6 Tips on How To Alleviate Chronic Back Pain While You Sleep
(PHOENIX, AZ) – Like many of us, Lauri Leadley suffers from chronic back pain and it causes constant disturbances of not only her sleep but her husband’s sleep as well.
“My back hurts so bad sometimes, I just toss and turn all night, and then it wakes up my husband. In the mornings we look like zombies because of our sleep deprivation!” says Leadley who is also a clinical sleep educator and owner of Valley Sleep Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Chronic back pain is the second leading cause of sleep disruption affecting 34 percent of adults, according to a recent survey.
That sleep disruption affects every aspect of our lives; including our health, our relationships, and our work, however most of us do not do anything about our back pain, believing that it’s just a symptom of old age and that nothing can be done about it. Leadley says that that belief is very wrong.
Gleaned from treatment from her physical therapist and her sleep physician, Leadley offers the following six tips for people who suffer from chronic back pain that disrupts their sleep.
- Pillows. Leadley has a lumbar injury so she advises others with the same to sleep on your side with pillows between your knees which helps ensure that your knee is level with your hip which will help alleviate the pain.
Also, place a long body pillow behind your back which will prevent you from rolling onto your back, and therefore protects your spine.
If you sleep on your back, try placing pillows under your knees while you snooze. This will allow for proper alignment of the spine. If you sleep on your stomach, a pillow under your lower abdomen can help as well.
- Get a new mattress.If your mattress is seven years old or older it’s most likely time to get a new mattress. In fact, 63 percent of people say that their back pain improved after switching to a new mattress.
When buying a mattress, pick a medium-firm or firm mattress (the super cushy ones may feel great at first, but they are not back-friendly). If a new mattress isn’t in the cards, adding plywood supports under the mattress may help.
- Get in and out of bed carefully: Being careful about how you get in and out of bed may help ward off back pain. Avoid sudden, jerky movements and also try not to bend forward from the waist when getting out of bed, as this can hurt your back. Instead, roll over onto your side and push yourself up using your hands while swinging your legs over the side of the bed.
- Get your body moving: Working out helps you sleep better. Leadley recommends low impact workouts like yoga and stretching to start out. By having a stronger, more flexible core, you’ll reduce the chances of getting strains and muscle spasms during the night.
- Vitamin D: Recent studies have linked chronic low back pain with Vitamin D deficiency. Check with your doctor before starting any vitamin therapy.
- See your doctor: Last but not least, see your doctor about your back pain. There are many treatments available that your doctor can try to help you alleviate your back pain.
If you know someone who is not getting the sleep they need, or is preventing you from getting the sleep you need; don’t wait. Encourage them to see a doctor to get to the bottom of their sleeping problem so that you both can feel better!
About Valley Sleep Center
Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center has provided Arizona with diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients.
Their physicians are Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists and are accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. They provide diagnostic testing for a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleepwalking, and pediatric sleep problems. www.valleysleepcenter.com