Sleeping Well for Your Spine
By Sara Butler
You can develop back and neck pain simply by sleeping in a position that isn’t optimal for proper spinal alignment. Some positions you sleep in can put a lot of pressure on your central nervous system as well as place a lot of strain on your muscles. By making just a few simple changes in conjunction with regular chiropractic care, you can help reduce the pressure placed on your body when sleeping and prevent pain. Here are some chiropractic sleep tips you should take note of.
Check Your Mattress
Did you know that new mattresses should be purchased every 10 years or so? It depends on the manufacturer recommendations, but a lot of people are sleeping on mattresses that are simply too old that don’t offer enough support.
Mattresses that sag in the middle can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. A supportive mattress will allow your spine to remain in a neutral position through the night and be comfortable for you to sleep on. If you’re waking up with back or neck pain, then this may be one of the first places you should look to discover the cause.
Check Your Pillow
Another common cause of neck and back pain when sleeping is the type of pillow you use – or more specifically, the age of your pillow. It’s not unheard of for chiropractic patients to report their pillows are quite old. The truth is that if you can easily bend your pillow in half and it stays that way, then you need a new pillow.
Pillows are very important to proper alignment of the neck while sleeping. They should not prop your head up above the rest of your body, but help your head to stay in line with the rest of you – not too far up and not too far down. A pillow’s purpose is to support your neck, so make sure yours is doing that.
Check Your Sleeping Position
Some people are side sleepers while some are back sleepers. Both of those positions are workable to keep your body in alignment as you sleep and reduce the chance of waking up with a pain in the neck back. The one position you absolutely don’t want to be in is on your stomach. That places a lot of strain on the neck as it forces the head to stay extended to one side for several hours at a time. If you are a stomach sleeper, then discuss how to stop the habit with your chiropractor.
You spend a lot of time sleeping. Let your chiropractor help you to do it in a healthy way that will leave you waking up refreshed!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbia, S.C.