If instead of restoring energy during sleep, you constantly wake up feeling like you’re 80 years old, you’re not alone.
Occupational lower back pain is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, and its prevalence has raised by 22% between 1990 and 2010. Today, this number may be even higher.
And the curious thing about lower back pain is that often, it isn’t caused by chronic medical conditions like arthritis, but by the lifestyle habits you can correct.
And if you want to know how to bring relaxed shut-eye back into your life, continue reading.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
So, according to the information by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the leading causes of lower back pain are:
Strains. A poor sitting posture and overstretching of the lumbar area can cause pain and stiffness.
Skeletal irregularities. When your spine loses it’s natural alignment due to lordosis, for example, it may compensate for loads and create painful sensations.
Injuries. Sports traumas or accidents disrupt the integrity of tendons and ligaments around the spine. Also, as a result of injury, some vertebral disks might become overly compressed, which can contribute to pain.
Disk degeneration. This is the most common mechanical cause of lower back pain. Vertebrae disks lose their flexibility with age, and this can result in different aches and pains.
Other factors that impact a person’s predisposition to lower back pain include age, weight, level of physical activity, and genetics, as some people are initially more flexible than others.
Finally, you might just be sleeping on an old mattress. Experts recommend upgrading a bed every 7-10 years. And if the age of your mattress falls in this range, it probably cannot offer you uniform support and prevents your spine from resting in a relaxed position.
What Sleeping Positions Work Best for Lower Back Pain Relief?
So, now let’s talk about what you can do to relieve back pain symptoms. Start with tracking in which sleeping position you fall asleep and wake up.
Why would you even need this, you may ask?
Well, because some sleeping positions are more beneficial for your spine alignment, while others may completely wreck a good night’s rest.
Let’s get into detail.
The supine sleeping position is recommended by most chiropractors and healthcare specialists for those who have back issues. In this position, your spine maintains its natural arches, and your body weight is evenly distributed around the mattress surface.
However, some individuals with back pain find it difficult to get up from the supine position. In this case, the supine position might not be suitable.
Note that if you sleep on your back on an old mattress, sagging in the middle can aggravate the symptoms and make the stiffness even more pronounced.
Side sleeping is another great position for back pain relief. It can eliminate the strain from the lower back area and redistribute the body weight, especially in heavy sleepers.
But the main drawback of side sleeping is that it can create pressure points in the shoulder and hip areas. So, if you’re a fan of firmer beds or are prone to hip pain, you may as well wake up with the stiff pelvic area, which can spread the pain into your lower back. So, the best mattress for side sleepers with lower back pain is the one with a softer feel and a lot of give, such as those reviewed in this research.