If you suffer from back pain than chances are you know how difficult it can be to get a proper night’s rest. Your nagging back pain interrupts your sleep and the lack of sleep makes your pain feel even worse. Moreover, researchers have pointed out the links between stress and back pain. As most people have experienced, a lack of sleep can be extremely stressful. Identifying the causes of your back pain – and taking the necessary steps to correct them – can lead to better sleep. So if you experience back pain when sleeping, keep reading to learn our thoughts.
Back pain is extremely common. In fact, the American Chiropractic Association estimates the number is over 31 million people suffer from back pain. Spine Health estimates that “among those with chronic pain, an estimated 50% to 80% have ongoing sleep difficulties.” Even if it is at the low end of the percentage, over 15 million people with back pain experience difficulty sleeping. However, just because this number is abundant doesn’t mean you have to live with pain.
If you are having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or if you are waking up earlier than normal, you should know that pain is widely considered to be among the top causes of insomnia. So the best option is to target the pain and correct it. While some turn to medication when they struggle to sleep, this is a temporary fix. Fortunately, there are a variety of options to help with your nighttime back pain.
Back Pain Contributors:
While your back pain may worsen when lying down or sleeping, it is important to recognize that this pain most likely occurs in the day too. Your nighttime back pain may be an extension of occasional or chronic back pain during daylight hours.
Many patients note that their symptoms increase if they lie in a particular position. It could be on one side of their body or another, or on their backs. This is why it is important to obtain a thorough diagnosis from one of our physicians about the source of your back pain. It could help explain why certain positions lead to more pain than others.
It is important to keep in mind that inflammation increases at night due to our slowing circulation and metabolism. This means that inflammatory pain tends to rise at night.
One of the following may also be causing you back pain:
Tips for Relief:
Showering or Taking a Bath: Taking a bath or shower helps relax muscles that have tightened during the day.
Stretch: Muscle tightness is a big contributor to back pain, so make sure you take time to gently stretch your back muscles before sleep.
Adjust sleep positions: It may seem obvious, but make sure you change up your sleeping positions. At the minimum try to implement sleeping with a pillow between your knees if you are a side sleeper or under your feet to elevate them if you are a back sleeper. Keep in mind that stomach or side sleepers are actually more likely to experience back pain because these positions cause unnatural spine stress.
Try a new mattress: While mattresses are often quite expensive, a new mattress may be worth the purchase if it helps with your pain. If your mattress is more than 10 years old, it is probably past the point of properly supporting your spine. Try different models at a store before purchasing to see which offers the most relief.
Finally, if you experience back pain when sleeping, contact us at 201.729.0001. Our staff at Metropolitan Pain Consultants looks forward to hearing from you. We offer weekday and weekend appointments. Moreover, our conveniently located clinics are in West Orange, Clifton, Aberdeen, and Lyndhurst.