Back pain at any time can be incredibly frustrating. But, it’s especially irritating when it gets worse in the evenings.
How are you supposed to sleep when you’re busy tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position?
If you currently suffer from back pain at night, keep reading to learn more about what could be causing your pain. We’re also sharing some great tips to help you feel better than ever before.
Common Causes of Back Pain at Night
It’s not always easy to figure out what is causing your back pain. Often, pain builds up gradually, so it’s hard to remember if there was one specific injury or event that led to it. This is especially true for people who suffer from chronic back pain.
However, it’s still worth it to spend some time evaluating your life and looking for behaviors that could be causing your pain or making it worse. Some common ones include:
Lack of Sleep
It’s totally unfair. But, if you’re not getting enough sleep, you could be making your back pain worse.
Here’s how it works.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body can’t heal itself. So, if your back originally came from a recent fall or another injury, your lack of sleep is stopping your body from being able to heal properly.
Some researchers also believe that, when we’re sleep deprived, we are more sensitive to pain that we would be normally.
What’s your preferred sleep position?
If you sleep on your stomach, you might be putting unnecessary strain on your back muscles and making your pain worse. Stomach sleeping also causes your neck to rotate, causing pain in the upper back, shoulders, and neck.
If your mattress is too soft or too firm, it can be hard to get a good night’s sleep.
Everyone has a slightly different preference, of course. But, if you’re consistently having trouble falling asleep because you’re dealing with back pain at night, you might want to consider switching things up.
Spinal Injuries or Conditions
Injuries like sprains and fractures can often become more noticeable at night, especially after we’ve been up all day putting pressure on our back.
There are a number of other conditions that can cause back pain at night as well, including disc degeneration, scoliosis (an S-shaped curve in the spine), and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal).
If you think you’re experiencing one of these conditions, talk to your doctor.
Lack of Exercise
When we spend too much time sitting or slouching, we put a lot of unnecessary pressure on our spine. This often leads to chronic back pain.
How to Treat Your Back Pain
There are a number of techniques you can implement to relieve your back pain at night and sleep soundly, including the options listed below:
Get the Right Mattress and Pillows
It can be hard to find the right mattress when you’re limited to a few awkward minutes in a furniture store with a salesperson hovering over you.
To really get a feel for a mattress, look for stores that will let you try them out overnight, or at least for a few days. You may also be able to order mattresses to try online and have them delivered directly to your door.
As for pillows, you may want to consider a contoured option that helps prevent strain on the neck.
A body pillow can also be helpful. Tuck it between your knees to take pressure off your back while you sleep.
Avoid stacking multiple pillows, too. This puts your neck in an unnatural position.
Alter Your Sleep Position
Stomach sleepers get the most flack when it comes to sleep position. But, people who sleep in any position can try these hacks to make themselves more comfortable at night:
- Back sleepers: Put a pillow under your knees.
- Stomach sleepers: Put a pillow under the lower abdomen and pelvis.
- Side sleepers: Pull your legs up slightly toward your chest and place a pillow between your knees.
Take some time trying out different postures and find the position that is the most comfortable for you.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Remember, sleep deprivation makes back pain worse. Start setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep early in the day by following these tips:
- Avoid alcohol, especially as your bedtime gets closer.
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evenings.
- Turn down the temperature so your bedroom is nice and cool.
- Invest in earplugs and a sleep mask to block out extra light and sound.
- Avoid using your cell phone or other electronics before bed.
- Avoid heavy meals before bedtime.
If none of these changes improve your sleep quality, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about taking medication for insomnia.
Change Your Diet
Alcohol and caffeine don’t just keep you wired well into the evenings. They also cause inflammation, which could be making your back pain worse.
Other inflammatory foods to avoid include sugary or salty processed foods and processed fats.
A diet high in these kinds of foods can also lead to weight gain, which puts unnecessary strain on your back.
Swap these out for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Increase your consumption of healthy fats like olive and coconut oil, avocado, and salmon as well. And, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D and calcium, two nutrients that are essential for strong, healthy bones.
Make an effort move more throughout the day. Even going for short walks to break up periods of sitting can be incredibly beneficial.
When you do have to sit, make sure you’re practicing good posture. Keep your back straight with your feet flat on the floor and your head positioned directly above your shoulders.
Try a Back Brace
Back braces come with a number of benefits, including the following:
- Immobilize injured areas to promote recovery
- Stabilize weak areas following surgery
- Decrease strain and pressure on the spine while lifting heavy objects
- Improve posture
- Make transitional movements like going from a sitting to standing position more comfortable
Wearing a back brace during the day can help alleviate your pain at night.
It’s not always necessary to sleep with a back brace unless you’ve had surgery or suffer from a condition like scoliosis.
If you do need to sleep with a back brace, keep these tips in mind:
- Sleep on a supportive mattress
- Avoid lying down or sleeping throughout the day
- Get plenty of (safe) exercise in to promote healing
- Use a pillow to prop up your legs
- Practice a “log roll” technique when getting in and out of bed
Be sure to talk to your doctor before buying a back brace. He or she can help you find the proper one for your specific type of pain.
Get Your Back Brace Today
If you’re looking for a good back brace to help relieve your back pain at night, we’re here to help with our wide range of high-quality Back-a-Line braces.
Check out the products in our online shop today.
We’ve got a variety of back braces available, all of which can help ease your pain and help you get a great night’s sleep!