Don’t Let Lower Back Pain Affect Your Sleep
by AZ Pain Doctors, on Oct 14, 2019 9:15:21 AM
Lower back pain is even more frustrating at night when you’re trying to sleep than it is during the day. There’s nothing worse than coming home tired after a long day of aches and pains and realizing that you can’t even sleep to regain your energy. Your usual sleep position is only exacerbating your problem. Will it ever be possible for you to ever get some decent rest despite living with chronic pain in Phoenix? Of course, it is.
Poor sleeping posture can make existing lower back pain too much to bear. It may even be the root cause of your back pain: some sleeping positions can put pressure on certain parts of your body (ie your neck, back, and hips). Sleeping on your back is the most sure-fire way to ensure that your spine is properly aligned when you sleep. However, we all have our favorite sleeping positions, and sleeping face-up isn’t for everyone. Here are a few modified sleeping positions that will help realign your body to reduce your back pain while trying to fall asleep.
On Your Side With a Pillow Between Your Knees
Sleeping on your side is a very popular position, but can really strain your lower back. All you have to do to correct this is to get a pillow and place it between your knees. This will raise your upper leg and restore the alignment of the hips and spine. If you have another pillow to spare, it helps to place one under the gap between your waist and the mattress for extra support.
On Your Back
This has long been considered to be the best position for sleeping and waking up without back problems. Sleeping on your back, face-up, means that your body weight is evenly distributed along the bed —unlike sleeping on your side, where your hips, shoulders, and head create substantial pressure points that localize your body weight. In this position, it’s best to use a pillow to support your head, and a smaller pillow to go under your knees.
If you have a herniated disk, this position may be helpful for you. When you lie curled up in a ball, your spine opens up, aiding with herniation. There are no special pillow placements for this position. Just tuck and roll over.
On Your Front
This is the worst possible way to sleep at night. Sleeping on your front is the ultimate way to misalign your body. There’s a good chance that if you sleep like this, you’ll wake up with neck pain in Phoenix AZ. However, people who have degenerative disc disease may actually benefit from this position, as it can relieve pressure on the spaces between their discs.
If it can’t be helped and you simply love this position too much to stop, there’s still a way you can make this position better. Place a slim pillow underneath your abdomen and hips to raise your midsection higher to where your neck would be. To keep your neck leveled with your torso, it’s best to sleep without a pillow for your head. If that doesn’t work for you, a very flat pillow works too.
In a Reclined Position
This is a great position for anyone suffering from lower back pain in Phoenix. Sleeping in a recliner or an adjustable bed is a great way to accommodate the needs of someone with Isthmic spondylolisthesis. This is a condition in which a vertebra slips over the one below it. This is usually due to a defect, or a fracture from spinal stress. This is fairly common in young athletes like powerlifters, who put immense stress on their bodies. If you don’t have a recliner or an adjustable bed, sitting up in a standard bed works fine too — just be sure to use a good number of firm pillows to help fill the space between your lower back and your headboard.
Don’t Rest Too Much
Getting a good night's rest is an extremely essential step in having a productive next day. But don’t go overboard just because one of these sleep methods worked to sleep through your back pain. It’s a common misconception that lots of rest will make a speedy back recovery. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re in pain, the best road to recovery is to stay as active as you can without straining yourself. The sooner you start trying to walk, the faster your symptoms will improve.
Staying in bed in an attempt to recover will actually increase your painful symptoms. The lack of movement in the key muscles you actually need to stretch will render them stiff, limiting your movement even further. Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t take a day off of work if your back pain is affecting you seriously. On that day off, try to go for a walk around your neighborhood, and do some stretches to loosen your problem area. If you need some extra help, an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like Advil or Motrin should help give some pain relief. Temperature packs are also good tools to use. Use a hot pack to loosen your muscles for more ease-of-motion, and a cool pack during your downtime to help reduce any swelling.
Get Help From a Professional
If your pain is unbearable and continuous for more than 48 hours, contact a health practitioner for professional pain management here in Phoenix. If after weeks your pain has become chronic and is keeping you up no matter what sleep position you take, book an appointment with an expert at a pain clinic in Phoenix.