You have a problem: Your back hurts so much you find it impossible to sleep. You can’t remember how you tweaked it (or, maybe you can). What you do know though is that you end up tossing and turning all night long. If you’re finally ready for uninterrupted, deep, sleep, here’s how to erase your back pain for 8 hours every night.
Get In The Gym
This is probably not the advice you were expecting. But, it’s a secret from the old-timers in the weightlifting community. Weightlifting coach Bill Starr used to use a special “back routine” with all his injured clients, and it worked most of the time.
It’s cleverly referred to as “The Bill Starr Back Rehab Routine”. The best part is you can start doing this with a broomstick or anything similar that you already have laying around the house. The basic idea is that you want to strengthen your lumbars, which are usually what’s causing you to have the pain in the first place.
Even if this is not the main problem, a stronger back will always help a low back injury because it makes the muscles that are responsible for holding the back in alignment, stronger. Stronger muscles means more stability, and this will absolutely reduce the risk of reinjury in the future.
And, it almost always reduces or eliminates pain. At first, it may be difficult, even somewhat painful. As long as you’re not experiencing nerve pain, and you’re not causing the kind of pain that’s sharp and intense (which is an indication you’re doing something wrong), you’ll be fine.
Don’t expect it to be a walk in the park. You will likely be very sore the day after your first workout, and you will almost certainly not feel good the first time you do it. There is a certain kind of pain that‘s common the first few times you do this exercise routine, and it’s because you have weak lumbars that are not used to being worked out.
But, your back will thank you after a week of consistent and conservative back work.
The Worst Sleep Positions for Back Pain
Stomach sleepers need to rethink their positioning in bed. According to some experts, sleeping on your stomach flattens the natural curve of your spine, and puts additional strain on your back muscles. It also causes your neck to rotate which can actually cause back pain — especially between the shoulders.
Don’t worry about keeping your body in the same position all night long. It’s normal to turn over once in awhile. And, it’s a good thing because movement, even a little movement, can alleviate back pain.
Sleeping on gel memory foam mattresses are better for you back, too. So, if you can afford to get one, do it.
Positions That Help
Now that you know what not to do, here’s what you can do that will help. First, you have to be comfortable with your sleep position. Experts recommend making a few simple modifications to your regular sleeping position to help get a load off your spine. First, if you’re a back sleeper, put a pillow under your knees to let your spine maintain its natural curve. If you’re a stomach sleeper, stop. Put a pillow under your lower abdomen.
If you’re a side sleeper, draw your legs up toward your chest and sleep with a full body pillow between your knees.
The Right Sleep Spot
Getting the right “spot” for sleep can be tricky. According to experts, personal comfort plays a big role in sleep comfort. Some people prefer the firmness of a harder mattress. Others prefer a mattress that’s softer, or a mattress with a “pillow topper.”
Some people find it helpful to use a contoured pillow too. Others will find it to be uncomfortable. Usually, the best pillows are ones that keep your neck in alignment, but other will find them uncomfortable. If a few changes to your sleep position don’t help, it may be time to get professional help. This is especially true if the pain is lingering or you haven’t been able to solve it on your own with uncomplicated methods.
Most people can strengthen their own backs at home or at the gym. Most people can’ fix their sleeping situation. But, if you need something like a nerve block or special back brace or physical therapy, then it’s time to see a professional that can help you get back to a normal life.
About the Author
Hi, my name is Caroline and while I was in a pretty bad place some time ago, I am happy to let you know that a good mattress can really turn your world around. For this reason, I decided to write a website about the benefits of memory foam, hoping that it will help others as well.
Have you suffered from back pain that affected your ability to sleep?
How did you handle this problem?
What is your best sleeping position?
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