Morning back pain can be a sign of numerous things. Perhaps it’s time to throw out your old mattress and consider a new flashy model, your pillow may not be suitable for you, your sleeping position may be placing unnecessary stress on your joints or you may be suffering a musculoskeletal related complaint such as Arthritis. Here we explore these factors to see whether your morning back pain can be easily halted.
As a Chiropractor I’m often asked “why am I waking up in pain?” This can be quite concerning for people because sleep is meant to be the most relaxing time of your day. Of all things, the last thing you should have to worry about is waking up with morning back pain.
Is There Such A Thing As Bad Posture While Sleeping?
The short answer is yes! Without doubt the best position to sleep in is on one side of your body with your spine and pelvis in a neutral position. If you’re twisted up in a ball or on your stomach this will inevitably cause spinal and muscular problems. Improper sleeping positions are absolutely an important factor in the development of back pain. pain. Perhaps the most likely position to cause harm is face down. You could try simulate this effect by standing with your head turned to one side for 6-8hours (usually the length of time you’re asleep). There’s a fair chance you would feel rather uncomfortable.
While we all have our favourite positions and sleeping habits you can try to minimize the effect of poor sleeping posture by placing a pillow between your knees and lying on your side. This position assists with reducing spinal torsion. The next step is ensuring your pillow is correct!
Is It Your Pillow?
Another potential factor in the development of morning back pain is your pillow. There are hundreds if not thousands of pillows out in the marketplace all claiming the same thing – to reduce your pain and ensure you wake up feeling refreshed and energized. My simple rule for determining the most appropriate pillow is to find out what position you most often sleep in.
- Side sleepers: make sure your pillow of choice is thick enough to take up the space between your ear and shoulder. Anymore or less then this will lead to chronic neck problems.
- Stomach sleepers: make sure your pillow of choice is relatively thin to ensure no hyperextension of the neck takes place.
- Back sleepers: make sure your pillow of choice is thin to ensure no hyperflexion of the neck takes place.
How Old Is That Mattress Of Yours?
We spend nearly a third of our life in bed so it’s important to make sure we’re sleeping on a mattress that is high quality and supportive. Again there is such a large range to choose from so it’s important to consult with a mattress professional who can provide you with the best advice.
Morning Back Pain – Is It A Musculoskeletal Problem Approprite For A Chiropractor?
A common clinic presentation that we see in practice is people suffering morning back pain due to a disc pathology. During the night our bodies become more hydrated therefore meaning our intervertebral discs between our vertebrae swell and become larger. This process can result in inflammation and nerve irritation that causes back pain. For this type of complaint and many others it is important to consult with a professional Chiropractor who can greatly assist.