How Do Sleeping Positions Affect Lower Back Pain
Another link between sleep and lower back pain is tied to how sleeping position affects spinal alignment. Although posture is typically associated with sitting and standing, its also critical when lying down.
A sleeping position that involves twisting, contorting, or otherwise putting pressure on the lumbar spine can cause pain and stiffness. This pain is often worse in the morning but may persist throughout the day.
Do Be Mindful Of How You Get In And Out Of Bed
Jerking yourself out of bed quickly or getting in too fast can exacerbate lower back pain, so make sure youre careful about doing each:
When getting into bed, first sit down near the place where you want to sleep. Then, using your hands as support, bend your knees and slowly lie down on your side. Take care to keep your torso straight.
When getting out of bed, you basically want to do the opposite. Roll onto your side first towards the edge of the bed, bend your knees, then use your arms to help push yourself up and swing your legs over the side. This will help you keep from bending at your waist, which can engage your back.
What Causes Lower Back Pain Getting Out Of Bed In The Morning
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Sleep On Your Side To Relieve Pain From A Pulled Back Muscle
One of the most common causes of lower back pain is a pulled back muscle, which occurs when a muscle in your lower back is strained or torn as a result of being over-stretched. Symptoms from a pulled back muscle typically resolve within a few days, but the intense pain can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. Worse yet, the longer you lie in the bed, the more deconditioned your body gets and the worse your symptoms may become.
No single sleeping position works for every person with a pulled back muscle, but a good place to start is to test sleeping on your side. When sleeping on your side, try the following:
- Avoid a tight curled-up fetal position , and instead sleep with your body slightly elongated.
- Slip a slim pillow between your knees to support the natural curvature of your spine.
- Find a head pillow that holds your head midway between each shoulder. If your pillow is too thin or too thick it can bend your neck at an uncomfortable angle.
You may also benefit from wearing a disposable heat wrap to bed to help alleviate the pain from a pulled back muscle. These wraps deliver muscle-relaxing, low-level heat over the course of several hoursand so they may help you both fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Can Your Mattress Cause Lower Back Pain
Because it is a principal means of supporting the body during sleep, a mattress can play an important role in preventing or reducing lower back pain.
Proper spinal alignment demands a mattress that is in good condition and doesnt sag excessively. Research supports using a medium-firm mattress to combat lower back pain, although the most appropriate firmness can vary based on a persons weight, body shape, sleeping position, and individual comfort preferences.
Also Check: How To Know If Your Bed Is Causing Back Pain
Things You Should Know About Sleep And Low Back Pain
It’s hard to sleep with any kind of pain. But in particular can make it very difficult to get a good night’s rest. That’s because your back is more sensitive to your positioning than other parts of the body, says HSS spine specialist .
“During the day, people are able to move around and reposition in ways that can help relieve back pain,” he explains. “At night, it’s hard to keep repositioning while also getting the restful sleep you need.”
But just because back pain is getting in the way of your slumber doesn’t mean you need to take it lying down. Dr. Griffin offers up five things to know that could help you get a more restorative night’s sleep, free from low back pain.
The Scariest Type Of Morning Back Pain: Inflammatory Back Pain
The closest thing to back pain that is truly prominent in the morning is inflammatory back pain , or spondyloarthritis.3 Although IBP is well known to medical science, it often eludes diagnosis, its biology is mysterious, and morning symptoms specifically are a stumper, as unexplained as joints that ache before a storm. Its just something IBP does.
But dont panic! Although studies have confirmed that morning is a common time for inflammatory back pain to flare up, they have also shown that the connection is not strong or exclusive.4 In fact, most morning stiffness and pain is not pathologically inflammatory. Its just that IBP is the only official morning back pain culprit.
The pain of IBP tends to be quite severe. If its not actually waking you up, its probably not IBP, or its a minor case.
When should you consider the possibility of IBP? Basically if your morning back is particularly bad: nasty and very consistent morning symptoms. The diagnosis is also more likely if you have other signs of this kind of back pain. Heres a good inflammatory back pain quiz, and heres my own quick checklist of reasons to ask your doctor about spondyloarthritis:5
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How Does Your Lower Back Feel Now
Did you give these three exercises a try? How did you go?
Wed love to hear your feedback on how these exercises went for you.
If you found these exercises helpful, but would like a little more tailored advice on how to improve your condition, our Osteopaths can help.
Why not give us a call on 9372 7714 during business hours, or book online anytime and start your treatment program now?
Dont forget to share this post with anyone who you think could use a little help with their lower back!
Do You Have Lower Back Pain In The Morning
Some people find that their back pain is worse in the morning, while others have more pain at the end of a long workday. Its important to pay attention to the times when your pain spikes because it could be an indication of the cause of your pain.
Its estimated that about 65 million people in the United States have experienced recent back pain, with about 16 million people having chronic back pain problems. When this pain persists, it can disrupt all aspects of daily living, making it hard to keep up with your responsibilities at home and work.
Not only does back pain make it difficult to get through the day, but this health concern can also be expensive. Direct costs include doctors visits, therapy appointments, pain medication, massage, and other services to reduce or eliminate the pain. Indirect costs of chronic back pain include missed work or lost opportunities because you arent feeling up to the job.
Even though back pain is a common complaint, you dont have to suffer from this discomfort indefinitely. Modern medical treatments might be used to help you manage the pain, so you can return to a normal, healthy lifestyle once again.
Every situation is unique, so the treatment outcomes vary. The most important step is to identify the root cause of your back pain. Then, a customized treatment plan can be designed to alleviate your discomfort.
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The 6 Big Causes Of Morning Back Pain
Find The Right Position
Certain sleeping positions can help ease your back pain, so find one that is most comfortable for you. Try sleeping with a pillow between or underneath your legs for extra support.
If you sleep on your side, put the pillow between your knees and draw them up slightly toward your chest. If you like to sleep on your back, try the pillow under your knees, or roll up a small towel and place it under the small of your back.
Avoid sleeping on your stomach because it puts a lot of strain on your back. If itâs the only position you can fall asleep in, put a pillow under your stomach to take some of the pressure off your back. Or, to break the habit, wear a sleep shirt with a pocket in front and put a tennis ball in it.
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Tip #: Check Your Bed Set
Next, make sure youre equipped with the proper sleeping supplies. For example, its difficult to find a pillow that properly supports your neck. Most feather pillows dont provide adequate neck support, which can cause neck soreness even if you are sleeping in the recommended side and back positions.
If you find yourself awaking with neck pain or headaches despite sleeping on your back or side, it is likely that you need a cervical pillow. A cervical pillow is specifically designed to support the natural curves of your neck while you sleep and places your neck in its desired, natural position. Cervical pillows are designed for side and back sleepers, but make it difficult to sleep on your stomach, which is an added perk to using it.
It is also important to make sure youre using the correct mattress. There is a link between the type of mattress people use and associated back pain. People who use a medium-firm mattress have less back pain compared to people who use mattresses classified as too firm or too soft.
In addition, research indicates that you should purchase a new mattress every 10 years if you want to ensure your mattress isnt the cause of your back pain. Mattresses that are 10 years old and beyond are shown to be a possible cause of back pain while you sleep.
Prerequesites For Sleeping Well With An Herniated Or Bulging Disc
Me, I sleep on a high quality latex mattress and I use a large latex pillow. You can sleep on another type of mattress, but it must be fairly firm in order to provide sufficient support.
PS: Its not me on the picture, its Walt: maybe youve seen him in other articles or videos on this blog. Wakt is affected with degenerative disc disease, double herniated disc and of course chronic back pain.
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Get Exercise Throughout The Day
Regular exercise throughout the day is key to alleviating back pain. Walking is among the best exercises, and you should aim for at least 10,000 steps per day. However, anything that gets you moving and on your feet can help keep your back strong.
Also, if you have an office job that involves sitting, its important to take frequent breaks. Stand up at least once every 30 minutes and stretch. Standing desks can also help keep the pressure off your back during the day at work so you wont suffer the consequences the next morning.
The Solution Is In Correcting The Muscle Imbalances
Many people immediately react in disbelief because they believe that they have tried this method without success. However, due to the complexity and layers of imbalances, it is not possible to correct them as easily as one would want. Quick fixes do not work. You cannot fix this problem with a few quick stretches or movements and break the cycle. This approach has failed too many people.
It is very hard to accept, but many specific movements and stretches are needed to return this balance. They must be performed in a specific order, number of repetitions and length of time in order to be successful. This is about reconditioning the muscle and joint to it proper state and alignment.
Specific known culprits include the iliopsoas, iliacus, abdominals, rectus femoris, quadriceps, hamstrings, deep intrinsic muscles supporting the spine and more. They all must operate in a specific fashion and sequence to protect the spine and themselves from injury and harm. It is from the lack of adequate conditioning and use of these muscles. Any imbalances from these muscles lead to disc bulge, nerve impingement, back spasms, guarding, muscle strain, muscle fatigue, excessive pelvic tilt, hip & knee pain and more.
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The Basics Of Back Pain
From temporary, acute pain to debilitating chronic conditions, the term back pain can be quite broad. It can be attributed to many different causes and can vary in intensity, but the scope and effect of back pain can be quite significant when it strikes. Before we get into the specifics of sleep and pain, heres a look at where back pain comes from and how it can affect life for those who have it.
Choosing A Mattress That Can Help With Back Pain
With the right mattress, you can align your spine and relieve pressure points, which can alleviate or eliminate back pain. Thats why its important to choose a mattress that meets your needs for firmness, comfort, and support. When youre shopping for a bed that can relieve your back pain, consider these points:
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Walts Favorite Position For Sleeping With A Herniated Disc
As you can see form the picture above, for Walt, the best sleeping position with an herniated disc is: ALMOST on the stomach
When I first started having back problems, everybody would say its not good to sleep on your stomach: turns out, theres a couple of things that will help and maybe make sleeping on your stomach the best option for you.
So, lets break this down.
How To Get Out Of Bed
To get out of bed safely:
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Technically Ibp Causes Night Back Pain Not Morning Back Pain
The morning pain of IBP is actually a case of leftover nighttime symptoms, which wear off as you wake up and get moving. When the symptoms are milder, you will mostly sleep through them, noticing them only when you wake up. But these symptoms will usually be obvious while you are still in bed, as soon as you are conscious or even waking you up early.
In contrast, pain that you dont notice until you actually get up and start trying to move around is less likely to be inflammatory in nature. But these are rules of thumb only, of course theres always lots of exceptions in biology.
Doctors, do not actually try giving this advice to patients! Joke by 9GAG .
What Should I Look For In A Pillow For Lower Back Pain
In general, you want to opt for a pillow thats not too high or puffy, Dr. Womack says. You dont want anything that will prop your head up too much to where your neck is really bent, he says. Instead, he recommends trying to find a pillow that will help line up your head with your shoulders.
A pillow should be firm enough to support the weight of your body, but soft enough to be comfortable,” suggests Dr. Slabaugh, like one of these expert-recommended best pillows for back pain.
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Use A Pillow To Keep Your Spine In Alignment
Waking up with lower back pain often means your spine was rotated throughout the night. If you sleep on your side, try placing a pillow between your knees. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow behind the backs of your knees. And if you sleep on your stomach, try placing a pillow under your hips and lower abdomen and another thin pillow under your head.
The right pillow can go a long way in helping your back pain. But it can also help you reduce neck pain too, as long as you choose the right pillow.