25 Jun How Your Pillow and Mattress Can Affect Your Back and Neck Pain
A good night’s sleep should leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to face the day. So why do you sometimes wake up with a stiff neck and a sore lower back? Unless you have known back issues or an injury that contributes to poor sleep, morning aches and pains are both confusing and frustrating.
If you’re wondering what may be causing your back pain and you haven’t changed anything in your daily schedule, the answer may lie in your pillow and mattress.
Today, your trusted McAllen chiropractor at Hendrick Wellness Center will break down how your pillow and mattress can lead to a stiff neck and/or sore lower back — and what you can do about it.
Understanding Your Sleep Position
We tend to fall asleep in roughly the same position every night, and every sleep position has a different impact on your body. However, certain positions may account for some of your pain.
People who sleep on their stomach are more likely to experience back pain because this position pulls the spine out of alignment. Also, the twisting and contorting that stomach sleepers do to get comfortable can put extra pressure on the neck and lower back, which can even cause poorer circulation.
If you sleep on your stomach, try to train yourself to sleep on your side, usually by propping your trunk up with a pillow.
How the Wrong Pillow Can Affect Your Sleep Position
While the issue is more serious for stomach sleepers, those who sleep on their side can also be pulling their spines out of alignment by using the wrong pillow. Even with the right sleep position, the wrong pillow can lead to major issues that can be a literal pain in the neck. That’s because your pillow is just as important as your mattress when it comes to proper spinal alignment.
Choose a pillow with the right amount of loft for your sleep position. If you sleep on your side, you need a more supportive pillow with a higher loft. For those who sleep on their stomachs, look for a pillow with a lower profile.
Individuals who sleep on their back may sleep on both high and low loft pillows, based on their personal preference.
How the Wrong Mattress Affects Your Back
Most people who experience back pain and stiffness should look to their mattress — or more specifically — their mattress’s firmness level.
If your back pain comes when you first wake up, but you can stretch to get rid of it within 15–30 minutes, then that’s a major sign that your mattress is doing more harm than good. Also, if you find yourself waking up more frequently, or tossing and turning while trying to fall asleep, then that should also be an indicator.
It’s important to note that even if you’re not prone to back pain, you should replace your mattress every eight years.
Picking the Right Mattress for Your Back
Naturally, everyone has their own unique preferences, which can make it difficult to find the perfect mattress. When searching for a mattress, look for one that’s not too firm or too soft.
If the mattress is too firm, it will push on your pressure points and cause misalignment. If the bed is too soft, it will allow your body to sink into the bed, causing bad posture while you sleep, which can also result in neck or back pain.
While mattresses can be a financial burden, you should always consider investing in a good one, especially when taking into account that you’ll be spending seven to nine hours on your mattress every night. This makes it an important piece of furniture.
Other Ways to Help Your Back/Neck Pain
Changing your mattress will most likely work wonders for your back pain if that was the cause. However, you can also incorporate a stretching routine into your day. Make it your daily goal to do a few stretches before going to bed and after waking up to help with spine flexibility.
Remember to learn how to sleep in the best position possible. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs can help support your lower back. Certain pillows can also help promote less neck and back pain while you sleep.
Why You Should Get an Adjustment Before Going Mattress Shopping
It is a very good idea to get a wellness adjustment from your local chiropractor before going mattress shopping. This can help alleviate pain and help you have improved posture and body support.
We hope after reading this, you can find relief from your back and neck pain if it was caused by your pillow or mattress.
If you have any chiropractic needs or concerns, help yourself by reaching out to us.