Do Find The Best Mattress And Pillows For Your Back
Much like sleeping positions, there is not one true type of mattress or pillow that will work for everyone with lower back pain. Some people have great results from a firmer mattress while others need something a little softer to alleviate pain. Research on firm versus soft mattresses is inconclusive, however, a middle-of-the road firmness seems to work best.
Now, we all know mattresses and high-quality pillows arent exactly cheap! So dont be afraid to experiment with different ones before making a purchase. The goal to to ensure theyll help alleviate your pain each night:
How long youve had your mattress? If its been over eight years, it might be time to do some mattress shopping. Although mattresses can last a while, their materials do break down over time and lose those qualities that help support a healthy sleep position.
Look for pillows that can support sleeping on the back and on the side . There are specialized pillows that are suitable for both positions. Remember that generally you need a thinner pillow when lying on the back, and thicker pillow when lying on the side.
Look for a foam or innerspring mattress. You can even double down and add a foam mattress topper onto your innerspring mattress.
Some manufacturers offer in-home trials for mattresses so you can try them out first.
How Can I Make My Back Stop Hurting In Bed
There are a few things you can do to help treat your back pain in bed.
First, you can consult with a physician.
They may use high-end procedures like X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, or EMGs to determine why youre experiencing back pain in bed.
However, not all back pain merits seeing a doctor.
Generally, youll want to make an appointment with your physician only if your back pain.
- Feels especially severe or radiates to other parts of your body.
- It quickly gets worse over time.
- It started with a specific injury.
- Is showing signs of infection like fever or swelling.
- It may be causing weakness, numbness, or tingling in your lower body.
If that doesnt sound like you, though, there are a few things you can do at home to help treat your back pain.
On The Front With A Pillow Under The Stomach
This is generally considered the least healthy sleeping position but for people who struggle to sleep any other way, placing a slim pillow beneath the stomach and hips can help improve spinal alignment.
Also, sleeping on the front may actually benefit anyone with a herniated disk or degenerative disk disease.
To get comfortable in this position:
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Lifestyle Factors That Prevent Back Pain
Aside from being conscious of how you sleep and where you sleep, there are a few daytime habits that can help reduce back pain as well. Much of the recommended habits for prevention go hand-in-hand with leading a generally healthy lifestyle. TheMayo ClinicVerified SourceMayo ClinicRanked #1 hospital by U.S. News & World Report and one of the most trusted medical institutions in the world. The staff is committed to integrated patient care, education, and research.View sourcesuggests the following for minimizing back pain risk:
Back pain is not a small or insignificant problem, but for many people the side effects and severity can be minimized with fairly simple changes to habits. Awareness of ideal sleep positions and the relationship between mattresses and backs are essential for keeping pain at bay during the night, and paying attention to posture and movements improves comfort throughout the day.
What do you find helps reduce back pain most for you? Do you notice differences between sleep positions?
About the author
Rosie Osmun regularly contributes to the Amerisleep blog writing about topics including, reducing back pain while sleeping, the best dinners for better sleep, and improving productivity to make the most of your mornings. She finds the science of sleep fascinating and loves researching and writing about beds. Rosie is also passionate about traveling, languages, and history.
Is Your Mattress Causing You Back Pain
There are a lot of different reasons that people experience back pain. Figuring out where your discomfort is coming from can be difficult, especially if you lead an active or challenging life. However, the mattress you go to sleep on at night can play a big part in how you feel in the morning. In other words, its important to find out whether your bed is to blame for your back soreness or not.
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The Best Sleep Positions For Back Pain Relief
If you suffer from back pain, you know that it can affect many parts of your life, including how well you sleep. Back pain that interferes with sleep can be caused by many conditions, including:
- Traumatic injury
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , one in three adults dont get enough sleep at night, regardless of whether they have back pain. The National Sleep Foundation has a National Sleep Awareness Week each year to bring attention to the importance of sleep for overall health. If one of the above spinal conditions is negatively affecting how much sleep you get, then you need to make sure your alignment is good while youre lying down. Try out some of these sleep positions for back pain to find relief.
Sleeping On Your Back
Sleeping on your back is generally considered to be the best position to sleep in if you are experiencing pain. Lying on your back evenly distributes your weight and reduces stress on pressure points. To make this position even more comfortable for your back, you can do try the following:
- Sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees. This position will keep the curve in your lower spine even while lying on your back.
- Lie flat on your back
- Put a pillow underneath your knees to keep them in a neutral position
- If needed, you can use a second small pillow under your lower back for additional support
Sleeping On Your Side
Sleeping On Your Stomach
Talk To a Spinal Specialist
Why Does My Back Hurt When I Get In Bed
If youre experiencing pain when youre getting into bed, dont ignore it.
Back pain is a symptom of an underlying problem. And when you feel those dull aches and sharp pains, its your bodys way of telling you, Something needs to change!
For many, back pain is just something they live with daily. They think that theyre stuck with it.
But in fact, back pain across the US has actually gotten worse over the years, according to The Lancet.
Graph of back pain across the United States
According to the study, the disability-adjusted life-years from back pain have risen substantially across all age groups.
This may be due to longer work hours, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, and more office work.
Simply put, if youre experiencing back pain in bed, its because theres an underlying problem that you need to deal with.
It could be poor posture, stress, or even a medical condition.
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On The Back With Knee Support
Lying on the back evenly distributes the bodys weight, helping to minimize pressure and ensure a good alignment of the head, neck, and spine.
Placing a small pillow under the knees may provide additional support and help maintain the natural curve of the spine.
To get comfortable in this position:
Sleep In A Fetal Position
If you have a herniated disc, curl up in a fetal position. When you lie on your side with your knees tucked into your chest, you’ll be able to minimize the bending of your spine and open up your joints simultaneously. If you choose the fetal position, use a pillow to give your head and neck some support.
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May Be Harder To Stay Warm
You most likely wont be as warm while youre lying on the floor as you would be on the bed. The surface will be harder, colder, and theres far less between you and the actual ground.
What Should I Look For In A Mattress If I Have Lower Back Pain
The rule of thumb with mattresses for back pain is pretty similar to what you should look for in a pillow, Dr. Slabaugh says. Meaning, you want a decent level of firmness, but dont want to sleep on a rock. Whether you sleep on your back or side, the mattress should give enough to allow you to have a straight spine, he says.
Dr. Womack warns against soft mattresses. People have more problems with mattresses that are too soft, he says. They get wear points and the areas that you normally put pressure onaround your knees and hipscan sink in deeper and create more trouble.
Overall, doctors suggest looking for mattresses marked medium firmlike one of these expert-recommended best mattresses for back pain.
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Lower Back Pain When Lying Down
Lower back pain when lying down can be caused by a number of things. Sometimes, getting relief is as simple as switching sleeping positions or getting a mattress thats better suited to your needs.
Talk to your doctor if your back pain is accompanied by:
- pain that spreads to the legs
- weight loss
What Causes Lower Back Pain While Sleeping
Your back isanchored by your spine, which is essentially a column of bones stacked atop oneanother. In between each bone is a jelly-like pad called a spinal disc. Whereyou sleep and the position you sleep in can affect your spinal alignment. Whileyou sleep, you can twist and place strain on your spinal column, which cancause discomfort and pain. If you are sleeping on a hard surface or surfacethat does not provide proper support, it can also place strain on your spinalcolumn and muscles.
Pain caninterfere with sleep and lack of sleep can exacerbate pain. The sooner you knowthe best way to sleep with lower back pain, you can change how you’re sleeping,reduce your pain and stop this stressful negative cycle.
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Sleeping On Your Stomach: Little Tricks
If it is possible to sleep only on the stomach due to injury or other circumstances, improvised devices can relieve the pain. Under the inguinal zone and pelvis area, you can put a roller, a rolled-up bath towel, or a small pillow. The lumbar area mustnt bend forward, straining the muscles and squeezing the discs. The use of tight belts or corsets for the lumbar region can help, and if they are not at hand, a fast tightening with a towel with tying a knot in front just before bedtime will help. It will help keep the lower back stationary and prevent it from leaning forward when lying down. There are some other little tricks on how to sleep well with lower back pain.
The Best Sleeping Positions For Lower Back Pain
The best sleeping position for lower back pain is on your side with a partial bend in the knees. Keeping the knees bent helps balance the body and reduces pressure on the lumbar spine. Many people find it helpful to put a small pillow between their knees to make this position more comfortable.
Unfortunately, many back and stomach sleepers have a hard time changing their sleeping position. Even so, they can take steps to reduce strain on their lower back:
- Back sleepers can put a pillow under their knees, legs, and/or lower back to support the natural curve of the spine and minimize lumbar pressure.
- Stomach sleepers should opt for only a thin pillow under their head and place a more supportive pillow under their hips and abdomen. This works to prevent the lower back from sinking into a U-shape that pulls the spine out of alignment.
Some people with back pain use an adjustable bed that makes it easy to raise the upper or lower part of the mattress in a way that decreases tension in the lower back.
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Need More Help With Back Pain
These free resources will help you get on the right track to ridding yourself of back pain!
- Find a mattress to relieve you of back pain with Mattress Match
- Learn about all the options with our Mattress Buying Guide
- Experience the REM sleep deserve with our Better Sleep Guide
- Go from Zs to As in college with this sleep guide for students
- Want to conquer sleep deprivation? Check out our sleeping disorders guide
Get Out Of Bed Gently
Theres an art to getting out of bed that can help you avoid aggravating back pain. And keeping that pain at bay in the morning could lead to better sleep come bedtime.
Kirsch says: Be very careful when you are changing position do not twist or turn. Move your body together and keep your core tight. Roll on to your side and swing your legs over the side of the bed to sit up slowly and reduce the strain on your back.
Still feeling stiff? Your nighttime stretch routine can work for lower back pain in the a.m., as well.
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Tips For Alleviating Bedridden Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common ailments afflicting bedridden patients. Alongside bed sores, back pain is a leading cause of poor quality of life and suffering for patients who are confined to bed. People who spend a long time in bed can expect to suffer some degree of back pain, especially if they dont take precautions.
However, with proper management and an understanding of the causes of back pain, it is possible to alleviate the symptoms and reduce the pain patients suffer.
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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How Sleep Can Contribute To Back Pain
Although there are many potential sources of lower back pain, how youre sleeping can be a factor. When youre sleep-deprived, your tolerance for pain is lower than it would be if you slept well. Studies have shown that losing sleep can heighten sensitivity to painful stimuli. In theory, sleep loss increases painful inflammation and getting enough sleep may reduce inflammation.
Another factor that can increase back pain is your response to pain medication when youre sleep-deprived. In a study of healthy normal adults, the analgesic effects of codeine are diminished in sleep-deprived individuals versus non-sleepy individuals. Sleeping well may help your pain medications work better.
Reduce Inflammation Through Diet And Exercise
When your joints are already inflamed from your daily activity and eating habits, youre sure to experience pain during the night. To help eliminate your back pain in bed, try reducing or eliminating foods that cause inflammation, such as refined bread and other carbohydrates, fried foods, sugary beverages, and red meat.
Instead, aim to eat foods that help you sleep and that fight inflammation, such as fruit, tomatoes, olive oil, leafy greens, almonds, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna. You may be surprised at how your morning back pain is improved after just a couple of weeks of eating well.
Muscles and joints that are stretched regularly can also improve pain levels when youre lying in bed, so try doing yoga several times per week.
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What Can I Do To Relieve Lower Back Pain In The Morning When I Wake Up
It can be a little tough on your back to start moving again after seven or so hours of sleep. In general, doctors say stretching your hamstrings can help loosen things up. They tend to tighten up when we have back issuesits a protective mechanism, Dr. Womack says. Stretching the area will help take the pressure off your back, he adds.
Wall slideswhere you stand with your back up against a wall, and slowly raise your arms up and down on the wallcan also help get you in alignment in the morning, Dr. Anand says.
If you have a condition like spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spaces in your spine that can put pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves in your spine, touching your toes will feel great on your back, Dr. Anand says. Just keep this in mind, per Dr. Anand: If you feel pain when youre stretching, stop.
The bottom line: If you struggle with lower back pain, focus on keeping your spine straight and your knees, hips and neck in alignment.