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When Sleep Hurts

By Donna Stark

When you experience pain on a daily basis, it's only natural to search your recent past for the specific event that caused it to begin. An accident of some sort, a sports injury, a tough workout, or maybe even just some simple tomfoolery ... anything really, just something so you can say, "A-ha! I remember! My back hurts because I did that." But more often than not, we can't come up with anything. Nothing stands out, and so we sit there, scratching our heads in complete frustration because it just doesn't make sense. Our bodies hurt but we don't know why.

Your Sleeping Position may be the Culprit

Most people think of sleep as a little slice of Heaven. It's the time when your body recovers from the day, when it heals itself. We all know that. So how could that precious time of peaceful rest and self-healing be the cause of your excruciating discomfort the very next day? Well, sleeping in a position that places constant stress on your body can certainly cause pain, and the pain that it causes can be severe and long-lasting. So how should you sleep? Let's take a look at a few tips that can ensure restful nights and pain-free days.

  • Stomach sleeping - This position has a tendency to hyperextend your lower back and cause significant neck pain. It also places that constant pressure I mentioned above on the body's joints and muscles, which can irritate your nerves. If you choose to sleep in this position, save your neck from pain by using a soft pillow and relieve your back pain by placing a pillow under your hips.
  • Fetal position sleeping - Although common, this isn't the best position either because it can aggravate pre-existing arthritis in the back and joints. Try to break this habit by placing pillows along your body so you are encouraged to sleep straighter.
  • Side sleeping - This position is generally looked upon as OK to use because it does keep the spine in a somewhat neutral position. If you do suffer from back pain though, placing a pillow between your legs can help alleviate any pressure on your hips and lower back.
  • Back sleeping - Sleeping on your back is one of the best sleep positions to use because it keeps your head, neck, and spine aligned. There is a chance that it may lead to lower back pain if your mattress needs replacing, but you can combat that by placing a soft pillow or rolled-up towel under your knees.

Change Your Position, Reduce Your Pain

It can be extremely frustrating trying to figure out the cause of your pain, but if you have gone through the process of elimination and haven't considered your sleeping habits, it might be time to do so. The slightest change in your sleeping position may bring huge changes in the form of pain relief so it's definitely worth exploring!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Acworth, Ga.

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