upright. This type of strain can lead to increased muscle tension and even slipped discs.
The best way to get out of bed in the morning is to lie on your side, push into a sitting position using your arm and then stand up using your leg muscles rather than your back muscles.
While you sleep, your muscles are paralyzed, which can cause morning tension (especially if you tend to sleep in a less-than-ideal position). Try some of these quick stretches after waking in the morning to reduce pain:
It’s a good idea to incorporate stretching into your nighttime routine as well to ensure your back muscles are relaxed and ready for sleep.
One of the leading causes of back pain is poor posture. Most people sit at a desk for eight or more hours a day, hunched over a computer. This places stress on your spine that can lead to problems with your muscles, discs and joints.
Here are some characteristics of back pain caused by poor posture:
Keep track of when pain begins or intensifies. If your back pain coincides with starting a new job, sitting in a new office chair or driving a new car, it’s likely due to poor posture.
Maintaining good posture can help you avoid unnecessary strain on your back. Follow these tips to help improve your posture:
Look straight ahead to keep your head balanced above your spine. This will help you avoid stress on your neck. You should also engage your core to keep your spine aligned and your shoulders straight.
Avoid hunching your shoulders, a common mistake many office workers make. Here’s how you can maintain good posture while working:
Back pain can lead to a restless night of tossing and turning. Sleeping with a bad back may seem impossible, but sleep deprivation can actually make the problem worse. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body is unable to properly restore itself, which can worsen the pain you’re already experiencing.It can become a vicious cycle.
Read more: How Much Deep Sleep is Optimal?
Even if you’re not currently experiencing back pain, it’s important to know how poor sleep can lead to pain later down the line. “Sleep deprivation is known to affect mood and functional ability and negatively impacts perception of pain,” says Dr. Santhosh Thomas.
To get a great night’s sleep, you need an environment designed to reduce your pain. The right mattress and pillows can make a world of difference when it comes to nighttime pain management.
Many pillows don’t provide enough neck support, which can lead to neck and back soreness in the morning. If you experience pain even when sleeping in the proper position, you might benefit from using a cervical pillow, which is specifically designed to support the neck. Cervical pillows also make stomach sleeping difficult, which prevents you from rolling into a poor sleeping position during the night.
Lastly, it’s very important that you’re sleeping on a quality mattress. What is the best mattress for back pain? Some people have claimed that sleeping on a medium-firm mattress can reduce back pain, but the truth is that every person is different. Your mattress should be tailored to fit your body.
Mattress Warehouse uses bedMatch technology to identify the perfect mattress for you. Stop living with back pain and start getting the best night’s sleep possible. Visit your local Mattress Warehouse today to get fit for a new bed using bedMatch.
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