Other Tips For Back Pain Sufferers
For back pain sufferers, pillow choice is crucial. In addition to choosing a supportive pillow, shoppers can take the following measures to help alleviate back pain and sleep comfortably.
- Choose the Right Mattress: When selecting a mattress for back pain, shoppers should consider their sleeping position and body type. These can affect how comfortable the mattress feels. The right mattress will help alleviate back pain for those already suffering, but it can also help prevent it. A supportive mattress will help keep the spine aligned and improve overall sleep quality.
- Engage in Physical Therapy or Stretching:Physical therapy can help with both acute and chronic back pain. Physical therapy includes exercises and stretches that improve mobility and strengthen muscles. This can reduce pain and tension throughout the body. Heat and cold therapy can also be used in physical therapy to relieve back pain. Working with a physical therapist can result in a long-term plan to manage back pain and its underlying causes.
- Invest in a Mattress Topper: A mattress topper adjusts the firmness of a mattress by acting as an additional comfort layer. For back pain sufferers, a mattress topper can cushion pressure points. Conforming materials like foam and latex help evenly distribute body weight and keep the spine aligned. Investing in a mattress topper is often a more affordable option than purchasing a new mattress, especially if the only issue with the mattress is its current firmness level.
What To Look For In A Mattress
Your mattress matters too.
Doctors used to recommend very firm orthopedic mattresses to people with lower back pain. But dont go out and buy one just yet. Recent surveys have shown that people who use extremely firm mattresses may have the poorest sleep.
That said, a mattress thats too soft wont help very much with alignment.
If you have the funds to buy something new, try choosing a firm or medium-firm mattress made with good-quality innersprings or foam. You may also improve the innerspring mattress you already own by adding a memory foam mattress topper.
It may be difficult to tell if that mattress at the store really feels comfortable after only a few minutes of testing. Some companies let you test out a mattress over a set period of time and then return it if its not for you.
Not in the market right now? You can see if a firmer mattress would help you by placing an inexpensive plywood board under your current mattress. You can even place your mattress on the floor to see if lessening the movement of the springs helps with your pain.
Side Sleeping: A Solid Runner
Side sleeping with your legs straight is the second-best position for avoiding back and neck pain. Its also a good position for snorers or anyone with sleep apnea because it keeps your airways open. If you can, stretch your legs out straight and tuck a pillow between your knees to keep your spine in a neutral alignment.
Another type of side sleeping with your legs bent upwards is less ideal for your back. Known as the fetal position, it may be the most popular sleep style, but it promotes an uneven distribution of weight that can cause back pain and sore joints. Try straightening your body into a relaxed position by untucking your chin and adjusting your knees. If youre pregnant, its a comfortable way to take the weight from your back.
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Sleeping On The Front With Pillow Under The Stomach
Lying on the front of the body is usually considered the worst sleeping posture. However, for those who struggle to sleep in another position, placing a slim pillow underneath the stomach and hips can help improve spinal alignment.
Sleeping on the front may also benefit people with a herniated disc or a degenerative disc disease.
To adopt this sleeping position, a person should:
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What Is The Best Position For Sleeping
The best way to sleep is on your side with your knees bent. You may put a pillow under your head to support your neck. You also may put a pillow between your knees.
If you sleep on your back, put pillows under your knees and a small pillow under your lower back. Do not sleep on your stomach unless you put a pillow under your hips.
Use a firm mattress. If your mattress is too soft, put a board of half-inch plywood under the mattress to add support.
Sleeping On The Side With A Pillow Between The Knees
Although lying on the side is a popular and comfortable sleeping position, it can pull the spine out of position. This can strain the lower back.
Correcting this is easy. Anyone who sleeps on their side can simply place a firm pillow between their knees. This raises the upper leg, which restores the natural alignment of the hips, pelvis, and spine.
To adopt this sleeping position, a person should:
People who habitually turn to sleep on their front may also want to try hugging a large pillow against their chest and stomach to aid sleep and keep their back aligned.
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Body Pillow For Sleeping Semi
Body pillows or lining up a row of pillows to hug is a great solution for many types of pain. If you cannot lay directly on a shoulder, but you like to sleep on your side this may be a good strategy. This strategy also works well for those who like to lay on their stomach, but cannot at the current time. Place the body pillow next to you. Roll over on top of it, but only half of the way, while draping your top leg and arm up over the top.
On The Back In A Reclined Chair Or Bed
This might help people with lower back pain, particularly those with isthmic spondylolisthesis, a condition in which one spinal vertebra slips over the vertebra right below.
If a person gets significant relief from resting in a reclined chair, it may be worth investing in an adjustable bed that can be positioned in the same way.
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What Causes Back Pain And How A Pillow Might Help
There are a couple of different factors that could be causing your back pain during the night. The most common problem and the one that a pillow will help with the most is that your spine is not properly aligned while you sleep. While you sleep, your head, neck, and spine should be in a straight line. If one of these sections is out of line, it can cause irritation or, in this case, back pain.
More Than A Minor Inconvenience
Seeking relief, Americans spend over $50 billion each year just on lower back pain. Its the second most common reason people miss work, third most common reason for surgeries, and fifth most common cause of hospitalization, and its responsible for 20% of doctor visits as well. Two 2014 studies suggest back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Pain can also affect sleep. A2014 Korean studyVerified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceof people with chronic lower back pain found that 32% of respondents experienced sleep disturbances due to pain, with those experiencing more pain reporting a higher amount of disturbances. A previousAustralian studyVerified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourcelooking at both acute and chronic back pain found that 58% of people reported disturbed sleep due to pain.
The ongoing impact of back pain in America:
- Over $50 billion in treatment costs
- 15-20% have long-term back pain
- 3-4% temporarily disabled due to back pain
- 1% of workforce disabled permanently
- 2nd most common cause of missed work
- 3rd leading reason for surgery
- Among leading reason for hospital and doctor visits
The 2015 Sleep in America poll looked at the connections between sleep, stress and pain. Over 1000 adults were surveyed, and the results found:
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Body Reflex Hacking: The Best Way To Sleep For Lower Back Pain
The best way to sleep for lower back pain might now be as straight forward as you might think. When the body is designed to continue to move its important to understand how to move your body in a way throughout the night to keep it comfortable.
In this short live presentation we will go over 5 different strategies of the best ways to sleep for lower back pain.
If you have your favorite best position to sleep for lower back pain, please share those in the comments section below:
Choose Postures That Support Pain Relief
Image source: unspalsh.com
Before we start with some handy tips on how to arrange your pillows, its good to say that the way you position yourself in bed plays the most significant role in handling pain in your neck and your back. You may not know, but there are specific ways in which you can lie in order to avoid such inconveniences.
The general opinion is that lying on your back and on the side are the best postures for your body and also the most ergonomic ones. In contrast, lying on your stomach is the worst option and will probably cause you pain, although it might look so comfy. Having this in mind, make sure you choose one of the positions where you can set your pillows to support the most affected body parts.
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Sleep On Your Stomach With A Pillow Under The Abdomen
Sleeping on your stomach is actually not good for back pain because it may add stress to your neck due to improper elevation and alignment. But you can place a pillow under your pelvis as well as lower abdomen to pressure off your back.
If you are suffering from degenerative disc disease, then you may get benefit from stomach sleeping with a pillow. It can relieve stress that is placed on the space between your discs, and it would not hurt anymore.
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Comfilife Lumbar Support Pillow
Heres another bed wedge pillow to help with lower back pain. This time from ComfiLife, a brand with vast experience in the comfort goods niche. This is not the first product of them we have recommended, and Im sure it wont be the last.
- Dimensions: 27.5 x 15.5 x 1.25 inches. As you can see, this wedge pillow is considerably bigger than the Cozy Hut.
- Design: This pillow is ergonomically designed to provide optimal spinal alignment.
- Materials: Its made of 100% premium memory foam.
- Shouldnt go flat over time.
Invest In The Right Mattress To Help Your Back Pain
Weve been handcrafting all-natural fabric mattresses since 1929. Our #1 priority is to build every customer we are privileged to serve with a mattress that fits their specific needs. No two bodies are alike, which is why we believe handmade, best-in-value mattresses are the best choice for back pain! We stand behind that claim with our 60-day comfort guarantee!
Check out our Mattress Match to find your perfect mattress.
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Support Your Back While You Sleep
When you have low back pain, there’s evidence that the best sleep position is on your side — with your knees bent. In this position, if you place a pillow between your knees you can help relieve pressure and improve your comfort.
If you prefer to sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees. If you sleep on your stomach, put a pillow beneath your hips. These pillows can help you keep a proper and healthy spinal curve, which can relieve and prevent back pain.
Dreamer Car Lumbar Support
Full-size, contoured design.
Heres another full-sized lumbar support pillow from the guys at Dreamer Car. I want to offer multiple alternatives in this category because each pillow has a unique combination of design, materials, and thickness and thus variety is important to make the right buying decision.
- Dimensions: 20.9 x 16.5 x 5.9 inches.
- Design: This lumbar pillow is designed to mold to your back and to absorb the pressure on it caused by rough terrain, bumps on the road, or car starts and brakes.
- At its thickest part, the lumbar curve, its about 5-inches thick and at its flattest , its about 2-inches thick.
- Comes in 3 different cover colors .
- The materials: High-density memory foam. Odorless.
- Can I wash it? No. The cover cannot be removed, so youll have to spot clean it.
- How will it stay in place? This is the feature that sets it apart from the other car lumbar pillows on this list. The Dreamer cushion has two adjustable straps with built-in.
- As shown in the picture above, one strap goes around the back of the car seat and the other one goes around the headrest.
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Are Pillow Top Mattresses Hot
Pillow top mattresses dont retain heat, depending on the material used. Many people struggle with temperature regulation when lying in bed at night. Pillow top mattresses dont excessively capture your body heat and therefore wont make you uncomfortably warm while youre trying to sleep. Theyre affordable!
Look Into A Custom Mattress For Even Better Back Pain Relief
Last but not least, you may want to consider buying a custom-made mattress to help eliminate your back pain in bed.
A custom mattress is precisely what it sounds likea mattress made to fit your exact specifications and unique needs.
Custom mattresses can be made to fit almost any size . But they can also carry with them a wide range of other benefits like eliminating back pain, keeping you cool at night, and even eliminating certain sleep problems.
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Other Sleep Hygiene Tips
Here are some other ideas for how you can get better rest at night and reduce your back pain:
Put yourself on a sleep schedule. It may be hard to resist sleeping in if you toss and turn all night. Still, setting regular bedtimes and wake times can help your body fall into a more natural sleeping pattern. Aim to get around eight hours of sleep per night.
Having trouble with a sleep schedule? Try following a nightly routine. Start this routine about 30 to 60 minutes before your set bedtime. Choose two soothing activities that help put your mind into a relaxing space.
Ideas include taking a bath, doing some gentle yoga, and engaging in quiet hobbies like reading or knitting.
Skip caffeinated drinks like coffee and other stimulants. If you just have to drink a cup, finish your last one before noon.
Save hard exercise for the morning or early afternoon hours. Doing anything too rigorous before bed may raise your adrenaline levels and even your body temperature. These two factors make it even harder to sleep.
If you dont already have a primary care doctor, the Healthline FindCare tool can help you find a physician in your area.
For pain relief
Use an ice or a cold gel pack before hopping into bed. It may help reduce inflammation in your back and relieve pain. Apply the cold pack to your back for 15 to 20 minutes before sleep.