A frequent complaint is people cannot sleep at night because of back pain.
Often this is due to sleeping with a broken down, old mattress. Typically after about 10 years mattresses tend sag more do not offer the right amount of support. If this is your mattress consider purchasing a new mattress. According to Consumer Reports, conventional inner-spring mattresses, foam mattresses and air mattresses like Select Comfort mattresses all can provide good and adequate support. Their findings show that the key to long-term success of a mattress, is how much time you spend in the show room testing the mattress you eventually purchase. The more time you put into selecting a mattress in the showroom, the better likely you will satisfied with that purchase.
Another consideration is in what position you sleep at night. Specific sleeping positions will react differently to various problems people have in their backs.
For example, elderly people with arthritis in the spine often do not tolerate lying on their stomachs because it tends to extend their back. If that is the only way you can typically sleep, you may want to place a pillow under your abdomen to try to reduce the amount of arch your back.
Some people will have pain lying on their backs. These individuals could try placing a pillow under their knees to try to take some pressure off of their spine.
Side sleepers will often try putting a pillow between their knees to relieve their symptoms.
If these don’t work, you can try to sleep on a recliner chair. The amount of reclining can be adjusted by the position of the chair or propping pillows in various places to adjust for optimal comfort.
Finally consider the pillow you’re using. Too high or too low for pillow can put your spine in a compromise position affecting a good night sleep. Experiment with not only the height of the pillow but the amount of support put through your neck. Often rolling up a small towel and placing it in your pillowcase with the roll nearest your neck and away from your head can give support for your neck when in side-lying or laying on your back. Many stores sell orthopedic pillows, which provide an extra amount of neck support.
If all else fails, see a physical therapist or your physician for ideas or options available to you to rehabilitate your situation.
By: Steve Bartz, PT
Steve Bartz, PT