Working in a chiropractor’s office, I have learned that at some point in their lives, almost everyone will experience back pain. If you’re lucky, your back pain will be short-lived. But for some, it impacts their daily routine – and their ability to get a good night’s sleep. When you can’t get enough rest, besides feeling tired, you’re more likely to feel depressed and feel pain more acutely. It can seem like an endless cycle.
However, there are ways to deal with back pain that can help minimize its effect both during sleep itself and during the day. Here are a few strategies to integrate into your routine that will help you sleep with lower back pain:
Sleeping position and posture
When you have back pain, your sleep can be interrupted due to sore muscles and joints. To remedy this, make sure your mattress is appropriate for your back. Typically, a firm mattress helps minimize any spine curvature, which can add to your discomfort. Or if you prefer a pillow top mattress, be sure your bed has good underlying springs or support. Dr. Mixon can offer professional advice about your mattress and how to sleep with lower back pain.
Next, try sleeping on your side with a pillow. This keeps your hips from jutting forward and twisting your back. Try not to sleep on your stomach as it places too much stress on your spine. Additionally, consider purchasing a neck pillow or place a rolled bath towel under your neck to align the top section of your spine properly. Make sure it rests naturally under the middle of your neck.
Exercise can bring relief
Despite your first inclination, resting is not the recommended way to deal with back pain. First, the pain will probably prevent you from getting the rest you need, and second, with inactivity your muscle strength decreases. Gentle exercise can help alleviate these symptoms by increasing blood flow, improving range of motion and strengthening muscles.
Yoga, pilates, light stretching, and water therapy are good examples of exercises to try. If possible, also try a slow walk. However, don’t overdo it; take it slow and easy, so that you don’t aggravate your symptoms. Contact your Garland chiropractor or other medical professional for advice on an exercise routine that will promote back relief and help you learn how to sleep with lower back pain.
Many of us carry a few extra pounds, but when you have back pain, those extra pounds can take a toll. The extra weight pulls down on your back, creating even more pain, affecting your ability to get a good night’s rest. Losing weight can lessen your pain.
If you decide to lose weight, begin with simple changes. If you’re a soda addict trying limiting yourself to one soda per day. Add in an extra serving of vegetables and fruit and try to cut down on processed snacks such as chips and crackers. If this feels like the right path for you, we’re here to help. Our professional grade nutritional supplements can get you started.
Supplements for pain
Sometimes you have to fight back pain from the inside. Certain supplements such as magnesium citrate, help to relax muscle and nerves, helping you to get deeper rest. In addition to maintaining healthy teeth and bones, calcium magnesium can improve insomnia conditions and aid in healthy functioning of muscles and nerves.
When back pain strikes, sometimes you want immediate relief. Certain over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can alleviate pain and relax tightened muscles. Always talk to a medical professional for advice about recommended dosage and any potential side effects.
Professional help when dealing with back pain is critical. Garland chiropractor, Dr. James Mixon can assess your condition and prescribe an appropriate course of treatment which may include a combination of chiropractic treatment, massage, and exercise rehab.
During a chiropractic treatment, small spinal misalignments can be “adjusted”, gently and safely. This treatment can help the body’s nerves communicate more effectively, assisting the healing process.
Within our Garland chiropractic clinic, we also offer the services of our Medical Director, Dr. Mandy Thompson and our nurse practitioner. If you need to step it up a notch, both our MD and nurse practitioner are here to provide advice, treatment and when necessary to prescribe muscle relaxers or pain medication. Joint and trigger point injections are also available.
Our physical therapy assistants deliver more help by assisting with neck, shoulder, low back and hip exercises that will increase your range of motion, strength and flexibility. Our licensed massage therapists perform relaxing chair massages or 30 minute complete sessions to round out your treatment.
No “one size fits all” solution
Everyone is different and so is their back pain. What works well for one person may not be the best solution for you. However, the techniques listed above are a great start and are likely to increase your overall health, so that every moment – both sleeping and awake – is less painful, and much more enjoyable!
Please give us a call today to see if we can help.