Sleeping With Back Pain

Do you suffer from lower back pain? You’re not alone. Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability across the world. One aspect of taking care of your spine is learning how to sleep properly. However, sleeping can be hard when your back aches. Tossing and turning with a hurt back doesn’t make for a good night sleep. Here are some tips for sleeping with lower back pain.

Sleep Positions

One of the most common causes of lower back pain is a pulled back muscle. This occurs when your lower back is strained or torn from being over-stretched. Symptoms typically go away within a few days but the pain can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. No single sleeping position works for everyone, but a good place to start is to sleep on your side. When sleeping on your side, avoid a tight, fetal position and, instead, sleep with your body slightly elongated. You can also try to slip a pillow between your knees to support the curvature of your spine. The same pillow can be placed underneath your knees if you sleep on your back. This action flattens your back, removing a large arch from your lower back region.
In general, you could benefit from wearing a disposable heat wrap. These wraps deliver muscle-relaxing, low-level heat over several hours. They may be the key to helping you fall asleep faster and staying asleep longer.

Before Going To Sleep

There are a few ways to prepare yourself for bed. Again, using heat can help your muscles relax, which relieves lower back pain. Try taking a short, warm shower or bath before you get into bed. A hot water bottle or heating pad will also work, but don’t use them while sleeping! Use heat for about 15 to 20 minutes before going to sleep.
When in bed, you have fewer distractions from your back pain. The day’s stimuli are gone and you are left focusing on the pain. The more you focus on your back, the harder it will be to go to sleep. Try listening to various types of soothing audio to relieve your anxiety and experience of back pain by redirecting your focus. Classical music, audiobooks, and podcasts are great places to start.

Mattress Options

How old is your mattress? If it is over eight years old, it may be time for an upgrade. The materials in mattresses break down over time and become less supportive for your back and body. It is important to not neglect your mattress because a sagging mattress can exacerbate lower back pain. Sagging mattresses place additional stress and strain on your spinal structures. There is no one type of mattress that is “best” for people with back pain. Some people may prefer firm mattresses, while others prefer soft, so test a few out and discover what is best for you. Overall, your mattress needs to support the natural curvature of your spine. This means your spine should look the same if you are lying on your back or side as when you are standing with good posture. In general, after 15 minutes on a mattress, you will have a good idea if it is a good fit for you. However, you should still choose a mattress with a satisfaction guarantee and a return policy.If your back pain does not improve after several weeks of sleeping on the mattress, you may wish to return it.

If you’re suffering from chronic back pain or neck pain, you are not alone. Many that suffer from this type of pain believe that they simply have to learn to live with it. For over 25 years our caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable staff has been treating patients with neck and back pain. Our goal is to restore your mobility and get you back to your normal life. Contact Dr. Capicotto to set up a consultation.