I have back pain when I wake – what can I do?

It is a common complaint of patients…” I keep waking with pain and stiffness in my back or neck”, “I can’t get comfortable in bed”, “I can’t sleep because my back pain or because my hips hurt”. Our bodies NEED good sleep to rest, recharge and repair. It is important that you do everything you can to make yourself comfortable and ensure the best sleep possible.

5 tips for less back pain and a better night’s sleep

  1. Good mattress – Have a think about how old or “good” your mattress is. Is your mattress sagging, can you feel your or your partner’s imprint, do you and your partner end up rolling to the middle of the mattress or is it 20 years old…If yes, I’d say it’s time to upgrade! You should review you mattress at the very latest every 5 years. And this is a good one – If you have a ‘cheapy’ then they may only last 2 years or less. A good mattress is a worth-while investment. You will be kicking yourself when you have your first good night’s sleep, wishing you invested sooner! Ask your practitioner for recommendations of mattress suppliers.
  2. If a new mattress is out of the question then an alternative is a padded mattress topper – A foam pad that has soft egg-crate contours goes on top of the mattress under the sheets and provides extra cushioning and air circulation.
  3. Get yourself a proper pillow! I can safely say over my years of practice I can count only 2 pillows that were brought in by patients for me to assess that actually gained my tick of approval! 99.5% of pillows people are sleeping on are either too old, too flat, too high, don’t provide any support to the neck and are just plain rubbish! If you feel the need to scrunch, fluff, fold in half, add a second pillow to, have you arm under the pillow (or on top of) or just punch your pillow because your so frustrated – You NEED a NEW pillow! Remember you get what you pay for.A bad pillow may in fact be the major contributor to your neck and back problems. Have your practitioner fit you for a suitable pillow for your body and then look forward to waking with a spring in your step!
  4. Use a knee and ankle pillow – This will help to support your pelvis, hips and lower back by ensuring good alignment whilst lying on your side. It doesn’t take up too much room in the bed. By eliminating additional strain through the hips, pelvis and lower back you will have a much more comfortable sleep.
  5. If you’re a phone, ipad, laptop user or TV watcher whilst in bed you need to STOP or at least limit this. The posture the body is in whilst doing these activities places a lot of strain on the joints and muscles of the body. Followed by then being sedentary in bed, these technologies are common contributors to neck pain, back pain, wrist pain and headaches just to name a few!