FAQs How to Reduce Back and Neck Pain While Sleeping

Published on September 20th, 2013 | by tmgadmin

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How to Reduce Back and Neck Pain While Sleeping

 Learn how to reduce back and neck pain while sleeping with these tips and find which is the best mattress for your needs. A variety of problems may be contributing to your pain throughout the day and night. These include inadequate support while in bed, causing your spine to contort into a painful position, as well as bad pillows and poor posture during the day. A person who suffers from the effects of a past injury as well as anyone who wakes up feeling stiff and sore may benefit from these tips on pain relief.

Tips for Improving Back Pain During Sleep

When viewed from the side, the spine should ideally appear as a gradual S-shape, and should appear straight when viewed from the front or back. This position should also be maintained during sleep to avoid back and neck pain. The following tips and back pain remedies may help eliminate discomfort caused from sleeping in the wrong position.

  • If possible, perform light stretches or yoga before bed to help your spine decompress and muscles relax.
  • Get in and out of bed using the” log roll” method (pictured here in eHow).
  • Place a pillow between your knees if you are a side sleeper to keep your hips aligned and prevent your spine from twisting.
  • Back sleepers may benefit from placing a small pillow beneath their knees to reduce lower back strain.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach if possible, as this position is least supportive and most likely to cause lower back and neck pain.
  • To reduce back and neck pain caused by arthritis, a heating pad or electric blanket may be helpful.
  • Make sure your pillow is keeping your head level. Side sleepers typically need thicker pillows with neck support, while back sleepers need medium pillows to maintain a neutral position and stomach sleepers need fairly flat/thin pillows to prevent strain.
  • If your mattress is more than 5-8 years old or shows sagging/impressions, it could be contributing to your pain and might be time to replace. Sagging over 0.5″ in depth is associated with considerably more pain in survey data from SleepLikeTheDead.com.
  • Exercise during the day to strengthen muscles and help protect bone density.

Mattresses and Back Pain

One of the single most important factors, aside from lifestyle habits, is finding the best mattress for back and neck pain based on your needs. Sleep studies conducted on pain and mattress comfort generally find medium and medium-firm mattresses ideal for most people. Firmer beds are likely to be preferred by back sleepers while side sleepers may prefer ones closer to medium. After considering that you will be lying on your mattress for approximately one-third of your life, you will realize how imperative it is to have the right one. A mattress that is too soft will make lack support, causing the spine to settle in a slight U shape for side and back sleepers. This places undue pressure on the neck and lower spine, creating pain than can persist well after sleep. A mattress that is too hard will keep the hips and shoulders elevated and create a significant curve in the middle of the back as the body conforms to the mattress shape, causing tension.

Best Mattress for Back Pain

The best mattress for back pain is one that provides full body support and allows the spine to rest in a natural, neutral position. Beds that do not readily contour to your body or that lack the ability to support your back are likely to create more pain. According to SleepLikeTheDead.com surveys, air, memory foam and latex mattresses receive the fewest complaints of back pain from owners. Innerspring mattresses receive the greatest percent of back pain complaints, followed by futon and water mattresses.The top three mattress types for pain relief all have pressure-reducing benefits in common, and all provide support and contouring to varying degrees. Air and memory foam mattresses excel at pressure point relief, while memory foam and latex excel at conformity and support.

Pillows and Back Pain

Your pillow can also have a great influence on back and neck pain. By using too soft or shallow of a pillow, side sleepers can aggravate not only neck and upper back pain, but also increase snoring. Your neck should be supported enough to maintain a straight position in line with your spine, without putting your head at a sharp painful angle. Firmer materials or pillows with contoured shapes may feel best for side sleepers. Back sleepers should use a pillow that keeps their slightly elevated. Your chin should not be tilted in toward your neck, as this will strain your neck and may increase snoring. Foam pillows may help provide neutral support with less fluffing and adjustment. If you must sleep on your stomach, your pillow should be fairly thin and soft so your head stay relatively level. Some experts recommend placing a firmer pillow beneath your abdomen to support your lower back when stomach sleeping as well.

Waking up with back or neck pain may be a sign that it is time take a look at your daily habits and sleep environment. Pain can greatly reduce quality of sleep and leave you feeling groggy and unrested during the day. By creating a sleep environment that takes into account your sleep preferences and needs, you can reduce back and neck pain while sleeping.

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