Julia Kinsey Osteopathy

Tag Archives: sleep

Osteopathy/27th January 2020

Helping back pain through sleep

Why is Sleep Important in helping Back Pain?

When back pain affects you, you might despair of ever getting a good nights sleep. Not getting enough sleep or poor quality sleep can actually make you more sensitive to pain. It can be a vicious circle if back pain makes it harder to sleep and when you can’t sleep your back pain seems worse!

Here are ten tips which may help:

  1. Establish a good bedtime routine. Try to go to bed the same time each night.
  2. Avoid large meals late at night or eat early.  Fight after dinner drowsiness. If you get sleepy, do an activity until it’s closer in time to go to bed.
  3. A warm bath before bed can be relaxing.
  4. Don’t have alcohol before bed. It may relax you initially but it impairs the quality of sleep.
  5. Don’t read or watch Television or use an iPad in bed.  TV or devices that are backlit suppress melatonin and whatever you’re reading or watching may be more stimulating than relaxing! Listen to music or audio books instead.
  6. Try a few gentle stretches when you lie down in bed such as pulling your knees to your chest and holding for a few seconds.
  7. Start off in as comfortable a position as possible such as lying on your side in a foetal position with a pillow between your legs,  or on your back with a pillow under your knees.
  8. Don’t sleep on your stomach.  This may be a habit you’ve got into but keeping your back arched backwards often aggravates back pain. To break the habit, sleep in a T-shirt with a pocket and put a ball in the pocket. You’ll know about it if you roll onto your front in the night!
  9. Make sure the room is dark, try not to have any digital display light on an alarm clock.
  10. Avoid a lie in on a weekend, it may disturb your usual weekly sleep pattern. If you need to make up for a late night or lost sleep, opt for a day time nap to pay off your sleep debt. Limit it to 20-30 mins in the early afternoon.

Osteopathic soft tissue massage treatment can help ease some of the tensions in your back which can start helping back pain through sleep.

For more information in Wilmslow call: 01625 533813

News, Osteopathy/21st October 2019

Best Bed for a Bad Back

Do you feel you are not getting the most out of your sleep?

Perhaps you could consider the following 10 tips to see if you need a better bed for a bad back:

  1. Before spending money on a new bed see if a stiff board under a mattress can improve a sagging base. 
  2. Don’t be taken in the description on the product such as “orthopaedic”. There’s no regulation of manufacturers’ descriptions of their product. Find one that best fits your needs regarding your height, weight, age, sleeping position and back problem.
  3. Your new bed needs to be high enough so that you can get up and sit down with ease. It also has to be wide enough, if you or your sleep partner is restless.
  4. The mattress should be supportive enough to take the weight of your body without sagging and firm enough for you to turn with ease.  A soft surface is hard to turn on. The heavier the person the deeper the mattress needs to be. A soft base for a heavier person usually means more sag.
  5. Interior sprung mattresses are the most common form of mattress and can provide sufficient support and cushion the bony curves of the body. They come with a large variation in numbers of springs and prices. Always choose as many springs as you can within your budget.
  6. Memory foam works by responding to temperature and weight to relieve and disperse pressure. You must ensure that you can turn with ease, because lying in one position for too long can create stiffness. There are a number of manufactures that provide both mattresses and toppers. Foam mattresses often need less turning than other kinds, which can prevent back strain.
  7. It is advisable to buy your mattress and base together. A solid base is good and offers support when sitting or getting off the bed. A good quality full sprung edge base is the most flexible and will absorb wear and tear well.
  8. You may also need to consider other aids depending on your sleeping position and back problem, for example mattress toppers, lumbar support cushions and shoulder pillows.
  9. A simple test whether a bed has the right level of firmness for you is to lie down on your back and slide your hand between mattress and the small of your back. If there is a large gap, the bed is probably too hard.  If it is difficult to push your hand, through it is probably too soft, However, if your hand slides through but remains in contact with your back and the bed it is probably just right.
  1. A bed needs to be tested for at least 10 minutes according to the Osteopathic Council and some manufacturers do a home trial that is worth looking out for.

For more information on this and other back care information, please Click here

Remember, its not just the fault of the bed!

We also need to learn how to ‘prepare’ our bodies for sleep. Take a look at this post Helping Back Pain Through Sleep  

For more information in Wilmslow call: 01625 533813