As chiropractors we know that advice on sleeping posture and buying a supportive bed may help prevent unnecessary aches and pains. New research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) and Sealy beds reveals that neck or back pain has prevented nearly half (48%) of people from sleeping.
The research indicates that people are not making the link between their pain and their beds. Despite 43% of people saying that sleeping can cause them to suffer from neck or back pain, nearly two thirds (61%) do not think that their sleeping position is important for their back or neck health.
Worryingly, a staggering 96% said that they do not think that the way they get in and out of bed is important for their back or neck health, which chiropractors regularly attribute to triggering back problems in patients.
Despite complaining of back and neck pain occurring after sleep, most people don’t think that getting in and out of bed is important to their back health. In fact, disc injuries are more likely to occur with bending movements first thing in the morning. As you sleep, the discs in your back hydrate and increase in size. This makes the disc fibres more susceptible to injury. Try and avoid bending movements for the first hour after waking. At Shrewsbury Chiropractic we can recommend some gentle stretches you can do in the morning.
The findings come as the 24th annual National Bed Month gets underway, prompting the BCA to urge people to pay more attention to their bed and indeed the way they get in and out of it, particularly as over a third (36%) of people reported not to have even considered their neck or back when they last bought a new mattress.
Neil Robinson, Marketing Director of Sealy UK, comments: “An important part of a good night’s sleep is a supportive mattress. You should change your mattress every seven years and if you’re in pain at night, it might be that you need to buy a new one. If you are buying a new mattress, it’s vital to try it before making the purchase – you wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes without trying them on and mattresses are no different, especially as we all spend such a large amount of our lives in bed.
“At Sealy we are conscious that one size does not fit all, so we stock a wide range of mattresses to make sure that people have as many options as possible.”
Top tips for buying a mattress and protecting your back in bed:
• Try before you buy: If you are lying on your side, your spine should be parallel to the mattress and your spine should not sag (bed too soft) or bow (bed too hard). The longer you can spend lying on a mattress before you buy it, the more accurate this feeling will be.
• Don’t go it alone: Always shop with your partner as your respective ideal mattress tensions could be very different.
• Wake your body up slowly: Don’t leap out of bed first thing in the morning as this can damage the back. Instead, gently get out of bed and avoid bending or doing anything sudden or strenuous until your back wakes up.
• Adopt a good sleeping position: Lie on your side rather than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side.
For more information on how to maintain a healthy posture, the British Chiropractic Association has developed ‘Straighten Up’ – a simple, three minute exercise programme for all ages, designed to help strengthen the spine and improve posture and help joints. To watch a video of the exercises you can do, please visit: http://bit.ly/straightenup You can also find a lot of valuable posture advice at http://bit.ly/bcapostureinf