Exercises To Help Relieve Lower Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit their doctor each year. If you notice back pain, dont wait for it to go away on its own. Instead, try these seven exercises to help relieve lower back pain and talk to your chiropractor about additional options for lasting pain relief. Gentle stretches and exercises can help strengthen your muscles and increase your flexibility and mobility.
Who Gets Back Pain
Back pain can affect pretty much anyone at any time. However, a few traits are linked withhigher risk.Verified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceOlder adults and women are more likely to experience back pain. People who are overweight or obese, and people with a sedentary lifestyle and poor fitness levels have higher rates of back pain.
Physically strenuous work that involves a lot of lifting, pushing or pulling creates greater risk of injury or strain. Other occupational risks include extending sitting with poor posture, and even mentally stressful work.
Factors that increase risk of back pain:
- Age: most common between 35 and 55
- Gender: more common in women
- Being overweight
- Anxiety and depression
Smoking is another potential risk that might not be so obvious. Data suggests smokers are more prone to back pain for a couple reasons nutrients may not be able to reach the back where theyre needed, coughing can cause strain, and smokers are slower to heal from injury.
Other factors also increase the odds of back pain, such as pregnancy, strenuous exercise, anxiety and depression, and certain hereditary conditions.
What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease
Symptoms of Parkinsons disease differ from person to person. They also change as the disease progresses. Symptoms that one person gets in the early stages of the disease, another person may not get until lateror not at all.
Symptoms most often start between the ages of 50 and 60. They develop slowly. They often go unnoticed by family, friends, and even the person who has them.
The disease causes motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms. Motor symptoms are those that have to do with how you move. The most common one is tremor.
Tremor and other motor symptoms
Tremor, or shaking, often in a hand, arm, or leg, occurs when youre awake and sitting or standing still . It gets better when you move that body part.
- Tremor is often the first symptom that people with Parkinsons disease or their family members notice.
- At first the tremor may appear in just one arm or leg or only on one side of the body. The tremor also may affect the chin, lips, and tongue.
- As the disease progresses, the tremor may spread to both sides of the body. But in some cases the tremor stays on just one side.
Emotional and physical stress tends to make the tremor more noticeable. Sleep, complete relaxation, and intentional movement or action usually reduce or stop the tremor.
The most common cause of non-Parkinsons tremor is essential tremor. Its a treatable condition that is often wrongly diagnosed as Parkinsons.
Besides tremor, the most common symptoms include:
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Tip #: Relax With A Warm Bath/meditation Prior To Sleeping
There is a lot of research showing that psychological health can contribute to low back pain. Therefore taking a warm bath, or meditating/doing breath work prior to sleep, can be beneficial. It will help slow down your nervous system and help you mentally prepare for sleeping.
You also want to do corrective exercises to improve your posture, strength and mobility. The 2 most common posture imbalances you want to address are:
Prevention Of Back Pain In Bed
In order to prevent back pain in bed, taking care of your posture is essential. A great start is to sleep on your right-hand side, with knees bent up slightly. Laying on the right-hand side is good for blood flow, as you have the smaller and lighter left lung resting on the heart in this position, maximising blood flow.
Ensure that the gap in between the shoulder, neck, and head is filled with a pillow, so that the spine and neck remain in good alignment. Imagine how your neck sits vertically in line with the rest of the spine when you are sitting and standing when you are laying on your side, you want to maintain that. Pillow depth is key here, and firmness or softness is a personal preference.
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The Role Of Your Mattress
We spend one-third of each day in bed, meaning your mattress and how you sleep is just as important as focusing on posture in the daytime hours. Since sleep is a time for healing and renewal, it may arguably be even more important.
Its an important, often-asked question. But, there is no single right answer. When it comes to picking a bed, there are no hard and fast rules that will apply for every person, every time. Essentially, the best mattress is the one that you feel gives you good, refreshing sleep with minimal pain and stiffness.
While we all have different preferences and needs that are important to consider, research and studies can shed some insight on different mattress traits and how they may interact with back pain.
The Two Basics of Beds
At their most basic, beds do two things: provide support and comfort.
Support comes from the core of the mattress, typically a sturdy foam layer or innersprings depending on the type of bed. A supportive mattress will have enough firmness to keep your spine aligned, meaning your heavier areas like hips and shoulders wont sink too far into the bed. On the other hand, it shouldnt be so firm that it forces hips and shoulders up at an awkward angle either.
Now, comfort is pretty easy to identify, but how do you know if a mattress is providing adequate support? Essentially, your spine should maintain an even, natural posture , with whichever sleep position you prefer.
Try It Before You Buy It When Looking At New Mattresses
Even if youve found what you think is the best mattress for lower back pain relief, you may want to spend on a few nights on it before swiping your credit card. This is especially true if youre making the switch to a significantly softer or harder mattress. If you can, ask to do a trial run on the new mattress. If thats not a possibility, EverydayHealth.com has a few recommendations. From their expert, Santhosh Thomas, DO:
He suggests spending a night in a hotel that offers options for guests to purchase pillows and mattresses so that you can try before you buy. Or, see if your mattress store lets you try out a bed overnight or even longer. If that is not an option, perhaps sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag may mimic a firm surface, and sleeping on a couch may mimic a softer surface.’
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Your Bed And Back Pain
Regarding the bed itself, if you are looking to start over completely, it may be important to remember that height of the bed can play an important part in preventing back pain. With beds that are too low and close to the ground, it is often that much more difficult getting out of bed in the morning, much like getting out of a low car!
Back pain when you sleep can be caused by a number of reasons, from your posture during the day to your bed and mattress. Finding out the cause of your back pain can help you to combat the aches that are keeping you awake or causing you pain when you wake up. Choosing a good bed and mattress for back pain can be a good start. If you know your bed and mattress are not the culprits of your bad back, looking at your posture and daytime habits is your next step.
If youre suffering from back pain, our sleep expert Sammy advises you to always contact your GP for medical advice.
How To Prevent Back Pain In Bed
6 min read
Reviewed by Sleep Expert Sammy Margo
A staggering 8/10 of us will experience back pain at some stage in our lives and this can disrupt sleep. Its important to remember that just like sitting and standing posture is important, so is your lying posture in bed when you sleep.
Back pain can keep you up at night, it prevents you from enjoying a good nights sleep and saps your days energy. But youre in luck, not only are there solutions, but weve spoken to Hashim Saifuddin, Director and Osteopath at Atlas Osteopathy, to get the best and most thorough information to help you on your way to understanding back pain in bed, and how to combat it.
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Relax With Epsom Salts
Adding a cup of epsom salts to your hot bath will help soothe any sore muscles and help relax you before you go to sleep.
Tried the tips above and havent had any relief from your nighttime back pain? If you or a loved one would like to make an appointment with one of our board-certified surgeons, please visit our Find a Doctor page on our website.
How Can I Sleep Better With Low Back Pain
The best way to sleep better with lower back pain is by finding the proper sleeping position. For instance, when sleeping on your side, try a slight bend in the knees with a pillow between the knees. By making some simple changes in your normal sleeping posture, you can eliminate strain from your lower back and spine.
In addition to your sleeping position, choosing the right mattress will help you sleep better with lower back pain. When selecting a mattress, avoid mattresses that are too hard or too soft. The hard mattresses are too stiff and may worsen the pain. On the other hand, the softer mattress may seem more comfortable but provides less support. For instance, the sinking of a softer mattress may hold your spine in an arched position.
Lastly, consider a foam mattress topper to provide additional support if you have a spring mattress. You can also opt to place a plywood board under your soft mattress to increase firmness. These are the main ways to help you sleep better if you have lower back pain.
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How To Relieve Lower Back Pain By Sleeping With A Pillow
Improper sleeping postures can take a toll on your back. Heres how to use a pillow to relieve lower back pain.
Hedy Phillips is a freelance lifestyle writer based in New York. While shes not writing on topics like living on a budget and tips for city dwelling, she can usually be found at a concert or sightseeing in a new city. Over the past 10 years, her bylines have appeared in a number of publications, including POPSUGAR, Hunker, and more.
Back pain can present itself at any given time and be caused by several factors. Back pain is also one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. According to a University of Georgetown study, more than 65 million people complain to their doctors about back pain, and 8% of adults in the study report chronic back pain, or pain that lasts for weeks.
While you can see a doctor for treatment options relating to your back pain, there are some more holistic approaches you can take at home, like stretching, using a massage gun or sleeping with a pillow between your legs. For the latter, well give you some tips on how this simple solution can provide some relief for back pain. That way, youll fall asleep in no time and stay asleep all night without experiencing any pain.
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It Needs To Keep Your Spine Aligned
You may not realize it, but good posture is important when you sleep. The muscles and ligaments in your back need to relax and recover while you snooze. If a mattress is too firm — or too squishy — it won’t support your spine at your neck or lower back the way it needs to. What’s firm enough is different for everyone: If you have wide hips, for instance, a slightly softer surface may be better. You need some more give in order to keep your spine in alignment. Someone with narrower hips might be better off with a firmer surface.
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What Else Can I Do For Back Pain
Changing your mattress will most likely do wonders for your back pain, if that was the cause. You can also implement a short stretching routine into your day. Aim to do a few stretches before you go to bed and after you wake up to help with spine flexibility. Also, it is important to learn how to sleep in the best position possible. Many experts recommend sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs to support the hips and lower back. Certain pillows can also help promote less neck and back pain while you sleep.
For sweeter dreams and less back pain in the morning, consider getting a new mattress. Your sleep is essential, so make sure you are getting a mattress that will improve your sleep, not make it worse. When mattress shopping, bring your own pillow and spend a good ten to fifteen minutes on each mattress. It may seem silly, but it is the best way to ensure you get the right mattress for you.
Why Is Back Pain Worse When Lying Down
But why does your back pain occur when youre getting into bed? Most people who experience back pain have strained muscles. Not sitting up straight at the desk or lounging unsupported on the couch can cause specific muscles to contract over long periods.
You may not notice it at the moment or when youre up walking around because theres no pressure on them. But when your back hits an unsupportive bed, those sensitive, strained, and damaged muscles are agitated.
And that added pressure on the affected part of your back causes those muscles to hurt.
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Supine Bridge Or Glute Bridge
The supine bridge or glute bridge is an extension of the pelvic tilt exercise. Start on the ground on your back with your knees bent and your back and feet flat on the floor. Your head and neck should be relaxed, and your arms straight out at your sides, palms facing down. Engage your abdominal muscles and gluteus muscles and gently raise your pelvis off the ground. Hold this position for a few seconds before releasing your pelvis gently back down to the ground. Repeat this movement 10 times.
How To Sleep With Lower Back Pain
Jenny Iyo, Physical Therapist
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We regularly assess how the content in this article aligns with current scientific literature and expert recommendations in order to provide the most up-to-date research.
Our medical review team has recently evaluated this page to ensure accuracy. We will continue to monitor and revise this article as new literature is published on how back pain impacts sleep.
The lower back features an interwoven series of structures. It includes the five vertebrae of the lumbar spine, each of which is bolstered by shock-absorbing discs and held in place by ligaments. Surrounding muscles offer support and are connected to the spine by tendons. Nerves run through the spinal column to deliver signals throughout the body.
The lower back supports most of the bodys weight and is integral to all kinds of movements. Whether standing, sitting, walking, or lying down, the lower back plays a role in mobility and comfort.
Given the complexity of the lower back and how much we depend on it, it comes as no surprise that it is a leading hotspot for pain. Eight out of 10 people have back pain at some point during their life, and lower back pain is one of the top reasons why people see a doctor.
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Side Sleepers: Keep Your Hips Stacked
If youre a side sleeper, place a firm, flat pillow between your knees.1 The pillow will align your lower spine with your hips and prevent the leg on top from creating pressure on your lower back and/or pelvis. This position also helps relieve stresses in your lower spine, creating room for your spinal nerves.
Use a head pillow to slightly raise your head so that your shoulders are in alignment.
How Exercise Can Help
Research shows that regular exercise has significant benefits for Parkinsons patients. Since the disease affects flexibility, strength, and balance, patients are encouraged to use targeted exercise routines to manage the disease.
A study review published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicinefound that exercise improves overall physical performance in Parkinsons patients. The authors concluded that future research should examine the long-term effects of exercise programs.
As a rock climber, I spend a lot of time pulling on jagged edges. Ive learned that its important to balance muscle growth with the opposite action. Ive integrated pushing into my routine to balance the pulling that I do on a rock wall. Focusing on both pushing and pulling helps my body to stay balanced and prevents injuries.
While I havent yet encountered a rock climber with Parkinsons, the same premise could apply. If Parkinsons causes constant muscle contractions, how can we encourage those muscles to extend and relax? Yoga emphasizes both strength and flexibility. And its possible to practice a routine at home. Starting a yoga practice might offer a solution to managing muscular changes.
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