Your posture could be causing low back pain. The American Chiropractic Association says you put around 50 pounds of pressure on your spine when you sleep on your back. Although activities like sitting at a desk for long periods of time or twisting while you pick up something heavy could be the culprits, your mattress and sleeping posture may also be at fault. One way to remedy the situation is spinal decompression. You can find a Westchester chiropractor who does spinal decompression near you, or you can try these steps at home.
Disks are gel-like cushions between the bones in your spine. When your spine becomes compressed, it puts added pressure on the disks and makes it hard for oxygen, water and nutrients to flow freely. Disks may eventually bulge or herniate, causing pain and damaging nerves. Decompressing, or stretching the spine, can take pressure of the disks and allow them to heal. Decompression may be done through surgical or noninvasive procedures, but changing the way you sleep can also help.
Decompressing Your Spine at Night
Activities like sitting for long periods of time, sleeping in the wrong position, or sleeping on a soft mattress can compress the vertebrae in your back. Try these steps to stretch your back while you’re sleeping and eliminate pain.
Buy a mattress that offers good support for your back. Chiropractors recommend one that is medium-firm. If your mattress is too soft, you can add support by placing a thick sheet of plywood underneath to provide more support. If you have a box spring, place the plywood between the box spring and the mattress. Sleeping on a hard surface will naturally lengthen your spine.
Lie on your side, and flex your hips approximately 30 degrees. Bend your knees to 30 degrees, flex them to 30 degrees, and put a pillow underneath your neck. If you also put a thin pillow between your knees, it will keep your hips parallel during the night.
Lie on your back, and bend your knees slightly, putting a pillow beneath them at a 30-degree angle to support your lower back and decompress the spine. Add a pillow to support your neck and keep your head in a neutral stance.
If you sleep on your back, buy a pillow made from memory foam or down to conform to the shape of your head and support it. If you sleep on your side, you may prefer a foam pillow that has an indentation to support your neck and head.