Treating Lower Back Pain: How Much Bed Rest Is Too Much
Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit a health care provider. The good news is that the pain often goes away on its own, and people usually recover in a week or two. Many people want to stay in bed when their back hurts. For many years, getting bed rest was the normal advice. But current studies recommend no bed rest at all and stress that staying in bed longer than 48 hours not only wont help but it may, in fact, actually delay your recovery. Heres why:
Staying in bed wont help you get better faster.If youre in terrible pain, lying down for a day to help ease the distress may seem like a good idea, but moderating your activities and staying active in a limited way is a more effective way to control your symptoms. Research suggests that if you can find comfortable positions and keep moving, you may not need bed rest at all.Research shows that:
- Lying down longer than a day or two day isnt helpful for relieving back pain.
- People can recover more quickly without any bed rest.
- The sooner you start moving, even a little bit, or return to activities such as walking, the faster you are likely to improve.
Who needs bed rest?Almost no one! The only people who might require time in bed are those with unstable spinal fractures awaiting surgery.
When should I see a health care provider?You should see your health care provider right away if:
- Heat or ice
Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
How Do You Recognise An Inadequate Bed Or Mattress
How do you know that you need to change your bed or mattress? This is very easy to determine. Alarm signs of an inadequate bed or mattress are the following:
- waking up with back pain
- being tired when getting up
- back pain that deteriorates during the day
- sleeping with an aching back at night
Insufficient rest can also result in various other physical conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases and mental tiredness symptoms such as anxiety, forgetfulness and depression. We sometimes forget that sleep is a basic need. Chronic lack of sleep puts the human machine out of kilter.
Also realise that a mattress does not last a lifetime. The average proposed life of a mattress is 10 years. Is your mattress much older? Then it is a good idea to start looking for a new one. A mattress should have various segments or zones and must match your personal preferences.
Take It Slow When Getting Up
Taking it slow when you get out of bed can be beneficial. You may want to use your arms to sit up slowly before moving your legs off the side of the bed. Once you plant your feet on the ground, shoulder-width apart, you can stand up slowly, using your leg strength instead of your back to help you up.
After carefully standing, you can further relieve tension by reaching your arms up above your head and stretching slowly from side to side.
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Reasons Your Back Pain Is Worse When You Wake Up
1) Fluid in spinal discsSpinal fluid is necessary to allow for all of our spinal motions without it the spine would crack and break. The fluid is a shock absorber that circulates nutrients and chemicals filtered from the blood and removes waste products from the brain. Our spinal discs constantly fill and empty of this fluid. Our spinal discs are at their fullest in the morning because they fill up with fluid when we lie down at night. This means that when we get up in the morning we will be a little bit taller than usual, but also a little bit stiffer! This stiffness can cause morning back pain that will ease off as the day goes on. Practicing gentle back exercises such as cat/cow will help to get the spinal fluid moving and alleviate any discomfort caused by it.
Some Of The Most Common Issues That Contribute To Morning Back Pain Include:
This list outlines some of the most common reasons why you might be experiencing back pain in the morning.
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What Do You Do About Trigger Points And Fibromyalgia
Those are both big, separate topics, but there are many resources on PainScience.com where you can get started. Self-massage and heating are by far the best ways to start working on muscle knots. Fibromyalgia is much more complicated, but the basics are sleep improvements, lots of light but thorough exercise, and learning about sensitization and the weirdness of pain.
Pain Is Worse In The Morning
If you find yourself waking up with worse pain than the night before, chances are that your sleeping habits are aggravating your sciatica by placing undue stress on the sciatic nerve. A common issue that promotes sciatica at night is sleeping in a fetal or curled position, as this causes the vertebrae in the lower back to continue pinching the nerve, causing shooting pain in the lower back or down the buttocks/legs the next morning.
Pregnant women are at a particular risk for developing sciatica as a result of certain sleeping and postural habits, due to the immense pressure put on the spine and the muscles in the back by the weight of a developing fetus in the womb.
If you tend to sleep on your side, chances are that your sleeping habits may prevent your symptoms from improving. Because the human body isnt shaped like a rectangle, our hips and shoulders make first contact with the bed when laying on our side, causing our spine to curve to compensate. This curving can cause an inflamed nerve to be further compressed.
While not a permanent fix, one way to relieve some of the tension in the back is to place an ergonomic pillow between your knees, and to pull your top knee closer towards your chest while dropping the other knee. This will allow your spine to straighten and your hips to shift in such a way that there is less pressure on the nerves in the lower back.
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Why Does Your Back Hurt In The Morning
Have you ever woken up in the morning and experienced back pain? You would be surprised how many people suffer from morning back pain. First you may consider you were sleeping incorrectly, but is that a case? What if the back pain occurs every morning? Is it something serious? Should you be worried?
Studies have shown up to 80% of Americans experiences lower back pain at least once throughout their lives. Its one of the most common reason people see their doctor. Find out what causes morning back and neck pain and how to prevent them. Dr. Hepler, our spine surgeon in Palm Beach County will explain reasons of back pain after sleeping and present several steps you can take to ensure you are sleeping correctly to prevent your neck and back from pain.
Here are the most common reasons why people experience lower back pain after sleeping.
Common Causes Of Chronic Lower Back Pain
“Chronic lower back pain is less likely to be caused by injury to your muscles and ligaments and more likely to be due to issues with the lumbar disks, nerves, joints or vertebrae,” says Dr. Palmer. “There are several potential causes of chronic pain in the lower back.”
In general, osteoarthritis and degenerative disk disease are the underlying cause of many types of chronic lower back pain. However, lower back pain can also be caused by accident-related trauma and acute stress.
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Is There Such A Thing As Poor Posture When Sleeping
Yes, but I believe its rare for it to be bad enough to matter much. As discussed already, most awkward postures during sleep involve relatively minor postural stresses being a little twisted this-a-way or that-a-way that we tolerate for too long because were unconscious. Such postural stresses arent a bad habit in any meaningful sense. But it is also possible to be so habitually careless with sleeping position that it does constitute poor posture. If you know that a particular sleeping position is uncomfortable for you, but you keep sleeping like that, thats a poor sleeping posture.
Or is it a bad habit if you cant stop it? If its something you do habitually but unconsciously? This is a philosophical puzzle for the reader to work out.
Habitual sleeping position is clearly a factor in some back pain. Just about the only study ever done on this topic showed a small improvement in a few back pain patients who were instructed regarding the recommended way to sleep which basically meant a more neutral position.24 The benefit was real but small. I think conscious sleep positioning is only a minor factor in low back pain, and tough to fix. Usually we dont even suspect a problem with our sleep posture until its too late! For most people, trying to work on sleeping position probably does not offer particularly good bang for buck.
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 .
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Support Is Very Important
Support is very important, says osteopath Koen De Doncker. A comfortable bed that optimises the support of the body makes you sleep better. The intervertebral discs can recuperate better and recover their moisture level.
To generate the right support during the night, with the pelvis and lower back being at right angles, it is important that the hips can drop back while at the same time the lower back is supported, preferably actively. In no case must the lower back sag.
An active and upward movement at lower back level prevents the intervertebral discs, of which L4 and L5 are the most sensitive ones, from undergoing incorrect pressure when youre lying down. Upward pressure is necessary to counteract the impact of gravity on the lower back.
Lying on your side
Lying on your back
When using a normal mattress, it is doubtful whether the resistance in the mattress is sufficient to support the back. Moreover, the spinal column can never be at right angles with the pelvis if the mattress is just as hard at hip level as at lower back level.
Inflammation Sleep Stress And Pain
The link between sleep and pain is based on some superficially simple inflammatory biology: bad sleep is inflammatory and inflammation makes it harder to sleep, which is not widely appreciated. That means that sleeping badly can actually make it harder to sleep well!17 This is a vicious cycle every extremely frustrated insomniac is familiar with: being exhausted from a sleepless is not a guarantee that you will sleep well the next night.
And that vicious cycle is relevant to night and morning pain, which is known to be significantly mediated by the immune system signalling molecule interleukin-6. IL-6 and inflammation are almost synonymous more of one means more of the other. Everyone knows that stress makes it harder to sleep, but how? Its not just because your mind is racing its because stress makes us produce IL-6, which is inflammatory, and inflammation in turn makes it harder to sleep! And then the bad sleep also makes us pump more IL-6
And thats why its important to get your sleep!
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Specific Questions To Consider Instead
Is my back better during the day from proper habits or is it the effect of medication? .
Is it better during the day from proper exercise, or is it due to muscle fatigue and weakness masked as mobility?
When you feel better, is it because the problem muscles and joints are more flexible and mobile, or are other muscle groups merely compensating?
Is my problem from stiffness or tightness of my muscles, joints or both?
Would I be able to pass basic strength, flexibility, endurance and stretching tests now as compared to before it hurt?
If you change your perspective from one of passive pain management applied only when youre sore, and instead, see this issue as one of active conditioning and protection, relief will be more achievable and likely.
Do You Suffer From Back Pain At Night
During the night, your body recovers from its daily activities: too much sitting, lifting heavy objects, sports, . That is, if you have a good bed with the right mattress and a special pillow. If you sleep on a badly supporting mattress, your back and neck will not relax enough. This causes muscle tension and disrupted sleep.
An inadequate mattress means disrupted sleep. And this can cause chronic back pain.
It is important that your pelvis, spinal column and neck are supported as much as possible when you sleep. If this is not the case, you do not get enough relaxation and it can even cause damage in and around the spinal column, which may cause even more chronic back pain.
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Ways To Sleep With Lower Back Pain
If youre trying to find a way how to sleep with lower back pain then you should probably attempt the approaches that do not require medication first. Such approaches are safe and without any side effects. For example, behavioral approaches can greatly improve the quality of your sleep if practiced on a regular basis.
Taking care of your sleep hygiene, a series of daily strategies used for developing a regular sleeping/waking cycle helps people relax and get the sleep they need. Many psychological techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, have proved to be quite helpful for those who have a hard time falling asleep.In addition, you can always try changing your sleeping positions as well as your pillow and your mattress. Here are some techniques that might be helpful to all those who have trouble falling asleep with lower back pain.
Good Sleep Is One Way To Treat Chronic Back Pain
The inability to get a good nights sleep can hurt you, literally. If chronic back pain prevents you from sleeping well, you might wake up hurting even more. According to some studies, not getting enough sleep can make a person more sensitive to pain. And, unfortunately, you might find yourself in a vicious cycle back pain can make it hard to sleep and, in return, not getting enough sleep can make your back pain worse.
Good sleep is an important part of your well-being and it is essential to your health. Studies have discovered that Americans who rated their quality of life as excellent or very good actually slept an average of 18 to 23 minutes longer than those who considered their health and quality of life poorer. So, if youre struggling with getting enough shut-eye because of chronic back pain, here are some tips that might help you understand how to sleep with lower back pain.
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Sleeping On An Inadequate Mattress
Make sure you’re sleeping on the right mattress to avoid morning back pain.
The mattress you sleep on is so important for the health of your back and for avoiding morning back pain.
So much so that in a survey of orthopaedic surgeons, 95% of them believed that the type of mattress people used played a part in how well they could manage their lower back pain.
Because if you use one that is too soft your body will sink too far into it, which throws your spine out of alignment and puts your back under constant strain.
While if you use one that is too firm it will put too much pressure on your pressure points causing pain, especially in the hips, shoulders and lower back.
So you need to find a mattress that is supportive, cushioning, pressure-relieving, comfortable and keeps you nicely aligned throughout the night.
As this will greatly reduce the chances of waking up in pain each morning and help you to get the deep and restorative sleep your body needs to heal and repair.
And while choosing the best mattress for your back can be a challenge and everyone will have slightly different preferences.
There are certain things to look for that will point you in the right direction.