For most of us, sleep is a restorative process. Our bodies are able to reset themselves, our minds decompress from our day, and we wake feeling physically and emotionally rejuvenated. For those suffering from back pain, whether chronic in nature or the result of recovery from minimally invasive spine surgery, sleep can be downright painful. For those of us with spine and back pain, there are a number of ways we can assist our bodies in making it through the night pain-free.
Best Sleeping Positions for Back Pain Sufferers:
- Elevate the Knees: Regardless of the condition causing the back pain, most sufferers will benefit greatly from elevating their knees while they sleep. Place a thick pillow under your knees to naturally elevate them without sacrificing comfort.
- Embrace the Recliner: Taking the idea of elevating your knees one step further, try sleeping in a reclining chair. The combination of elevated knees and supported neck often provides the greatest relief for sufferers of back pain. If you prefer to sleep in a bed, splurge on an adjustable bed to achieve the same relief.
- Make Like the Babies: Many back pain sufferers, particularly those with Osteoarthritis and Spinal Stenosis, find significant relief from pain when they curl up in the fetal position to sleep. Lay on your side and pull your knees up to your chest. The positioning of the spine in this position has been shown to provide relief for many causes of back pain.
Best Mattresses for Back Pain Sufferers:
- Firm is Best: For almost all patients, a firmer mattress beats out the softer varieties. In general, firm mattresses provide the spine with the support it needs, holds your position through the night, and supports your weight evenly. The exception to this rule is Bursitis. Those suffering from this condition generally find a softer mattress to be significantly preferable.
- Full Coverage Support: Your mattress should support each and every curve of your spine. Inquire about the physical makeup of your mattress before purchasing. Ask about coil placement and quantity, mattress padding thickness and any additional support systems installed in the mattress.
Embrace Latex: Latex mattresses have been shown to be the best for back pain sufferers. This is due to the springy feel of the mattress. The spongy material pushes into the crevices of your back and offers a degree of support that is vital for relief from back pain.