Can’t sleep because of an achy back? Back pain can be caused from many different sources and it’s important to find a way to get a good night’s sleep by keeping the back healthy.
Why is back health so important? Your back is a combination of strong bones, flexible ligaments and tendons, large muscles, and highly sensitive nerves. It is designed to be very strong to protect nerve roots, yet flexible enough to provide mobility in daily life.
Did you know that there are different types of back pain with different stages? Back pain can either be acute, chronic, or neuropathic and it’s important to have a doctor diagnose which type of pain you are suffering from so that you can get proper medical care, if needed.
Short-term pain, lasting less than 3 to 6 months, or pain that is directly related to tissue damage, is considered acute.
Chronic pain is far more challenging and can be debilitating for most people — it tends to last more than six months. Certain structural spine conditions, such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis can cause ongoing pain until it is successfully treated.
Neuropathic pain is caused from nerve damage after the signs of the original injury are gone. Neuropathic pain is different from pain caused by an underlying injury and feels different than musculoskeletal pain. It is often described as: severe, sharp, piercing, lightning-like, stabbing, burning, cold, and/or ongoing numbness.
Can sleeping patterns be the cause of our back pain?
Our bodies have a mind of their own, and let’s face it – the spine wants to be perfectly aligned all day. But — how can we take care of our spine properly when we spend one-third (8 hours) of our day in bed? Consider the way you sleep so that you can make changes which may reduce your back pain.
Here are 4 sleeping positions to avoid to keep your spine in proper alignment when resting:
- Don’t sleep with your back overly rounded – tucking the legs up too close to the chest will result in an over-rounding of the lower back, which causes pain.
- Pay attention to your shoulder and neck alignment – Don’t curl up into a ball when you sleep – keep the spine aligned.
- Don’t sleep on your stomach — Tight hips cause the lower back to overly arch. Try putting a pillow under your stomach/groin to help push your lower back into alignment.
- Don’t sleep with your back overly arched — For those with tight hips, sleeping with your legs too straight may pull the lower back into an arched position.
If changing your sleeping patterns doesn’t reduce back pain, try sleeping on your back to get a good night’s rest. Sleeping on your back prevents your neck, back, or hips from twisting, which can keep your back out of alignment – you don’t want that!
While resting on your back, you are naturally lying flat which is letting gravity re-align the body, which reduces aggravation to different parts of the spine. Even more, resting on a straight back can also off-set the effect of sitting at your desk for 8 hours, slouched over, or tilting your head forward – which can increase pain.
There are many ways to relieve an aching back. Changing your sleeping position is only one alternative out of many. However, if you feel that you are suffering from chronic back pain – and nothing will help — seek a consultation with Dr. Kamson today by calling (888) 712-0318. Find out if a minimally invasive procedure may eliminate your back pain – so you can get a good night’s sleep!