Lower back pain can have an impact on your daily life in many different ways, but it can be especially bothersome at night. All too often people find that having retired to bed in the hopes of getting some much needed sleep their back pain keeps them awake, leaving them wide awake, in pain and frustrated.
While the best solution for low back pain – especially that that goes on for more than a few days and could be considered chronic – is a visit to a chiropractor for proper diagnosis and treatment there are some things that you can try to get a better night’s sleep despite your nagging pain and without the ‘aid’ of often inefficient, ineffective and even habit forming sleeping pills.
Take a Side
Unfortunately there is not a single sleeping position that is perfect for every back pain sufferer but your side is a good place to start to try and find one that suits you. However, you should avoid curling up into a tight fetal position and instead sleep with your body elongated without being too rigid. You can also try slipping a slim pillow between your knees, as doing so will help to support the natural curvature of the spine.
The pillow you choose to rest your head on can make a big difference as well. The best choice is one of medium thickness that offers support for your head midway between each shoulder, as a pillow that is too thin, too thick or too soft can bend your neck at an uncomfortable angle that will make things even worse.
Relax and Distract
Once you are in bed with the lights off the distractions of the day should begin slipping away, which in many ways is a good thing. However, this also gives you the tendency to focus more on your lower back pain, which is not a good thing!
This anxiety can lead people not only to have a hard time sleeping but also worsen their back pain as they may tighten their muscles in response to their anxiety about it, rather than trying to relax the muscles as they should.
One simple way to distract yourself while trying to get to sleep is to get into the habit of listening to some form of audio you personally find relaxing. Maybe that’s classical music, a chapter from an audio-book, a relaxation tape or even the muted sounds generated by a white noise machine. experiment to find out what works for you and then add it to your nightly bedtime routine. Just try to avoid anything that is too loud or harsh and if you opt for an audio-book save the scary story lines for the daytime.
Don’t Try to Save a Bad Mattress
If you suffer from chronic lower back pain one of the best things you can do to help yourself is ditch your old, saggy mattress and invest in one that supports the natural curvature of your spine. Essentially this means your spine should look similar when you are lying on your back or side as when you’re standing up with good posture.
The best mattress for those with chronic lower back pain is not always the most expensive though. Paying a couple of hundred dollars (or more) for a specialist or big brand name mattress over a well made mid-priced one is not a guarantee of comfort. If you are ready to invest in a new mattress shop in person rather than online and don’t be afraid to actually try the mattress out, as what works for one person may not be right for you at all.
We are taking new patients and offering free consultations, and that way we find out if you are someone we can help before going any further. Call us today for a free consultation at (913)-953-5959 or CLICK HERE for more information about our Overland Park chiropractic office.