According to the National Institute of Health, back pain affects 8 out of 10 people at some point in their life. It’s hard enough to deal with back pain during the day, but when the pain flares up at night keeping you from restful sleep it can be too much to bear.
The truth is our spine is innately designed to function in a perfectly aligned state. It is engineered to move and flex with us all day long, but ultimately it doesn’t like being thrown in and out of strange motions. When we keep our spine out of its optimal aligned state for too long of a stretch it starts to respond to us….with pain.
Some of the most common causes of back pain and night time back pain include problems created in the day time such as sprains, overly taxed muscle groups, arthritis or a degenerative disc. Other common conditions like pregnancy can cause significant strain on the spine, even kidney stones and other infections.
How can you relieve night-time back pain?
The first step to relief of night-time pain is to understand the body’s optimal sleep position. Remember that our spine prefers to stay aligned. When it’s finally time to settle down to sleep it will do our spine well to take 15 seconds to position your spine for your best possible sleep.
Proper Body Position For Side Sleepers:
One of the most common problems is wrong leg position. Keeping the legs too straight puts too much of an arch (dipped inward) in our spine. But, keeping the legs too bent with knees too close to your belly-button, keeps the spine too curved (rounded outward). How to you correct this? Take the time each evening prior to drifting off to position your body correctly.
Legs bent only enough to create an imaginary vertical line from your knee to the bottom edge of your pillow. Another imaginary line should be created from the hip to the shoulder. Shoulders should be touching the mattress and your head should be in a centered position. Keep your head well positioned not allowing the tip of your nose to point downward nor upward.
Side sleepers must also take into account the body’s natural tendency to roll either forward or backward during sleep mis-aligning the spine yet again. To help alleviate this, place a pillow between your legs. You may even opt for a pillow behind your back to prevent the forward and backward rocking motion that can occur without even realizing.
Proper Body Position For Back Sleepers:
The most common problem for back sleepers is the back becomes overly arched and the hip flexors are tensed throughout the night. Simply placing a pillow under your knees can release the tension in your hips and allows the lower back to relax.
Try using a pillow that has a special dip that allows for your neck to raised to the proper height for optimal alignment. Remember the rule that your shoulders should touch your mattress.
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Proper Body Position For Stomach Sleepers:
The problem occurs once again in the hips being too flexed causing muscle tension and an overly arched spine. To relieve this position place a thin pillow under your stomach between your belly button and your hips.
Ultimately your spine wants to be returned to its perfectly aligned state and Terry Chiropractic in Boulder can assist you in your journey from pain to ultimate spinal health.
With a comprehensive approach the professionals at Terry Chiropractic aim to heal the source of the pain and not only the symptoms. Their approach is holistic and non-invasive with the goal of returning your spine to optimal health. Make an appointment for an evaluation today.