Is Sleep Triggering Your Back Pain?
Recent research has revealed that nearly one in three people experience back and neck pain after a night's sleep, while most feel stiff or achey in the mornings.
The British Chiropractic Association carried out a poll of 2,400 people and found that 30% of the people asked said they believe sleep triggers back and neck pain and 42% said they had been kept awake by the pain. Some 83% said they feel stiff or ache when they get up in the morning.
It is important to check that your mattress is still supporting you enough and check your pillows too!
The survey found 33% of people change their mattress only once a decade despite recommendations to buy a new one every seven years. A fifth (21%) admit changing their mattress less than once a decade and 10% had never changed it at all.
The BCA says people should change their mattress if they regularly wake up stiff or aching, have a better night's sleep somewhere else, the mattress is misshapen or sagging, it creaks when people move, or if individual springs can be felt.
How often you should change a mattress depends on lots of factors including your weight and how well you have cared for your mattress. However, as soon as a mattress stops supporting your back it's vital you get a new one. A mistake that people often make when choosing a new mattress is thinking the firmer the better. This is not always true - one bed does not fit all.
We spend a third of our lives in bed so it's important to spend time choosing your new mattress and, remember; if you're planning on sharing your bed with your partner, take them with you to test it.
I always advise my patients to sleep either on their side with their knees together and a pillow between the knees to keep the spine and pelvis in alignment and to avoid back pain. Or on your back with a pillow under your knees to keep them bent allowing the lower back to flatten out making sleeping more comfortable. I advise against sleeping on your front as this stresses the lower back and encourages a twist to occur in the spine which over time can lead to back pain.
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