According to the American Chiropractic Association, “31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.” It is also among the most common reasons cited in America for missing work and the second most commonly stated reason for visiting a doctor. With that in mind, it’s probably no real shock that Americans spend more than 50 billion dollars each year trying to find relief from their back pain. But what are the common causes of back pain and how can you eliminate many of the factors from becoming a problem for you?
What Causes Back Pain?
Unfortunately, it’s can be difficult to pinpoint one definitive cause of all things “back pain” because there are so many likely culprits. There are work-related reasons people suffer from back pain—primarily as a result of repetitive motion strain. You may even suffer from injury-related back pain from car accidents, slips, falls, or even sports injuries. There are also illness related reasons for back pain that should be ruled out before self-diagnosing yourself with something as simple as a perpetually pulled muscle. Even poor posture or carrying over-sized handbags and school bags can lead to back pain.
You’ve probably heard about these back pain possible causes before. But, did you know that you can also suffer back pain as a result of how you sleep?
What Causes Sleep Related Back Pain?
The first common offender of back pain that comes to mind is your mattress. It’s important to find the mattress that works best for you and your comfort needs while sleeping, says the American Chiropractic Association. The general consensus has been that firm mattresses are best for minimizing sleep-related back pain. However, new evidence supports the fact that some people get better quality sleep and less pain as a result of their sleep with a medium firm mattress that provides firm support while cradling curves. Latex mattresses are a wonderful example of this. You should also make sure that your mattress doesn’t have sagging issues or has overly-happy inner springs that sprung long ago.
A mattress that’s past its prime offers little support no matter how firm it may have been in the beginning. The other difference-maker to keep in mind, according to the Mayo Clinic, is the position in which you sleep. Consider sleeping with a pillow between your legs if you’re a side sleeper. This will reduce the strain the unsupported upper leg places on your lower back and reduce the likelihood of sleep-related pain. Back sleepers who suffer from lower back pain should try sleeping with a pillow under their knees and a small towel that has been rolled up placed in the small of the back in order to provide additional support for the back.
Back pain can disrupt every aspect of your day—especially when it’s disrupting the quality of your sleep. But taking the action above can certainly limit back pain resulting from your sleep habits.
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