What’s the Best Sleeping Position for Back Pain?
Back pain is a common phenomenon in human beings, regardless of age and gender. Various research and preventions or cures have been put in place to battle this annoying human health condition.
Although there are different levels to it, back pain could be mild or chronic. Whichever level of the pack pain you are experiencing, it should not be ignored at all. Sadly, back pain could make your day unproductive or harmful if you don’t cure it. How can you do well at work when you find it difficult to stand firm and straight?
How can you enjoy your eventful day with family and friends when you don’t own your back anymore.
Even if you have not experienced back pain before and don’t want to have it, you need to read this article. There are myriad things that can cause back pain, and there is tons of solution to it.
I bet you don’t want to continue with that terrible enemy of yours called back pain. That’s why this article is created for you to find the quick help you need for a long term solution.
Did you even know that sleeping position is a significant determinant that can cause or cure your back pain? Let’s take you through the in-depth revelation of the best sleeping position for back pain and other relevant information.
What is Upper and Middle Back Pain?
Upper and middle back pain can befall anywhere from the base of your neck to the bottom of your rib cage. Your ribs connect to a long, flat bone in the center of the chest called the sternum and link to and wrap around your back. If a nerve in this area is pinched, irritated, or injured, you may feel pain or discomfort in other areas where the nerve travels, like your arms, legs, chest, and belly.
Upper and middle back pain is not as usual as lower back pain or neck pain, because the bones in this region of the back don’t flex or move as much as the bones that are located in your lower back or neck. Rather, they function with the ribs to stabilize the back and help safeguard your vital organs, such as the heart and lungs.
What are the Common Causes of Upper Back Pain?
A study indicated that 1 in 10 men and 1 in 5 women might suffer from upper back pain. Doctors often refer to upper back pain as thoracic spine pain or TSP. It is often caused by the following:
1. Muscle Deconditioning And Poor Posture
People can condition their muscles over a period of time to be stronger or more durable when doing exercises, sports or weight training. The reverse also holds true. Humans may decondition their muscles over time especially when they are not used as much anymore.
In some muscles, which include back muscles, deconditioning is as easy as sitting at a desk with improper posture for an extended period. You can pull this off at work! Slouching in a chair may result in a loss of strength in the muscles. Over time, the diminishing of muscles may result in pain in the region as they experience strains.
So when you slouch, pressure from gravity and the body itself pushes on the spine, neck, discs, and ligaments. This pressure can lead to pain and other complications.
It is possible to condition the muscles to be stronger and more durable in most cases. You can do this by correcting the posture while sitting, and taking consistent breaks from sitting at your desk to moving around and doing some basic stretches. Exercises may also bolster strength in the back, and using a standing desk can help, too.
Conditioning the muscle would ask patience from you. And anyone with chronic upper back pain from weak muscles might benefit from paying a visit to a physical therapist to find an exercise routine that is suitable to their specific needs.
2. Overuse of Muscles
Overusing back muscles is another cause of upper back pain. This often happens due to repeating the same motions over time. This can be a cause of:
- Muscle strain
Someone who has to repeat the same motion all day, every day, or lifts things above their head all through the day, for example, may begin to suffer from muscle irritation, tightness, or strain. This could then possibly lead to chronic pain if they still ignore these symptoms.
Treatment for muscle overuse starts by simply resting the area, and using heat or ice packs to stimulate blood circulation to the muscle tissues. It may also help to find ways and means to avoid the repeated motion if at all possible, or to take breaks between activities.
3. Traumatic Injury
- A traumatic injury can also be a reason why you might be experiencing back pain. This may be the result of circumstances that include:
- Car accidents
- Slipping and falling
- Work-related incidents
- Lifting inappropriately
- Working out too intensely
The injury is sometimes painfully clear, and pain is felt immediately after the incident. Other times, the pain may not be felt until later on or the next day.
Traumatic injuries can be stark, and concerns from injuries, for example, fractured vertebrae, places a person at risk of long-lasting difficulties like chronic pain, nerve damage, and paralysis.
You should most definitely pay your doctor a visit to look at all potential back injuries, as it is crucial that they are attended to properly to avoid long-term pain.
4. Herniated Disc
Discs in the spine keep the vertebrae from chafing against each other. Herniated discs are more common in the lower back but may at times, happen in the upper back as well.
Discs are the soft, rubbery cushions that are found in between each vertebra. Herniated discs happen when a piece of this cushion pokes through and puts pressure on the spine. Even a small amount of pressure can lead to substantial pain in the middle of the back, as well as other indications, like numbness or weakness in the arms or legs. Most people do not need surgery for herniated discs and will recover with rest or by taking anti-inflammatory medications.
5. Pinched Nerve
A herniated disc can slip far out enough that it compresses a nearby nerve. A pinched nerve in the middle back may lead to:
- Numbness and pain in the arms or legs
- Problems with controlling urination
- Weakness or loss of control in the legs
When a pinched nerve comes from a herniated disc, the treatment is identical to treating the herniated disc. A pinched nerve rarely needs any surgery, though doctors may counsel spinal steroid injections in some cases.
The origin of back pain is at times not the muscles, but an issue in the bones and joints. The cartilage that cushions and safeguards the bones may deteriorate as a person advances in age. This is called osteoarthritis. The United States National Institute on Aging says that it is the most common form of arthritis among older adults.
Osteoarthritis may lead to cartilage between the bones completely wearing away, resulting in the bones to rub together. This can also place pressure on the nerves in the spine, leading to numbness or tingling in the arms and legs.
What are the Symptoms?
Usual symptoms of upper and middle back pain are:
- A dull, burning, or piercing pain.
- Tightness or stiffness of the muscles.
More serious symptoms that need to be tended to immediately include:
- Weakness in your arms or legs.
- Numbness or tingling in your arms, legs, chest, or belly.
- Loss of bowel or bladder control.
Best Sleeping Positions For Back Pain
The way you sleep and the body aches you experience are actually connected and can have a superior impact on each other. While they may not be the cause of your back pain or lack of sleep, they most definitely can impact your mood, joint and muscle soreness, and schedule of sleep. This is why paying close attention to your body posture while you are lying down is central to managing spinal issues.
Here is how the most ideal sleep positions for back pain have an influence on your body as opposed to the worst ones:
The Best is:
Sleeping On Your Back
This is the best way to position your body while you are getting some shut-eye. Sleeping on your back spreads weight evenly on your spine, and prevents unnecessary pressure off of it and your muscles as well. If you place a pillow under your knees, your spine will keep its natural curve.
The Decent Way is:
Sleeping On Your Side
This posture is not as awesome as lying on your back but is not as damaging to your spine as lying on your stomach. Try switching up which side you sleep on every night to prevent muscle imbalance. In addition, you can also help ease your spine position by bending your legs a little towards your chest and placing a regular pillow or body pillow between your knees.
The Worst One is:
Sleeping On Your Stomach
Stomach sleepers are the ones who are most likely to experience back and neck pain. Lying down in this manner flattens the natural curve of your spine, and stresses out your back, neck, and shoulder muscles. If you’re a strict stomach-sleeper, try placing a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis to relieve back strain.
How Restful Sleep Can Provide Pain Relief
As mentioned, your body’s condition is correlated to how well you are sleeping \. You may discover that instead of just looking for the most ideal sleep positions for back pain, you may need to establish a consistent nightly routine that will help you get a better quality of sleep. It is pretty common knowledge that you need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to perform at optimal condition, mentally and physically the very next day. If you fall asleep within 5 minutes of lying down, you may actually be suffering from sleep deprivation, which can actually be a cause for chronic back pain.
To boost your sleep and raise the chances of pain relief, it’s suggested that you develop good sleep hygiene. This includes stages such as cutting down on the amount of caffeine you consume every day. To establish a consistent routine, you should sleep at identical times every night, avoid napping during the day, and make a nightly regimen that helps you get to a relaxed state right before sleeping. This could be taking a bath, washing your face, or reading a book. Good sleep hygiene is not only advantageous for an improved lifestyle but also lets your body get the rest it needs which reduces the stress it puts on your muscles and joints.
Try Replacing Your Mattress
Often times, you cannot remedy the pain in your back by just changing your schedule or sleeping habit. Unfortunately, your mattress may be the whole reason you are suffering aching back pains each night. Sure, you may love the comfortable mattress you’ve had for more than a decade, but bear in mind that the average lifespan of a regular mattress is just 5 to 10 years. Old mattresses often mold to your body shape over time and have sagged because of excessive use.
That is why you should really consider replacing your mattress with a newer one that has a varied level of firmness or is made of memory foam. If you don’t have the resources to pay for an expensive mattress that can alleviate your back pain, there are many bed pads that you can lay over your existing mattress that have the same effect as memory foam.back to menu ↑
Learn How To Find The Best Mattress For A Bad Back
As mentioned, one of the best ways to alleviate pain in your upper back is to find a suitable mattress. One of the most difficult medical conditions to treat and find a remedy for are those relating to chronic back pain, and it’s something that distresses millions of people around the world each and every day.
People often times go to the ends of the earth, looking for the best mattress that would give them some sort of reprieve from back pain because, along with debated chiropractic treatments, having a comfortable place to get sound sleep seems to help the most when it comes to lessening chronic back pain and even preventing it altogether.
While determining the best or most ideal mattress remains a fiercely debated topic, sleep professionals say that specific kinds function better than others when it comes to pain management and support. It was previously suggested that those with back problems sleep on a very rigid mattress, but that advice has long been debunked.
Today, back experts recommend using a medium-firm mattress, which gives a lot of spine support without placing pressure on your shoulders, neck, and hips.
Three terms you’ll often hear quite a bit at a mattress store are firmness, supportiveness, and conformability. Here’s what they basically mean in mattress-speak:
Firmness points to how much the mattress “pushes back” against your weight. A very firm mattress pushes back considerably and keeps you right above the mattress’s top, while a very soft mattress pushes back a little and lets you sink into the mattress quite a bit. While preference is important, for most people with bad backs, the best bet is medium-firm.
Supportiveness refers to how well it keeps your spine in position while you rest. A mattress with good support helps keep your head, shoulders, hips, and back in a calm, neutral position with no bending, sagging, or pressure.
Conformability is the meeting point between the mattress’s rigidity and supportiveness. It points to the way the mattress adapts, or molds itself, to your body’s curves. The right mattress conforms itself enough to relieve pressure on your joints without letting your back sag or sink.
That said, here are the mattresses that I found worked best in alleviating my back pain.back to menu ↑
Top Rated and Recommended Mattresses for Back Pain
The Sweetnight 10 inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress is designed to offer you optimum comfortable time in bed. The mattress is created with fantastic four layers and zoned foam, which makes the mattress flappable. This makes sleeping on any side or position possible for you without waking with body pains.
The top 2-inch gel-infused memory foam of this mattress ensures your body temperature is regulated to keep you cool. The 5-inch comfort foam next to the 2-inch enhances body posture, making you sleep without any discomfort. Next to that is the 3-inch high-density foam meant to support the mattress’s quality, performance, and edge-to-edge support.
The product is certified by CertiPUR-US. That is, it is tested carefully and found free of any toxic chemicals or substances that could be unfriendly to sleepers. The Sweetnight is highly recommendable for quality sleep, especially if your mission is to keep back pain at bay.
The Nectar Gel Memory Foam Mattress is manufactured by a brand that only desires their customers’ happiness more than making sales alone. The mattress consists of five layers to make you very comfortable when sleeping at all times. The top layer is airy and softly made from quilted cooling Tencel cover, while the second part is gel memory foam that distributes your weight on the mattress.
Next is the adaptive response transition part, which supports your body not to sink when sleeping on the mattress. That’s followed by a base layer that strengthens the previous layer’s support, and finally is the last layer, which is the bottom. That is the cover that prevents mattress slippage.
We recommend and guarantee this mattress has the solution to your chronic back pain when sleeping. Say no to back pain by investing in this great product.
The Layla Sleep Copper Infused Memory Foam Mattress is created mainly to make you cool when sleeping and enjoy excellent support for any sleeping position you like. Another great feature of the product is the double firmness levels it has that make it flippable. You can either sleep on the soft or firm side.
Furthermore, the cover of the mattress is thermally infused. That disperses heat away from your body and keeps you cool when sleeping. You won’t feel too warm or hot when you make this mattress your choice. The mattress can be stationed on any foundation like solid, adjustable, bunkie, box spring, slatted, and others.
The mattress is available at a reasonable price, and it comes with two free memory foam pillows worth above $140. Begin to enjoy a great time in bed with the Layla Sleep Copper Infused Memory Foam Mattress.back to menu ↑
[FAQ’s] Consumer Questions & Answers
What are other causes of back pain?
Most underlying diseases may not cause back pain, but events like prolonged sitting position, sleeping position, extreme workouts, lifting too much, poor-fitting backpack, among others, maybe the cause.
How can I know my mattress is the cause of back pain for me?
It may be difficult for you to conclude that you are having back pain because of your mattress. The only way to find out is to check how you feel before going to bed. If you feel alright with no sign of pain anywhere and wake up with slight or terrible back pain, you need to ditch your mattress. Also, if the back pain occurs persistently, it’s a good pointer.
Can I have back pain when I sleep on a memory foam mattress?
You can experience back pain even if you just purchased a new memory foam mattress. That can happen if you bought the right memory foam mattress with a firmness level that’s not right for you. Firmness is crucial as that will keep your spine balanced to maintain your posture and prevent back pain.
How firm should my mattress feel to avoid back pain?
Your mattress should not be extremely firm, or else it will push your spine and other pressure joints that could make you have back pain. Relatively, if your mattress is excessively soft, your body will sink deep into the mattress, and that will cause bad body posture that may lead to back pain. The mattress you should purchase must-have medium firmness that will make you feel super comfy.
When is the right time to change my mattress?
There is no specific rule as to when you should change your mattress because that is determined by many factors such as quality, comfort, and others. Nevertheless, under normal circumstances, you can change your mattress after eight years of heavy use.