For individuals getting up with pain and stiffness in the back, neck, shoulders practically every morning becomes frustrating and depressing. For most, the pain wears off throughout the day but having to deal with it at the start of the day. Dr. Jimenez of Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic offers some suggestions for pain reduction and prevention.
The body spends around a third of each night sleeping because it is a vital part of life. Sleeping means it is time to relax and prepare for the next day. For many, sleeping can be uncomfortable and can be a cause of back and neck pain when getting up. There are steps an individual can take to ensure that correct sleep is achieved while preventing neck and back pain.
Sleep Position Is Important
Sleeping in a position that maintains the natural curves of the spine is essential. It is recommended not to sleep on the stomach, as this places the spine in an unnatural position and allows the pelvis and lower back to sink into the mattress with no support. This position can also cause neck pain and headaches when getting up. If this is a position that can’t be changed from years of practice, place a pillow under the stomach and or pelvis to keep the lower back and pelvis straight.
- Sleeping on the side or back is highly recommended.
- Side sleepers should also place a pillow between the knees.
- Back sleepers should place a pillow underneath the knees.
- Placing a pillow between and underneath the knees gives the spine proper support to maintain the natural curves.
Check How The Bed Is Set Up
Make sure the bed/sleeping equipment is set up correctly. For example, most pillows do not provide the proper amount of neck support. This can cause neck soreness even if sleeping in the recommended side and back positions. If getting up with neck pain or headaches a cervical pillow can bring relief. A cervical pillow is designed to support the natural curves of the neck while sleeping and places the neck in the proper position. Cervical pillows are designed for side and back sleepers, but make it difficult to sleep on your stomach, which is an added perk to using them.
Using the proper mattress is equally important. The type of mattress being slept on can be a significant contributor to back and neck pain. Individuals that use a medium-firm mattress have less back pain compared to individuals that use too firm or too soft mattresses. Research has shown that mattresses should be replaced every 10 years. Mattresses that are 10 years old and beyond are shown to be a possible cause of back pain while you sleep.
Getting Up and Out of Bed In A Way That Doesn’t Cause Pain
Getting up and out of bed properly will help as well. Most individuals sit up, twist their back to get into a standing position and use the back to stand. This is like lifting with the back and not the legs, which will cause back pain and a possible spinal injury like a herniated disc.
- The recommended way to get up and out of bed after waking is to roll onto the side and use the arm to push up and off from the side-lying position.
- From this position, scoot to the very edge of the bed and get up using the legs, and not the back.
Implementing these suggestions into your routine can be a great way to decrease pain while sleeping and increase getting up without experiencing stiffness, soreness, and feeling refreshed.
The Body’s Composition
Muscle Mass and Workout Recovery
Looking at muscle mass and the intake of certain nutrients into the evening can be beneficial. Protein intake is essential in muscle formation and muscle recovery after working out or engaged in physical activity. Research has shown that a little protein before sleep helps stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
In a study, ingested proteins were shown to cause a rise in circulating amino acid levels, increased whole-body protein rates, and improved net protein balance. Following exercise, the muscles need to be able to recover properly and protein intake is essential. To achieve weight management goals, an individual must achieve a healthy amount of Lean Body Mass. Lean Body Mass is based on Skeletal Muscle Mass, and protein intake is essential.
Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Blog Post Disclaimer
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Improving Sleep: Special Health Report. Boston, MA: Harvard Medical School; 2015.
Bolash R, Drerup M. How to Beat Insomnia When You Have Chronic Pain. Cleveland Clinic Web site. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/12/managing-insomnia-for-those-with-chronic-pain/. Published December 18, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2017.
What is Sleep? American Sleep Association Web site. https://www.sleepassociation.org/patients-general-public/what-is-sleep/. Accessed April 18, 2017.