Your Sleeping Situation Impacts Your Health More Than You Might Think
Imagine gently waking up after 8 hours of sleep. You should feel rested and ready to start your day, right? But when you move to sit up you are suddenly struck with an intense backache.
Pain in your shoulders and neck quickly follows as you move and is soon accompanied by a dull ache in your hips and legs when you stand. How can it be possible to feel so terrible after a full night’s sleep? The reason may surprise you.
It’s very possible that your mattress is to blame. If you’re familiar with these seemingly inexplicable painful mornings and ready for a change, call our office for a free consultation with one of our licensed physical therapists.
Pain relief through physical therapy
Seeing a physical therapist for aches and pains caused by your mattress may seem unusual, but as experts in posture and movement, their expertise may be exactly what you need. Our physical therapists can assess your body’s sleeping position and recommend a mattress with optimal support.
Physical therapists can also examine your posture and movement for any underlying conditions that may be contributing to your morning aches and pains. If any are found, our office can develop a personalized treatment plan aimed at improving your posture, strengthening your body, and improving your sleep.
How can I be sure that I need a new mattress?
Sleeping on the wrong mattress for your body can cause or worsen lower back pain. Inadequate mattress support reinforces poor sleeping posture, misalignment in the spine, and muscle strain, three factors that cause back pain.
While maximum support is very important in a mattress, so is comfort! The best mattress for you will be one that provides both comfort and back support, and therefore helps reduce low back pain. According to Spine Health, a great mattress allows the structures in the spine to truly rest and rejuvenate during the night.”
You may have heard that you should replace your mattress every 7 to 10 years. However, the way you feel in the morning is truthfully a better indicator that it’s time for a change in your nighttime routine.
If your once comfortable mattress now seems to bring you more aches and pains than peaceful sleep, it’s likely time for a replacement. Physical changes such as injuries, surgery, and weight gain/loss can alter your body’s sleeping position and create a more pressing need to replace your mattress.
How your sleeping position factors in
Your typical sleep position determines the degree of support you need from a mattress. For instance, those who sleep predominantly on their back often deal with low back pain if their hips rest on top of the mattress.
Side sleepers may experience pain in their hips and low back if their knees rest below their hips. Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, may wake up with back pain as a result of their shoulders resting behind their hips.
While properly positioned pillows can certainly help prevent morning aches, they cannot take the place of a supportive mattress.
Tackle those aches and pains
According to a 2008 study, 1 in 15 to 20 cases of chronic pain is the result of sleep issues. Long-term malpositioning, or when your body is in the wrong position for too long, was determined to be one of the largest risk factors for chronic pain.
Bad posture, poor workstation ergonomics, and poor sleeping habits can force your body into awkward and unhealthy positions that cause long-term health issues as well as morning achiness.
Determining the root cause of your pain with physical therapy
During your first visit with a physical therapist, you will be asked to describe your symptoms and provide any relevant medical history. You may also perform some physical tests, so your therapist can assess the state of your body’s flexibility and overall functionality.
Be prepared to discuss any past injuries that may be contributing to your current aches and pains. You may also be asked to describe your exercise routine, diet, and daily activities. This information will help your physical therapist uncover the possible cause or causes of your aches and pains.
Based on the therapist’s assessment and your description of your symptoms, you will then be prescribed a series of exercises. These typically will be designed to test your posture and range of motion. Though you may also be tested on your strength through various resistance exercises.
After your physical therapist understands where you are experiencing aches and pains and has determined the likely causes, your specialized and proactive physical therapy treatment plan will be created.
Contact us today to build your personalized treatment plan!
If you’re ready to say goodbye to morning aches and pains and hello to a restful night’s sleep, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed physical therapists.