You may know that sitting for long periods of time can place excess pressure on your back and spine. However, did you know that you can develop back pain from different sleeping positions as well? If you go to bed feeling well but wake up each day with back pain, your sleeping position may be hurting you. Read on to learn why this happens and how a chiropractor can help.
How Can Sleeping Habits Cause Back Pain?
There are pros and cons for different sleeping positions. For instance, if you sleep on your back, you may prevent neck pain, but this position can worsen lower back pain since nothing will be supporting the natural arch for your spine. This position can also exacerbate sleep apnea, which may cause you to toss and turn throughout the night, which in turn may contribute to your back pain since your muscles will be tense from disrupted sleep. This sleeping position can be improved with a small pillow under your lower back for support.
If you sleep on your stomach, your back pain may go away, but this position can be detrimental to your neck and cause pain since it can throw your cervical spine out of alignment.
If you sleep on your side with good support, then your back pain may improve. However, if you have a very soft mattress, then your spine can fall out of alignment, leading to joint pressure in your hips and lower back. As you can see, besides your sleeping position, the mattresses and pillows you use can also affect your spine and contribute to back pain if there isn't much support.
How Can a Chiropractor Help?
First, your chiropractor will rule out other causes of back pain, like sciatica or herniated discs. If your chiropractor suspects that just your sleeping habits are to blame, they will figure out which kind of sleeping position you prefer and find ergonomic solutions for that position. For instance, if you like to sleep on your side, your chiropractor can set you up with a raised memory foam pillow that can keep your shoulder and arms from being impinged. Your chiropractor can also set you up with a pillow to put between your legs so that your hips don't fall out of alignment and cause back pain.
Besides setting you up with ergonomic devices, your chiropractor can perform manual adjustments on your spine. These small, controlled manipulations will improve your spinal flexibility and help to relieve your back pain. For example, if a poor sleeping position has caused the nerves in your back to become impinged, then a spinal adjustment can relieve some of that pressure. If you have swelling from back pain, then an adjustment can relieve some of that inflammation and muscle guarding.
Lastly, some chiropractors offer stretching and physical therapy along with adjustments. These stretches and exercises can help you develop a stronger, more flexible core so that you can reduce nighttime back strains and muscle spasms.
Don't let your back pain get worse. Seek out a chiropractor today to see if your sleeping habits are causing your pain or if there is another issue that needs to be addressed.
For more information, get in touch with a chiropractor for back pain.