Scientists from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute have discovered that our sleep patterns can be altered to alleviate back pain, according to a new study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The researchers discovered that people who experienced less severe back pain had a lower incidence of both upper and lower back pain in the morning, compared to people who experienced more pain.
What’s the secret to staying pain-free in the morning? The best medicine may be simply good posture. Daniela Matei, lead author on the study, told The New York Times that the key is creating the right kind of bedding. Matei said that too often, people find themselves in pain after a night of poor sleep, with a tight back and a stiff posture. This essentially builds up an internal tension, which makes it harder to go to sleep and relieve back pain in the morning.
However, even for people with mild back pain, moving your bed to a more restful position in the morning may help. Matei told The Times that she recommends people leave their bed on a firm mattress and pillow at the base of the bed, which feels more comfortable. Before you do this, she said, make sure that the mattress is dry.
The process of “day-to-day” back pain means dealing with injuries that aren’t as grave as those caused by injury. Many times, injuries aren’t immediately apparent, and it’s the process of pain building that often causes the pain, said Professor Estelle Farrell, executive director of the Union Institute of Technology’s Flexibility Program, who is not involved in the study.
To help mitigate this, Farrell recommends people create a personalized sleep schedule. If you hit snooze a few times each night, that’s fine, but to make sure your bed is the best possible spot to sleep, Farrell recommended that people pick a bed that reflects their body’s function. Farrell said that the best bed for most people may simply be a sleeping position that you can adjust. “You’re in charge of it,” Farrell said.
Watch as 40-year-old Erin Echols prepares for her first day at work in a decade:
Read the full story at the New York Times.
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