This is your pillow. The good folks at Advanced Integrative Rehabilitation, in Washington D.C., have asked me to talk to you about your sleeping habits as a part of their focus on pain management. My fellow pillows and I have noticed some trends with our sleepers that concern us. After a hard day of work or play, your sleep time is critical, so your body can rest and your brain can reset. However, without proper attention, you can also create strain on your back. There are many things that you can do to help your back by building a few simple habits into your bedtime regimen. Dr. Sniezek has createda comprehensive guide to taking care of your lower back that serves as our primary resource for this discussion. For more detailed pain management information, please consult Dr. Sniezek’s guide.
- The couch is not your back’s best friend. Couches are made for people to sit on, not to sleep on. They don’t support your spine like a good firm mattress. If your mattress is a bit soft and you are not ready to purchase a new one, you can place a piece of plywood between your box springs and mattress. That’ll firm up your mattress until you can make more permanent arrangements.
- Try not to sleep on your stomach.
- When sleeping on your back, place a couple of other pillows under your thighs to support and reduce strain on your lower back. (By the way, at this stage of my career, I’m strictly a head and neck pillow. I’ve done my time down there, and it’s someone else’s turn).
- When sleeping on your side, try sleeping with one or both knees bent, with hips flexed. A pillow between your knees can also provide support for your spine.
- Your arms should be relaxed by your side, not over your head.
- When rolling over in bed, don’t twist your torso. Turn your head, neck, torso, hips, and knees simultaneously, as one unit.
- To get out of bed, turn to one side, and with your top hand, push down on the mattress to raise yourself to a seated position, with your feet flat on the floor. Then, while maintaining a straight back, use your legs to raise you to a standing position (in other words, don’t lean forward when you stand up).
With these simple changes in routines, we the pillows know you’ll be able to manage your back pain more successfully. Please contact the office at Advanced Integrative Rehabilitation to set an appointment if your pain persists.