Sleep plays a central role in pain
Sleep is supposed to be a pain deterrent. It is supposed to be a time of restoration: during REM sleep, blood flow to the brain slows and redirects toward the muscles of the body, allowing cells throughout to get the nutrients they need to rebuild. In this way, sleep directly fights back pain. But what if the position you sleep in is actively encouraging back pain at the same time? Sleep problems aside, we can all do ourselves a favor by checking our sleep posture and adjusting it to account for back pain.
Sleep posture and back pain
- Shoulder pain: many people roll onto a sore shoulder, pinning it into a compromised position. If you are a side sleeper, make sure to sleep on the opposite side of your shoulder pain, and place a pillow at chest level to rest your arm on.
- Neck pain: the most frequent type of sleep-related pain- how many of us wake up with a stiff neck every day? The solution is to maintain neutral posture (read: straight) throughout the cervical vertebrae. Whether this means a pillow upgrade, or attention to the way your head tucks when you sleep on your side, do what you need to maintain neutral posture and your neck will feel better.
- Lower back pain: get creative with your pillows: on your back, put a pillow under the knees to relieve tension in the lower back; on your side, sleep with a pillow between the legs for extra support. People with back pain should avoid sleeping on their stomachs as much as possible, but if you must, place a pillow under your stomach to avoid sinking in to the bed too much.
If your sleep posture is contributing to a condition that stops you from getting restful sleep, it is time to make a change. Despite what many people say, it is possible, in a very timely manner, to train your body into a new position for sleeping. There are many hacks involving pillows and even tennis balls that can help you remain in a position conducive to restful sleep throughout the night.
How we help you sleep better at Associates in Chiropractic
Our mission is to make sure you get the restful, restorative sleep you deserve. We focus on increasing comfort and relaxation by using natural modalities to reduce pain and improve circulation. If insufficient, poor-quality, sleep has become the norm in your life, give our office in Hackensack a call to start making the changes you need to sleep better without pharmaceutical assistance!