Back pain is annoying not just because it hurts, but because it disrupts your entire life. You can’t move the way you want, you’re always stiff, you can’t sit down or get up without making all sorts of sounds, and there’s no way to think about lifting stuff or playing with your kids!
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Can sleeping on our backs relieve back pain?
Overall, back pain is one of the worse afflictions one could come across. But did you know it is one of the leading causes of disability all over the world? Even more, it’s not considered a serious medical condition since (in most cases) it’s not caused by debilitating diseases like arthritis or rheumatism.
The main causes of lower back pain are stress, bad posture, and weird sleeping positions. Given this, I did a bit of research and learned there are ways to alleviate the pain. Not to mention, one is extremely accessible to anyone and doesn’t require expensive treatments: sleeping on your back. It may seem ridiculously simple, but below you can read the scientific explanation of why this works.
The Spine is Aligned
Specialists consider sleeping on your back the best position because, when you lay flat on your back, the spine is better aligned in comparison with other positions. In an ideal world, the best way to sleep would be on our back, without a pillow. This way, the spine remains in a neutral position all night long and can decompress, releasing any tension accumulated during the day.
However, most of us need a pillow and this can cause problems with the neck and shoulders area. If the pillow is too big, the neck position will block the airways and you’ll wake up feeling stiff and without energy.
Another problematic area to consider is the hips area, but there a few simple tricks that help (which I’ll mention below).
The Mattress Can Do Its Job
A mattress’s job is to offer comfort and support during your slumber. Still, not all mattresses are designed to support different positions, which is why you may wake up with back or shoulder pain. On the other hand, back sleepers tend to get the most out of their mattresses because all sleeping surfaces can accommodate this situation. Starting with spring mattresses and ending with high-end pillowtops, they all offer the best comfort and back support for back sleepers.
Still, even as a back sleeper, you have to consider the level of firmness. I read on trymattress.com – back pain reviews that a mattress must allow the hip area to dip in slightly in order to maintain the spine’s alignment. Otherwise, if the mattress is too hard, the hips area will be too high, and if the mattress is too soft, the hips will dip in too much.
Tricks to Support the Position
As I already mentioned, people who sleep on their back still have to do some adjustments to make sure there won’t be any back pain. For instance, in order to keep the spine in perfect alignment, you will need a special pillow that keeps the neck straight and allows the shoulders to relax. This type of pillow has a dip in the middle area to cradle the head and a bump that goes under your neck.
If your back hurts, it helps to lay on your back and place a pillow underneath the knees. This will lift the feet up just a hair, allowing the spine to maintain a neutral position. If this doesn’t help, you can also use a rolled up towel to support your lower back.
Finally, if you’re not used to sleeping on your back, you can train your sleeping habits using a special pillow that keeps your head straight. You can also use side pillows that don’t allow you to roll to the side while you’re sleeping.
About the author
James Ronato is passionate about farming, wildlife, travel, and well-being. During the weekends he loves to camp and once a month he tries to help his local animal shelter.