For many, back pain is an unfortunate reality; whether it is a long-term injury or something more short-term, back pain can affect your general day-to-day. While in some cases, you can do little to speed up your recovery, adjusting how you sleep could help you along the way.
Expert Ben White, design and trade expert at Swyft, explains how your bed and sleeping set–up could impact your back pain symptoms.
Sleeping on the wrong mattress
The wrong support from a mattress can reinforce poor posture and doesn’t keep the spine in alignment, which can worsen any existing back pain. If your back pain is muscular, then sleeping on the wrong mattress will also have an effect here, as it will strain the muscles in your back.
Choosing the right mattress is important, but even more so when you have recurring back pain. I recommend opting for something firm and supportive to keep your back in a natural position.
When it comes to the position in which you sleep, you must keep everything in alignment to avoid aggravating any existing back pain, so try making sure your ear, shoulders and hips are aligned in whatever position you choose to sleep in, as this will help to keep your spine in a lovely natural place.
Certain positions can put a strain on areas of your body, such as your back. For example, you may spot areas that don’t touch the bed, such as your lower back, and feel tense and strained when lying on your back. Using a pillow in these areas can significantly reduce this strain by taking some pressure off.
Too many pillows
While it might make you feel super cosy sleeping with a stack of pillows, this will do no favours for your bad back. Doing so will raise your neck, throwing your spine out of alignment.
In addition, sleeping all night with your neck in a forward raised position can put a lot of pressure on your muscles, ligaments and the discs in your spine, which can cause neck, shoulder and back pain – things you could do without if you’re already suffering.
One supportive pillow is all you should need to keep things aligned and suitably supported, it might take some getting used to if you are a two or three-pillow sleeper, but you’ll thank yourself for making the switch.
Stretching before bed
Not only can stretching before you go to bed help you get a better night’s sleep, but it can also help to alleviate back pain–a win, win.
Before bedding down for the night, try gently stretching to loosen things up and stretch out any tired or sore muscles. Doing this will get the blood flowing, which should help to stop them from seizing up and adding to any existing pain once you’re settled in bed for the next eight hours.
Be sure to check with your doctor which stretches are safe for you to carry out for your specific back pain or injury.