Living with back pain is an everyday experience for many of us. In fact, about 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any time according to the American Chiropractic Association. And your risk can be increased by factors as simple and uncontrollable as age, heredity or race.
But don’t despair — lifestyle changes can often successfully alleviate common back pain. One of the most important is getting proper rest. However, pain can often get in the way of sleep, preventing us from healing.
Here are a few things to consider if you’re struggling with an aching back at night.
- Check your sleeping position
How you sleep is important when it comes to back pain. There are some positions that are better than others for your spine. If you’re a stomach sleeper, the curvature of your back can make pain worse.
However, if you suffer from certain specific back ailments, such as a herniated disc, sleeping on your stomach might be more comfortable. It’s worth researching your specific type of pain or consulting a physician to figure out the best sleeping position for your needs.
- Invest in the right pillows
Good pillows are essential for the bed of any back pain sufferer. Pillows can be used to elevate other parts of your body besides your head. For example, sleeping on your side can be made more comfortable with a pillow between your knees to keep the spine lined up. And if you like sleeping on your back, a pillow beneath your lower legs can keep things comfortable and aligned.
- Maintain a good sleep routine
Remember all those handy articles you’ve read about sleep routines? The ones that say you’ll sleep better if you limit screen time at nightfall, establish a bedtime routine, relax your muscles and get up at the same time each morning? Those same rules can help alleviate back pain. When you’re stressed or keyed up at bedtime, that stress can settle into your spine. Deep breathing and other rituals that help relax the body (without straining the back!) are also a good idea.
- Try cold therapy
A cold compress can work wonders when it comes to back pain. Either wrap ice in a soft cloth, or invest in a gel pack that retains a chill, and apply cool pressure to your back at bedtime to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Toss out your old mattress
Honestly, how long have you owned your mattress? If you’re embarrassed to answer, or can’t remember, it might be time for a new one. Support from a good mattress is one of the crucial elements to alleviating back pain, and an old bed that dips in the center or lost its “spring” or comfort long ago is not ideal.
When shopping for a mattress, keep in mind that your own personal comfort is most important. Ask plenty of questions about the mattress. Whether you prefer a very firm, medium-firm or softer mattress is up to you, but try to find one that supports your spine.
Looking for a new mattress for your back pain? Check out the wide selection at Sam Levitz Furniture.
With hundreds of mattresses available from all of the biggest brands, including Sealy and Tempur-Pedic, you’re bound to find the right one for you at Sam Levitz. Their mattress experts are ready to answer your questions and help you choose the bed of your dreams.