3 Ways to Eliminate ‘Back Pain’ from Sleeping

Posted on 17. Aug, 2010 by in Back Pain, Back to Health, Blog

Some people have worse back pain when they sleep. Why is it that sleeping causes back pain?

Sleeping positions can cause abnormal spinal alignments during the night, and therefore cause muscles and other soft-tissue to become overly stretched. This will in turn cause muscle spams, knots and other painful issues in the muscles that surround the spine. This is especially bad for people that tend to sleep on their stomach. Stomach sleepers will have even more distress to the spine and lower back, since sleeping on the stomach will cause even more of a spinal alignment problem. Many hours (sleeping) in this position, will cause more pain and tightness upon waking.

Sleeping on a firm bed while on your side seems to be one of the best ways to avoid back problems. It is also advisable to add a pillow between your legs. This will help keep a more “normal” curvature to the spine and decrease muscular stress. Stomach sleepers can place a small, supportive pillow under their abdomen to ease the strain and maintain a better posture. Although this may take some getting used to, over time it will help tremendously.

Upon Waking

So what can you do if you have back pain upon waking? It is wise not to just jump out of bed first thing upon waking. The best thing to do is stay in bed and do some basic stretches that should help ease the muscle tightness, get rid of some of the knots and lessen the overall pain and stiffness. Here are some stretches that you can do that will help first thing when you wake up:

  1. Slowly move and lay on your back. Pull one knee up to your chest and “hug” that knee, while pulling it up towards your chest. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds and then return the leg to the bed (you should keep your other leg bent, with your foot resting on the bed). Repeat 5 times and then stretch the other leg.
  2. Pull both knees (bent) to your chest and “hug” your knees while pulling them into your chest. Hold this position for about 20-30 seconds while relaxing as much as you can. After the 20-30 seconds is up, slowly return your feet to your bed, keeping your knees in a bent position. Repeat this for about 10 reps.
  3. With both knees bent to 90 degrees, and your feet flat on the bed, drive your feet into the bed and push up your hips slowly towards the ceiling and squeeze your butt while the hips come up. (Do not move the hips so high that your lower back arches…keep your back in a straight line) Hold this “squeezing position” for 10 seconds and then slowly return to the bed. Repeat 10 times.

If you work on these exercises each morning before you get up from the bed, your transition into the day will be much better and less painful.

Finally, working on your core strength will help tremendously with low back pain, while sleeping (or not.) Find a good core strengthening workout (i.e. things like planks and spinal stabilization)

Working on changing sleeping positions, using pillows and stretching upon waking, while also working on core strength can be the best bet in combating back pain from sleeping. Remember, be patient and work with these suggestions and soon you will wake pain free.

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