Waking with a sore back in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning leaves you exhausted and frustrated, but there may be an easy fix. While back pain can have a number of complex facets to it, back pain only felt when you’re lying in bed may be more simple. Here are the top reasons you may be getting a sore back when you’re sleeping.
Your hip muscles are tight
When the muscles and structures around your hip, such as your Gluteus Medius and Piriformis, are tight, your back can get sore during sleep. These structures can pull your lower spine into an enhanced lordosis. This means you have an excessive ‘sway’ in your lower back which becomes pronounced when you lie on your back.
Sure, your lower back should be in a lordotic posture as that’s the natural ’s’ shape of your spine, however an enhanced lordosis is not natural. It puts excessive pressure on the facet joints of your spine, causing a sore, aching feeling. But how do you know if your hips are tight?
- Does your back feel sore when you life on your back on your mattress?
- Does you back soreness ease when you hug your knees to your chest?
- If you stretch your hips out, then lie back down, does it ease your back pain?
If you answered ‘no’ to the above questions, read on. Your soreness is probably stemming from something else.
Your mattress isn’t right for you back
Your unique spine needs its own specific level of support, and this can change over time. The mattress that used to feel comfy may not be right for you anymore. Great quality mattresses have features like an advanced spring support system, high tensile edge support and additions such as a foam or gel mattress topper to cater to your unique spine.
If you’re not sure where to look, mattresses crafted by health professionals with expertise in spinal health such as chiropractors or physiotherapists are the safest purchase.
You already have back pain and your mattress is making it worse
If you have existing back pain, made worse from sleeping, your back is calling out for a new mattress. The impact your mattress can have on your spine is substantial, and related directly to how firm or soft your mattress is. In the old days, health professionals would recommend sleeping on very firm mattresses, but things have changed:
- Researchers surveyed a group of 268 people with low back pain
- Those who slept on very hard mattresses had the poorest sleep quality
- There was no significant difference in sleep quality between those who slept on medium-firm and firm mattresses
If you’ve been told to sleep on a very hard mattress, chances are, it was a while ago. The thinking behind mattress recommendations for those with low back pain has changed, and it’s time to invest in a new mattress that has firm support without being hard.
Your mattress has lost its support capabilities
Overtime, your mattress changes due to continuous loading in certain areas. This causes sagging, and decreases the support capabilities of the springs. This can lead to back pain as your mattress has lost its ability to support your spine, leaving you in uncomfortable postures throughout the night. The best way to combat this is to invest in a high quality mattress topper, or better yet, a mattress with an inbuilt mattress topper support system such as gel memory foam.
Studies show investing in a mattress topper, or mattress embedded with innovative spinal support can show significant improvement in those with low back pain when coupled with rehabilitation. These improvements were vast, including:
- Decreased pain with rest
- Decreased pain with movement
- Better sleep quality
- Decreased perceived back disability
So if you already have back pain and are sick of waking up sore, look for a mattress embedded with a supportive gel or foam topper.
You have inflammatory back pain
Inflammatory pain is worse after periods of immobility, such as sleep. If you wake with a lot of soreness in your back, you may have an inflammatory element to your aches and pains.
If you’ve bought a high quality mattress and done everything you can do to make your mattress as supportive as possible but you still wake up sore, see your health professional. There are many things they can do to help you recover your mobility and decrease your pain.
Waking up with a sore back isn’t normal, and there are clear reasons why it’s happening. Try the tips above, and speak to a great mattress company about which product is best for you.
Image Credits: Antonio Caverzan