When you have back pain, usually getting rid of it is not something that is going to happen overnight. Your body needs rest, you need a break from having your focus constantly on the immobilizing pain, but how do you even begin to sleep like this?
Back pain is nothing short of crippling, and sometimes it can be difficult even just to find a comfortable position to sleep in. Aside from managing your pain and taking physically therapeutic steps to get yourself back in working order, getting a good night’s sleep is a great start on the road to recovery.
Here are a few ways to get comfortable enough to sleep, even when back pain just won’t cut you a break.
Fluff or Replace Your Pillows
If you’re a side-sleeper in particular, it’s incredibly important to make sure that your neck and spine are in alignment when you sleep, and to do that you need firm, fluffy pillows. Give yours a good shuffling, or if they’re too far gone, recycle your old ones and invest in some new ones that are firm enough to support your neck properly.
Memory foam, feather, and polyfill pillows are usually too soft to be effective for very long because of their plushness and tendency to compact very quickly. Latex pillows offer that same cloud-like feeling of memory foam, with a bit more firmness and stability.
Our Avocado Green Pillows combine the best of both worlds, with natural latex rubber ribbons for firmness, and a natural fiber very light and fluffy, similar to down, known as Kapok. Even better still, you can unzip the organic cotton covers to add more filling, or remove some, to customize the firmness to your preferences.
Put a Pillow Between Your Knees
If you sleep on your side, the downward pull of your top leg may be contorting your hips out of alignment, putting pressure on your lower back. Try putting a pillow between your knees to minimize the pressure and give your back a break.
Elevate Your Knees
A trick back-sleeping pregnant women know all too well, elevating your knees when you sleep on your back, is an excellent way to take some of the pressure off of your lower back without having to turn on your side.
How much elevation your knees need really depends on your own comfort. Start with one pillow, and then add more if you need to.
Avoid Sleeping On Your Stomach
Sleeping on your stomach for any extended period of time is generally bad news for your back. It puts a tremendous amount of tension on your back that you may not feel until you wake up the next day, and can exacerbate the problem. If you want the pain to go away, avoid stomach-sleeping like the plague for a while.
Managing Back Pain at Night
Aside from what your doctor can prescribe you for your pain, magnesium is a great way to relieve the pain enough to actually catch some shuteye.
Magnesium has a highly effective anti inflammatory effect, and is actually most efficiently absorbed through the skin. Use a magnesium oil or butter, and have someone help you rub it directly on the spots that are causing you pain for some relief.
Back Pain Prevention
Some back pain stems from chronic conditions that people can do little but manage with physical therapy and pain relief, but if your pain is sporadic and related to your activity or the way you’re sleeping, you can do a few things to prevent it:
Eat a healthy diet and exercise. Using your muscles regularly (whether through stretching, yoga, or Pilates) keeps them from building up tension. That in conjunction with a healthy diet can help to keep excess weight off, further preventing back pain caused by strain on your joints.
Stop smoking. Believe it or not, smoking actually restricts blood flow to your spine, which can exacerbate any other underlying causes of back pain.
Lift smart. When you go to pick something up, squat instead of bending at the waist, using your stomach and leg muscles to lift the object, instead of your back.
Try a standing desk. If you work at a desk all day, consider adding a standing desk to the mix and giving yourself some time on your feet. While it’s not ideal to be on our feet or in our chairs all day, standing desks give you the option, and can provide relief for upper back and neck pain sufferers.
Do you suffer from back pain? Will you give any of these a try? Continue the conversation on Facebook or Instagram with @AvocadoMattress or #AvocadoGreenMagazine