The lower back is a critical section of the body as it supports all sorts of movement. The complexity of the five vertebral bones in this area makes it a hotspot for discomfort, ranging from stabbing to muscle ache. An attack of lower back pain can start any time in adulthood, whether you have had an injury or not. Sometimes, it can be a sign that something is wrong with your body.
When a backache shifts from mild to severe, it becomes unbearable, interrupting all aspects of your life from mobility, mood, and sleep. It gets worse when your sleeping position doesn’t encourage proper alignment of the lumbar spine. Every time you contort or twist your body while in bed, the spine endures pressure, which can lead to stiffness and agony. However, your journey to recovery and healing will be easier if you educate yourself on how to sleep when experiencing back issues.
The Prone Position
Apart from easing snoring, sleeping on your belly with a pillow under the pelvis is a good way to relieve lower backache. The pillow under your head shouldn’t strain the back, so you’d rather have a thin one. But you can still do without a head pillow; it depends on your ideal comfort level. You’ll benefit more from a prone position without a head pillow if you suffer from degenerative disc disease.
The Supine Position
You can assume the supine position by lying flat on your back while facing up. To support the normal arch of the spine, use a pillow under the knees. A rolled towel just above the buttocks can add comfort. Don’t forget to prop up your neck with an appropriate pillow. The bodyweight is spread evenly across most body parts in the supine position, eliminating strain on pressure points.
You can also take a recliner position while sleeping on your back. Get an adjustable bed if you want to attain the best body alignment. This is highly recommended for victims of isthmic spondylolisthesis, a condition whereby a vertebra falls over another vertebra below it. By creating an arch between the trunk and thighs, reclining helps to reduce pressure subjected to the spine.
It is one of the best sleeping positions for balancing the torso and reducing strain on the lumbar spine. Placing a pillow between the knees is key to keeping the spine, hips, and pelvis in their proper alignment while sleeping on your side. If possible, use a full-body pillow and keep the knees slightly bent. Take caution when turning in bed to prevent the body from twisting.
If you must turn, move the whole body and maintain a tight, pulled-in core. It helps to bring the knees closer to the chest (the fetal position). A herniation happens when the vertebral discs protrude from the normal position, leading to nerve pain and other complications. But curling your torso helps to maintain the integrity of the soft cushions or discs between the vertebrae.
While in a fetal position, let the shoulder and other body parts on the side you’re sleeping on stay in contact with the mattress. You may add a pillow to cover any gap between the mattress and your waist. It’s possible to develop a habit of sleeping on one side but try as much as possible to switch sides. The last thing you want is muscle imbalance or scoliosis.
Don’t Ignore Signs of Chronic Back Pain
Almost all adults get back pain at some point in their lives. It is thus important that you understand the symptoms and severity of pain. If your backache is caused by heavy lifting, rest and icing should make it recede within 72 hours. However, lower back pain that increases gradually and creeps for unexplained reasons could indicate serious health issues.
Call for emergency medical attention if: The pain gets worse by the day You have a fever, bladder incontinence, serious weight change Your legs are weakening gradually You feel numbness or tingling sensations in the glutes and the groin If lower back pain interferes with your daily activities, it’s about time you see a chiropractor. Chiropractic treatment is all about manual manipulation and doesn’t involve narcotics or invasive surgery.
If you are in Hoover and the surrounding suburbs of Birmingham, worry not because a chiropractor is only a phone call away. Reach us at 205-637-1363, and we will schedule your therapy session with a real professional.