Is Sleep the Cause of Your Pain?
By Sara Butler
Many people ask their chiropractors about their sleeping situation. They may wake up in the morning with terrible neck or back pain, and wonder if it’s their mattress or their pillows causing their pain. Your chiropractor has seen a lot of patients benefit at night from simple changes to their sleep routine. Here are a couple of the ways you may be able to improve your sleep to wake up free from pain!
Your Sleep Position
There are three basic sleep positions: Back sleeping, side sleeping, and stomach sleeping. The first two can work, but the last is the kind of stuff your chiropractor has nightmares about. Stomach sleeping causes the most problems for people by far because it causes you to keep your head turned for long periods of time. Many people wake up with neck pain, low back pain, and shoulder pain after sleeping this way all night. This position puts undue stress on your neck, disturbing the natural curvature of the entire spine and causes excessive sagging in the lumbar spine. Many patients complain of back pain and eventually discover that sleeping on their stomach is the culprit.
If you’re a stomach sleeper, you need to take steps to change it. You may need to utilize pillows to keep yourself from rolling over to your stomach in the night. You can also try placing a pillow between your knees to keep pressure off your lower back. If you need some more ideas to quit stomach sleeping, discuss them with your chiropractor.
Another thing people do at night that can lead to pain is placing your arms overhead. It doesn’t matter if you do this on your stomach, side, or back – the painful shoulders that result are the same. In fact, sleeping with your arms stretched overhead can cause problems with the rotator cuff in your shoulder or even lead to nerve impingement, and that can be really painful.
What Should You Do?
Aside from your sleeping position, you can improve the quality of your sleep and the way you feel when you wake by finding a good mattress that works for you and a pillow set up that helps to keep your spine neutral. It may take some trial and error, but you’re bound to wake up feeling more rested and ready to face the day with less pain!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.