Learn how to treat upper back pain from pillow!
Sleeping is the best way to recover from stress due to daily physical activities. It is the time when the body recuperates from exhaustion and illnesses. During sleep, the body also heals and repairs itself. Problems arise when people do not get enough sleep due to various causes that include upper back pain from pillow.
Upper back pain from sleep is usually caused by being in an awkward sleeping position due to bad posture or a pillow that is not compatible with your body. The stiffness and pain can affect the way you function and do your daily activities.
How To Treat Upper Back Pain From Pillow
Upper back pain from pillow will usually go away on its own. But there are several ways through which it can be relieved and prevented from coming back.
Here are some methods and techniques that can be done to treat upper back pain from pillow (and sleep).
1. Self-massage and relaxation exercises
Here are four self-massage and relaxation exercises that help to treat upper back pain from pillow.
NB! Please consult your doctor before trying any of these exercises!
Video: A special method for relieving tension in the upper back – the dragging technique
Video: Relieving tension in the upper back and back – shoulder circles
Video: The special place to relieve tension in the upper back
Video: A very effective upper back massage (lying down)
Those exercises are excellent for treating upper back pain from pillow.
BUT – this is just a fight with the consequences of unsupportive pillow. To avoid upper back pain from pillow you have to deal with the problem itself – the pillow. Continue reading to find hot how to choose the right pillow (based on your sleeping position).
Learn more: 6 Self-Massage Techniques To De-Stress Yourself
2. Use a supportive pillow
If the upper back pain is focused on the neck or shoulder area, it is best to use a posture pillow that is specifically made for cervical support.
3. Change the pillows
You might take pillows for granted and simply think that having soft and plush pillows under your head is enough. If your pillow does not support the weight of your head properly, you can end up sleeping with your spine in an awkward position – resulting upper back pain from pillow. It can also put a strain on the muscles around the shoulders and neck.
4. Don’t sleep on your belly
Sleeping on your stomach can aggravate upper back pain. Stomach sleeping puts the back in an unsupported position.
5. Sleep on your side
It is advisable to sleep on a side-facing position because it promotes proper spine alignment.
6. Put pillow between legs
You can also put a pillow in between your legs to provide additional support for the spine and hips.
7. Get posture therapy
Posture improvement programs can help in training the body to follow proper posture.
8. Be aware of your posture
Always be aware of your body how you sit, stand, and lie down. Slouching or leaning more towards one side of the body causes back pain. If you are to sit or stand for long periods of time, it is good to change your position and stretch once in a while – perhaps in hourly intervals or every 30 minutes. It is also helpful to use neck and back support when you sit in your car or on your office chair.
9. Change the mattress
Sometimes, the firmness or softness of the mattress affects your sleeping position. It can spell whether you get a comfortable sleep or one that results in body aches and pains. The best mattress has the right combination of softness and firmness to support the body’s pressure points during sleep.
How To Prevent Upper Back Pain From Pillow
It feels good to be free from upper back pain and be able to do things as you used to. However, upper back pain can come back anytime if you do not address its root cause.
The wrong choice of pillow can cause upper back pain because it can put unnecessary pressure on certain points. Choosing the correct kind of pillow can prevent upper back pain from coming back.
Choosing A Pillow That Is Right For You
Choosing the right pillow can help in preventing upper back pain. You need to find one that can properly support the neck, shoulders, and back in order to keep the spine in its natural curvature.
Back sleepers must choose a pillow that has enough height and thickness to support the head and neck.
A pillow that is too high can put the head forward, which can strain the shoulders, neck, and lower back.
On the other hand, a pillow that is too low can tilt the head backwards, which pulls the spine and strain the muscles around the neck.
Placing a support pillow under the knees can help in maintaining proper spinal alignment.
Side sleeping is the most comfortable and advisable sleeping position. If you are properly positioned on your side, it will be good for your spine.
Side sleepers should opt for thicker and firmer pillow to maintain the position of the neck and alignment of the spine.
A latex pillow is the best option for side sleepers. It provides enough support for the neck.
For additional support, side sleepers should put a pillow between the knees. This prevents pain that could result from tension on the legs, pelvis, and spine.
Side sleepers can also use U- or J-shaped body pillows that extend through the length of the body. Body pillows provide support for the neck, shoulders, hips and legs during sleep. It also helps in maintaining the same position throughout the night.
Stomach sleeping is advisable for those who have certain spinal conditions and those who have recently undergone spinal surgery. However, it is not a good position for the spine.
Stomach sleeping makes the back sink way too low. It leaves the spine unsupported and puts a strain on back muscles. It also places the neck in an awkward position as it adjusts to allow breathing. It also makes it difficult for the sleeper to change positions during sleep.
Very thin pillows are most advisable for stomach sleepers. They ease neck strain and enhance comfort. Adding another thin pillow below the pelvis is also good for stomach sleepers. It can support the spine and reduce back strain.
There are some people who sleep restlessly and change positions several times during the night. For restless sleepers, it is advisable to use memory foam pillows with medium-firm support. The memory foam adjusts according to the position of the head to provide comfort and support at the same time.
You do not have to suffer from upper back pain from pillow and bed troubles. It is also not necessary to spend on medicine and treatment, at least not when you do not have any serious ailments. Try applying the tips and techniques here first. If they do not relieve your back problems, you have to go and see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Image: Jason Trbovich