Having a bad back is one of the worst things in the world, isn’t it? It can affect absolutely everything – from walking around, to sitting, and sleeping. How to sleep with lower back pain is a question that nags many of us. If you are currently suffering, read on for our best tips (and lots of sympathy!)
How To Sleep With Lower Back Pain?
If your back is hurting, it may cause you problems sleeping. Never fear, there are some things that can help you drift off despite the pain!
- Try the foetal position. Curling up on your side can lessen the strain on your lower back and help you to fall asleep.
- Place a pillow between your knees. Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees will help your back, and your sleep.
- Lie on your back with a pillow under your knees. Lifting your legs slightly like this will take some of the strain off your lower back area.
- Sleep reclined. Lifting the top half of yourself slightly will ease the pressure on your sore back, and you should be able to sleep.
- If you are a front sleeper, place a pillow underneath your pelvis. This will prevent your back “sinking” and causing more pain.
- Take painkillers. Although this is not recommended as a long term solution, taking the edge off the pain with over the counter painkillers can help you get some rest.
Sleeping when you have back pain can be hard – but you need to sleep in order to heal your body faster! Do whatever you can to get comfy enough to doze off.
What Position Is Best For Lower Back Pain?
Arguably, the best position to sleep in is whatever position allows you to sleep with the least amount of pain!
However, studies have show the best way to sleep if you are suffering with lower back pain, to best support the spine and allow you to sleep.
Sleeping on your side, with knees bent slightly is the best way to sleep when you are experiencing lower back pain.
This position puts the least amount of stress on the lumbar spine, and allows you to get some rest and (hopefully) a good night’s sleep.
Many people find that putting a pillow between the knees helps to improve this position still further, as this lessens the amount of pressure on the sore area.
Sleep and back pain are a tricky combination – pain makes it hard to sleep, and not getting enough sleep can contribute to even more pain!
If you can find a way to get some sleep while still doing the best for your bad back, you will find that the pain goes away much sooner.
Should I Rest In Bed If I Have Lower Back Pain?
Although your first instinct when you have back pain is probably to hobble to bed and stay there, this might not actually be the best plan.
Lying around, although it may seem preferable to doing lots of running around when you have a bad back, is not actually going to do you much good!
Keeping moving where possible, including gently stretching your back muscles, is the best way to heal the fastest.
Total bed rest might actually hinder your recovery in the long term, as the muscles can seize up and you may find it harder to get moving again.
Your muscles and connective tissues will heal up faster and more efficiently if you keep yourself moving, even just a gentle walk around the block.
You can also try some yoga or pilates – both are gentle exercise, which are very good for anything back-related.
This article explains a little more about how good yoga is for back pain.
How Can I Get Immediate Relief From Lower Back Pain?
Because back pain can be so horrible, generally people will do anything they can to make it go away as fast as possible! Here’s a few ideas for you:
- Take painkillers. Taking Ibuprofen or Paracetamol is fine to do if you have back pain; they may not take it all away, but it can give you some relief.
- Have a hot bath. Relaxing in warm water can help to remove back pain, especially if the muscles are spasming and you can’t get any relief.
- Lie on your back, with your knees up and your arms stretched out. Drop your arms to the left and turn your head to the right. Hold the pose for a minute, then swap sides.
- Lie on your back with your toes pointing up, then slowly bed one knee and pull your leg up to your chest. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
- Apply an ice pack to the area. If your pain is caused by a bump or an injury, reducing the inflammation can go a long way towards reducing the pain.
How Long Does Lower Back Pain Take To Heal?
There are two types of lower back pain: acute and chronic. Acute is when you have your pain for a few days or weeks, while chronic means back pain that goes on for 12 weeks or more.
How long your pain will last depends on the reason for your back pain – if it is a strained muscle, it shouldn’t take too long.
If your back is sore because you have had a serious injury, recovery time will likely be much longer.
Sometimes, depending on the reason, back pain can go away for a little while then come back – your best bet is to make an appointment with your healthcare professional to see if anything can be done.
Lower back pain can be debilitating, especially if it interferes with your sleep and stops you from getting a good night’s rest.
Hopefully now that you have some better ideas on how to sleep with lower back pain, you can find some relief – and some good shuteye!