Every year, about 13 million people will seek professional help for back pain, and back pain will cause 2.4 million people to be temporarily disabled. If you are one of these people who are struggling with back pain, then it is wise to seek out treatment sooner than later with a chiropractor. This type of individual will help to align the spine properly so your back will be able to carry the weight of your body without discomfort. However, you will need to make sure that your daily activities are not contributing to future back pain. Poor sleeping behaviors can easily cause discomfort, so keep reading to learn about some sleeping tips that will keep your back in great health.
Sleep On Your Back
People sleep in a variety of positions at night and some of the positions can be quite detrimental to the health of your back. This is true when you sleep on your stomach. Stomach sleeping allows gravity to pull on your spine while you sleep. This works to flatten the natural curve of the spine, especially across the lower back where the curvature is most prominent. This can force you to lean forward in an unnatural way much like you would if you regularly sit with poor posture. The result will be a general spinal imbalance, lower back pain, and hip discomfort. Sleeping on your side with your knees pulled up to the chest can cause a similar issue where pressure is placed against the natural curve of the lower spinal column.
Stomach sleeping and some types of side sleeping can cause the neck to twist as well. This can lead to spinal cord compression along the neck and neck pain. Stiffness and discomfort across the shoulders and arms will likely be noticed as well.
To reduce these back pain issues, try to sleep on your back. This will keep your spine, neck, and hips in a natural and neutral position. However, if you are overweight, then a good deal of your body weight will place pressure on the spine, even though it will be positioned correctly. To reduce some of this stress, especially on the lower spine, place a pillow underneath your knees while you sleep. A regular pillow can work or you can purchase a triangular shaped knee rest. The rest helps to elevate the knees and lower legs. This reduces spinal and hip pressure while also increasing circulation through the legs. Increased circulation helps to move oxygenated blood through the body. This helps the spine by supplying it with the oxygen it needs. Without proper nutrition, spinal tissues can die. Since the spinal column contains a great deal of nerves, dead tissue will result in a great deal of pain along the back.
Reduce Muscle Cramping Issues
If you wake up with back muscles that feel cramped and tight, then the tissues close to your spine have likely constricted in your sleep. There are many reasons why this can happen. Dehydration is one reason why tissues become cramped, especially if you feel muscle spasms, so drink a full 8 ounce glass of water before bed to help prevent this problem. Also, try to increase your intake of potassium and magnesium. A deficiency of these minerals can cause muscle cramping. Dark leafy greens are high in both of these nutrients, so eat salads with spinach, swiss chard, and kale each day.
Another thing that will cause back muscles to cramp is when they become cold. If you like to sleep with only one or two blankets, then make sure to invest in a mattress that will keep your back muscles warm while you sleep. A memory foam mattress can do this. This type of mattress is made from a dense polyurethane material that is energy absorbent. This means that it retains the heat from your body. Not only does this help to make the mattress more pliable and comfortable, but the heat will help to keep your back muscles warm.
Another way to keep your back in great condition and relieve chronic back pain is by visiting a chiropractor. Check out a clinic like University Physical Medicine to get a consultation.