How to get rid of back pain

homem na cama com dores nas costas

Back pain is one of the most common types of pain. Let those who have never gone through this throw the first stone...! 

From poor posture, contracted muscles, joint disorders, trauma/injury to obesity and pregnancy, the causes of back pain are quite varied. Furthermore, the position we sleep in and the mattress we sleep on can be the biggest cause of back pain... or make it worse when it already exists.

What causes back pain?

Back pain can affect anyone at any time. No one is immune to it! However, people over the age of 30 and women are more likely to experience back pain. Furthermore, people who are overweight and/or have a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to suffer from back pain, for obvious reasons.

Certain types of exertion related to physically exhausting work, and involving lifting movements or handling weights, create a greater risk of injury or strain on the spine. Furthermore, staying in the same position with poor posture for a long time also causes back pain, especially in the lumbar area.

Stress, anxiety and/or depression and pregnancy are also other risk factors that can cause or worsen this type of pain.

The relationship between sleep and back pain

Pain and sleep are directly intertwined. We know that back pain can make it difficult to get a good night's sleep and, on the other hand, lack of sleep can lead to various types of chronic pain - including back pain - and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Admittedly, this relationship may seem strange. But, after all, how can poor quality sleep cause back pain? You experts believe it's because sleep deprivation increases our sensitivity to pain and interferes with the parts of the brain that control how we feel it.

Inadequate sleeping positions or a mattress that does not support the spine can also induce or aggravate pain, especially the one we feel in the lower back - low back pain. Sleeping positions that involve pressure on the lumbar area can cause very uncomfortable pain that usually manifests itself more strongly in the morning, and that can persist for days.

Thus, quality sleep can help prevent or reduce back pain. Realizing the best way to sleep is essential to prevent pain, or speed up recovery when it already exists.

The best sleeping positions without back pain

The way we sleep plays an important role in controlling back pain, as certain positions put more strain on the back than others. 

First of all, it's important to demystify that there is no correct sleeping position! It's not a universal rule. Each of us has different preferences, just as each of us has different needs.

Although there is no ideal position to alleviate and/or prevent back pain, sleep on the side it is usually the position adopted by those looking for greater care with the spine. Still, it's perfectly possible to sleep in other positions. 

The most important point is to find a position that is able to provide adequate support for the spine, allowing a good night's sleep. 

Whatever your preferred sleeping position, here are some tips to help you do it comfortably.

For those who like to sleep on their sides…

Sleeping on your side is the most common position, especially among women. While it can put some strain on the body, it's important to make sure your hips and shoulders are properly supported.

For those who don't want to sleep on their side, they should surfaces slightly knees and put a cushion between the legs to avoid pressure on the back caused by twisting the hips. 

infografia dormir de lado

Partially flexing the legs reduces pressure on the lower back and maintains the natural curvature of the spine, reducing the likelihood of lower back pain. With the help of the pillow, the hips, pelvis and spine are better aligned!

For those who like to sleep on their backs…

Sleeping on your back is the second most common sleeping position. 

When sleeping on your back, your body weight is even over most of your body. However, as our back is flat, this position can affect the natural curvature of the spine and therefore must be adjusted.

For this to be a comfortable and healthy position for the health of the back, the pillow must remain our best friend. 

In order to reduce tension in the lower back and hips, the pillow that supports the head should not be too high, so that the neck and body are neutral. A pillow (or a rolled-up towel) can also be placed under the knees to avoid lower back pain.

infografia dormir de barriga para cima

Obtain the best mattress for stomach sleepers it is also very important for maximum comfort and support!

For those who like to sleep on their stomachs…

This is the least recommended position for those who intend to end back pain, as it overloads the spine, shoulders, neck and lower back. Sleeping on your stomach can put pressure on your nerves and cause numbness, tingling and pain. 

Only in cases where the person resonates, or there is a diagnosis of degenerative disc disease, it is recommended to sleep on your stomach. 

Even so, if you are one of those people who cannot sleep any other way, you should put a flatter pillow under the head. You can also add a denser pad under the pelvis and lower back.

infografia dormir de barriga para baixo

In this way, the area of the lower back is prevented from “sinking” in a U-shape, overloading the spine and causing lower back pain.

The right mattress and pillows help!

As it is the main means of sustaining the body during sleep, the mattress can play an important role in preventing or reducing lower back pain or back pain in general. 

A good mattress that ensures that we have the spine correctly positioned while we sleep, it is essential to obtain quality of life, prevent back pain and avoid developing serious problems in the medium / long term. The choice of best mattress for your spine it always depends on the care your body needs. 

People who suffer from lower back pain, for example, should look for a mattress that doesn't put pressure on pain points - particularly the shoulders and sacrum. This should be firm enough so that the shoulders don't sag, but soft enough to ensure sleeping comfort.

Often overlooked as a source of support and comfort, cushions they also play a key role in achieving correct posture, helping to keep the body properly supported. Incidentally, an inadequate pillow can harm the alignment of the spine, contributing to back, shoulder and neck pain.

If the neck and shoulders are not supported enough or are supported at a twisting angle, the spine and the rest of the body will also not be aligned, causing tension and discomfort or even sleeplessness. 

So, as with your mattress, comfort and support are important when choosing the right pillow.

The ideal pillow for every sleeping position

A best sleeping pillow it will need to be able to support the natural angle of the neck and prevent the chin from tucking under the chest and/or the head tipping back. However, choosing the ideal pillow is directly dependent on the position in which you sleep.

if you prefer sleep on the side, you will need a firm pillow to get proper alignment between your neck and spine. This should be thicker, respecting the alignment of your spine with your head.

To sleep in this position, Colmol offers viscoelastic and feather pillows that adapt to your body, providing a refreshing sensation during the night and, of course, all the comfort you need to avoid back pain and tiredness the next day.

If you like sleep on your stomach or on your back, the pillow chosen must be firm so that the contours of the head are well adapted. The pillow should not be too high to prevent the head from being too high above the rest of the body.

5 exercises to relieve back pain

Practicing physical exercise regularly only brings benefits. For the relief and prevention of back pain and lumbar pain, it is important that certain muscles are worked. 

Stretching exercises are a great way to relieve back pain, but also to prevent its onset. In addition to decreasing pain, these exercises help you relax and provide relief from discomfort.

This type of exercise can be done throughout the day, and should be performed more frequently by those who spend a lot of time sitting and/or in the same position. Also, adopt some stretching exercises a few hours before sleep can be beneficial for sleep. 

Discover the 5 exercises we recommend for relieving back pain.

exercícios para dores nas costas

Use: All these stretches must be performed slowly and progressively, paying special attention to breathing. 

1. Knee-to-chest stretch

  • Lie down on your back;
  • Bring your legs towards your chest, as if you were hugging them;
  • Holds the position for 30 seconds;
  • Repeat this exercise three times.
2. Trunk rotation
  • Sit down and stretch only one leg forward;
  • Place the leg that is bent under the extended leg;
  • Slightly rotate the torso to the opposite side of the extended leg;
  • Holds the position for 30 seconds;
  • Repeat on the opposite side.
3. Stretch Forward
  • Sit down with both legs stretched out in front of you;
  • Gently bend your hips forward until your belly touches your thighs;
  • Stretch out both arms and try to reach your heels or at least the tips of your toes;
  • Holds the position for 30 seconds;
  • Returns to starting position.
4. Hamstring Stretch
  • Lie down with both legs stretched out;
  • Stretch one leg up;
  • Lightly bring the straight leg towards the head (if you have a band you can use it for extra help!);
  • With the opposite arm to the leg that is stretched out, you can grab the tip of the foot for better support;
  • Holds the position for 30 seconds;
  • Repeat on the opposite leg.
5. Arching the back
  • Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched out;
  • Support both elbows on the floor;
  • Arch your back slightly backwards, without lifting your hips and bending your neck backwards;
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat.

These exercises can help you get rid of back pain, however, everyone is different when it comes to pain. Therefore, if you feel any pain or tingling sensation, you should stop the exercise and consult a doctor or physical therapist, so that he can assess the presence of any physical alteration and so that specific stretching exercises are indicated.

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