Back pain can keep you up at night, it prevents you from enjoying a good night sleep and saps your day’s energy. But what causes it and how can we avoid it?
The main cause of back pain in bed is poor posture, either from how a person sits at work or how they sleep at night.
Between the vertebrae in the spine are intervertebral discs, which rehydrate at night (which is why we are taller in the morning, and part of the reason that the elderly lose height as they get older). Poor posture can prevent the discs rehydrating.
Poor posture can put the muscles into awkward positions that can cause irritation over a prolonged period of time, resulting in aches or pains.
Prevention of back pain in bed
In order to prevent back pain in bed, taking care of your posture is essential. A great start is to sleep on your right hand side, with knees bent up slightly. Laying on the right hand side is good for blood flow, as you have the smaller and lighter left lung resting on the heart in this position, maximising blood flow.
Ensure that the gap in between the shoulder, neck and head is filled with pillow, so that the spine and neck remain in good alignment. Imagine how your neck sits vertically in line with the rest of the spine when you are sitting and standing; when you are laying on your side, you want to maintain that. Pillow depth is key here, and firmness or softness is personal preference.
When it comes to picking the right mattress, it is important to get the correct support for your spine. A mattress that is too hard can put too much pressure on the areas where you feel discomfort, whereas a mattress that is too soft will not provide support for the areas that need it, allowing the spine to spend long periods in poor and unhealthy positions.
Most people can’t go wrong with a memory foam-type mattress, as this will provide support where support is needed, and allow for adjustment to the body where that is also required.