Are you sleeping on a bed of nails?
The only thing worse than low back pain, is trying
to fall asleep with low back pain.
Unfortunately, the lack of rest caused by nighttime
back pain symptoms increases your body’s release
of stress hormones and decreased pain tolerance.
This results in a vicious pain cycle and frequently
requires an increase in use of pain medication.
The sleep foundation found that sleep quality and
duration are strong indicators of overall health and
quality of life. So, with or without back pain, let’s
discuss how to get a good night sleep with position
and good bedtime habits.
The rule for sleep positioning rests on the alignment
of your spine and surrounding muscles. Therefore,
no stomach sleeping or curling up in the fetal position
as these increase torque and tension on neck and
back muscles. This increases arthritic pain and
irritates spinal nerves due to misalignment.
If you are a side sleeper, put a pillow between your
knees to prevent lower spine rotation. On your back,
put a pillow under your knees to maintain the normal
curvature of your lower back. Sleeping on your back
is the best position to prevent neck and back pain.
Also, use only one pillow that supports your neck in a
neutral position. In any position, use a firm mattress
that provides adequate support.
In addition to positioning, there are bedtime habits that
will help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and
wake up pain free.
1. Take a hot shower or bath to relax muscles. 2. Foam roll over trigger points and muscle knots. 3. Do five minutes of mediation or deep breathing. 4. Replace evening coffee or alcohol with chamomile tea. 5. Get in the habit of sleeping in an aligned position.
If back pain continues to keep you up at night, don’t just
hope that tomorrow night will be better. Pain medication
and sleep aides may help temporarily, but you are not
solving the problem.
Seek the advice of a musculoskeletal specialist. Manual
therapy, scar tissue management, stretching, strengthening,
and postural training can relieve your pain, allowing you to
sleep at night and better perform during the day.
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