Editor’s Note: Cheryl Conklin is a guest contributor. My dad and many other PWP I know suffer with significant back pain that seems, at least, exacerbated by PD.
Nothing disrupts sleep like discomfort, particularly when it involves back pain. It can leave us tossing and turning or rigid and afraid to move. Thankfully, many of us can find relief by changing routines and making a few adjustments to our lives. If you’ve been seeking respite at night, here are some things you can try to get good rest.
Stretch Before Bed
It’s become almost bewildering how many cures yoga or stretching can provide, but when it comes to back pain, the hype is very real. Regular activity involving the back muscles, including stretching, can strengthen your spine and improve blood flow, which, in turn, cuts down on pain and inflammation. Of course, should you have a condition like a slipped disc, ask your doctor what is safe, but otherwise, you can benefit from stretching, even in the moment. Once you have the okay, try some gentle movements and exercises that support the back and strengthen core muscles. You may notice immediate relief, but the effects will extend over time, and the more you do them, the better you will hopefully feel.
Using Heat or Menthol
Often, our backs hurt at night from strain and too much use. Maybe you didn’t use your legs when you picked up that bag of groceries or you’ve been sitting incorrectly at your desk, but regardless of the origins, heat and menthol can both help ease discomfort. Menthol or creams that generate heat can do double duty to relieve agony, as the act of rubbing can stimulate blood flow, which decreases pain. Further, menthol has natural pain-relieving properties, and heat can cause your muscles to relax, releasing tension and strain.
Take It Easy
As mentioned, many backaches are the result of some form of strain. The best and quickest way to reduce your suffering is to take a step away from chores to allow yourself time to heal. Stay away from intensive activities like cleaning, landscaping, or even mowing the lawn, as the bending and use of muscles may exacerbate the damage. Instead, build a support system of loved ones and professionals to take some of the strain off. It’s an affordable alternative to losing sleep and suffering discomfort during the day, as most homeowners in Las Vegas only spent between $120 and $233 for an interior cleaning service.
Adjust Your Posture
Many of us don’t think about our posture as we go through our daily lives, but how we hold our spine and neck can greatly affect the overall health of our backs. Poor posture may be inadvertently putting pressure on certain discs or causing muscles to degenerate, and thus become weak and cause pain over time. Further, your posture may be restricting your blood vessels, which can create additional complications. Try to always remind yourself to straighten your shoulders and lift your head, and think about updating your shoes. Orthopedic footwear can help keep our alignment and may improve the quality of our spine health.
Change Your Position
Until you’ve healed, it might be wise to alter how you sleep to relieve discomfort and keep your nights peaceful. Usually, sleeping on one’s back is best, but that may be difficult when experiencing pain. Instead, try lying on your side with a pillow between your knees for support. Draw your knees up towards your chest if the pillow isn’t enough, as this can further reduce tension in your discs while giving you a gentle stretch. Experiment until you find something that works well for you and allows you to drift off to the slumber you deserve.
There is no single answer to relieve back pain. From chronic conditions to poor posture to a pulled muscle, there are many reasons why we may suffer aches, especially at night. Use a combination of these techniques, get some extra help around the home, and alter your sleep position to bolster your efforts for more rest.
— Cheryl Conklin is a freelance writer and tutor by trade and a blogger, adventurer, traveler, and creator of wellnesscentral.info in her free time. She created wellnesscentral.info because she believes one can’t have physical health without mental health and vice versa. She wanted a place to share her thoughts on wellness along with the great resources she finds on her own wellness journey, and so wellnesscentral.info was born!