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Back Pain Insomnia: Understanding and Preventing Insomnia Due to Chronic Back Pain

Apart from caffeine misuse, anxiety, and depression, one of the most prevalent causes of insomnia is chronic back pain. This type of muscle pain is so effective at not letting you sleep that some doctors are too quick to advise pain medication for sufferers. But don’t reach for the drugs just yet. Even those who suffer from chronic back pain can deal with the pain and ensuing insomnia through natural means.

Posture Up

Like you’ve heard from countless doctors before, the best cure to any disease or condition is to prevent it from happening at all. If your chronic back pain isn’t caused by a specific event, disease, or certain external conditions in your life, it could very well be just your own posture that’s causing you pain and not letting you sleep.

Knowing how to carry yourself in a way that benefits your back is part and parcel of holistic wellness. Think about it: the spine basically holds up half your entire body. It’s also the brain’s communication highway. A healthy spine is a prerequisite to a healthy mind and body. Posture is that important to overall health.

A specialist known for being Silicon Valley’s ‘posture guru’ has found that a ‘J-shaped’ posture is the best way to keep a healthy spine. Through the socio-anthropological approach of studying places and cultures wherein there are virtually zero records of back pain, posture expert Esther Gokhale (goh-clay) believes that she’s found the ‘primal posture’ – the ideal human stance for the upkeep of spinal and overall health.

It’s similar to the old orthopedic advice of imagining a string that’s attached to the bottom of your back, mentally pulling this string straight upwards to the top of your head, and physically aligning yourself with the string. Along with that, Gokhale advises getting used to keeping your butt ‘behind’ you as you keep a neutrally straight back and neck. This allows the gluteus muscles to support your spine as you stand, walk, or even sit. The shoulders are then rolled back as you let your arms lie to the side.

Active maintenance of this posture allows your spine to form a J shape. It’s a posture that’s not only seen in back pain-free cultures, but also in professional elite-level athletes, especially during competition. Whether you’re a world-champion MMA fighter or just someone who wants to avoid back pain, knowledge and application of the J-shaped spine can contribute to fixing your posture.

Do Exercises for Chronic Back Pain

Suffering from chronic back pain doesn’t mean having to abstain from all forms of exercise. In most cases, simply resting your back and keeping your posture perfect isn’t enough to alleviate this type of pain. In fact, some experts advice doing strengthening exercises that can help to further reduce pain by providing better back support.

There are plenty of exercises and methods to strengthen your back. What unites these different methods is the form of your back – it shouldn’t be arched nor should it be slouched. Whenever you do these types of exercises, the most important thing to remember is to keep your back straight in a completely neutral position. Proper form is paramount to training the muscle groups that can help hold up your spine. Remember this when you’re performing any of these back-supporting exercises.
  • Bent-Over Row : This exercise can be a very safe and effective way to slowly raise your own body’s ability to support your back. Chronic back pain sufferers can start using lighter dumbbells instead of weight bars when performing bent-over rows. Using lighter weights allows you to focus more on form, which is what truly matters if you want to gain strength from repeated exercise. To do this exercise, bend your knees and bend your back without slouching or overarching as you reach for the dumbbells on the floor. As you take the dumbbells, keep your bent knees, legs, butt, and back in a ‘bent-over’ position while still keeping your back straight and neutral. Maintain this position as you pull the dumbbells towards your stomach – that’s one rep. The lighter your weights are, the more reps you can do, and the more you can accurately find (and not abuse) the limits of your own body.
  • Dumbbell Deadlifts : This dumbbell exercise prepares you for the real thing. Start with standing with your feet shoulder-width apart as the dumbbells lie at your sides. Bend your knees and again keep your back straight as you bend down to pick the weights up. Keep your butt out, back straight, and chest out as you stand yourself back up with weights in tow. This works not just your lats (lower back), but also the muscles on your upper leg – all of which work together to support the entire spine.
  • Deadlifts : Once you feel that you’re comfortable doing dumbbell deadlifts, you can progress to using a barbell. Perform the same movements as above, with adjustments that allow for the lifting of a straight bar. Doing proper deadlifts can do a lot to stabilize your core and back, correct your posture, and rid yourself of insomnia caused by chronic back pain.

Get a Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam is a material that softens in response to body heat and ‘remembers’ the shape of your body as you lie on top of it. This is why mattresses made partly or entirely out of memory foam have the ability to provide the best back support that science can provide.

mattress sale, mattress, dunlop latex top layer, plush fabric cover, memory foam, high density polyurethane support.

Because of how memory foam can cradle the body and minimize movement during sleep, regularly sleeping on one could actually relieve you of back pain as well as the insomnia that comes with it. If you’re not comfortable with the mattress in your bedroom right now, it’s time to look into the many benefits of using a memory foam mattress. It could also do wonders for your posture.

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