Upper back pain can cause serious discomfort. It can easily disrupt your night’s sleep. Finding a comfortable position to fall asleep in might be challenging. Living with back pain can make your life very miserable. Anywhere between the neck’s base and the rib cage, you can experience upper back pain. There can be several causes for upper back pain.
It can be due to injuries or fractures, poor posture, disk problems, or other issues such as arthritis. Your bones, disks, muscles, and ligaments in the upper back can be injured and can cause pain. Upper back pain with mild to moderate symptoms can be treated at home itself by following some simple remedies and precautions.
Tips To Sleep Freely Without Upper Back Pain
Unlike neck pain or low back pain, upper back pain is not very common. This is mainly because the bones in the upper part of your back do not move or flex as much as the bones in your neck and lower back. Together with the ribs, the upper back bones help to stabilize the back.
Together they work to protect the vital organs in our body. In this article, we will discuss various techniques and precautions to overcome upper back pain. We will discuss various sleep postures to have good sleep without worrying about upper back pain.
Sleeping in the wrong position can cause upper back pain and can aggravate the existing symptoms of upper back pain. It is thus important to sleep in the right position. For that, you have to keep your position of spine in a neutral position that does not cause any strain on your back and neck. Here we will discuss the sleep positions that you should follow and the sleep positions that should be avoided.
Sleeping on your back
The best position to avoid any type of back pain is lying flat on your back. But many people find it uncomfortable to sleep in this position. But do note that this is the best way to sleep without causing much strain on the spine.
For optimal spine alignment, place one pillow under your head or neck and keep another pillow under your knees. You can try a small, rolled towel under the small of your back for additional support. Pregnant women should avoid this position as it decreases blood circulation to the heart and baby.
Sleeping on your stomach
This is a sleeping position that you should avoid. It is a very bad position for your spine. While sleeping on the stomach, your spine goes into a flattened shape and this puts a lot of pressure on your spine’s muscles and joints.
While sleeping on your stomach you are forced to turn your neck, which can cause neck and upper back pain. If you can’t sleep any other way, you can reduce the strain on your spine by placing a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen. If it doesn’t strain your back too much, lay a pillow beneath your head. Try sleeping without a pillow beneath your head if it does cause discomfort or strain.
Side sleeping by keeping your legs straight is the second best position for avoiding back and neck pain. This position is also good for anyone with a snoring problem or anyone with sleep apnea as it keeps your airways open. It is advised to stretch your legs out straight and tuck a pillow between your knees to keep your spine in its natural shape.
Also, use a taller pillow under your neck so your neck aligns with your head. There is another type of side sleeping, known as the fetal position, in which your legs are bent upwards. It is less ideal for your back. Most people sleep in this position, however, it encourages an unbalanced distribution of weight, which can lead to back pain and achy joints.
To prevent this you have to straighten your body into a relaxed position by untucking your chin and adjusting your knees. This position is good for pregnant women as it is a comfortable way to take weight from your back.
Some useful tips to reduce Back Pain while sleeping
Now let’s look at some helpful tips that can help you to sleep with upper back pain.
Make a proper choice of pillow and mattress to avoid upper back pain.
You have to be careful about the thickness of your pillow and the firmness of your mattress as they can contribute to your upper back pain. Pillows that are thick can cause upper back pain. You must choose a pillow that can keep your head in a neutral position as you sleep.
If you are a back sleeper then you have to use a thin pillow that can keep your head straight. Side sleepers will have to use a thicker pillow for the same. The best mattress for back pain varies according to the type of sleeper. Back sleepers have to use a firmer mattress and side sleepers have to use mattresses that are less firm so that they can adjust to the shape of their hips and shoulders.
Keep proper spine posture
You have to keep your spine in proper shape to avoid getting back pain. You have to make sure of that while doing any activities, such as sitting at a desk, walking, driving, and sleeping. To keep the correct posture keep your shoulders back and your chest wide.
Use an ergonomic chair that helps to keep the curved structure of your back. Periodically check your posture.
Stretch before going to bed
Do stretching workouts before bed. Stretching can be very helpful as one of the most common causes of upper back pain is strained or tight muscles. You can do some yoga stretches, doorway stretch, and butterfly stretch.
Practice upper back exercises
Upper back exercises can strengthen your back. These exercises along with stretching can help in long-term pain relief and comfortable sleeping. You can do simple exercises like push-ups and face pulls to the upper back. Exercising even for 10 minutes daily can be very helpful. Exercising regularly can do wonders for your body.
Get a massage
Massaging your body can be useful in treating pain and also helps you to get a good sleep. Physical therapists and chiropractors often suggest a massage.
There are several reasons for this. Massaging helps to heal and enhances blood flow to the affected areas. It reduces the pain and helps to ease tension in the muscles. It helps in relaxation and improves overall well-being. Massaging can loosen tight muscles that may be contributing to poor posture.
Use a heat or ice pad before going to bed
Using heat or ice pads can be very beneficial in healing upper back pain. It is ideal to apply them before going to the bed.
Using an ice pad can help you to relieve pain and reduce swelling. Applying heat to the affected area can help to soothe the area, loosen the muscles, and promote healing. Apply either a heat or cold pack before bed. Don’t use them both back to back as it can damage your skin.
Conclusion on Sleep With Upper Back Pain
A good night’s sleep is very essential for your health and the overall quality of your life. Various disturbances like back pain can affect the quality of your sleep.
So it is necessary to know the correct sleeping postures that can help you to overcome these challenges and enjoy a good sleep. We have discussed them in detail and there are additional tips to have a good sleep. Follow them properly and you will get good results fast.
Dr. Edward Zelman
Dr. Edward Zelman works as a Neurologist with the expertise of over 15 years, helping more than thousands to get back in complete health through his research-proven treatments. He earned his Masters from Harvard University and completed his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Edward Zelman is one of the notable names in the medical industry for his work in pain management, chronic disorder, and so on. He is also a former faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At present, Dr. Edward Zelman is researching safe and effective natural remedies that can restore as well as maintain the youthful functioning of the body.
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