NHS explain the best ways to treat back pain
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Back pain is the leading cause of disability in the UK, accounting for 11 percent of the total disability of the UK population. If you have even a twinge of back pain at night, it can lead to sleepless nights and worsen the pain during the day. Express.co.uk chatted to sleep expert Narwan Amini from Eachnight.com to find out the best sleeping position for back pain.
Back pain alone accounts for 40 percent of sickness absence in the NHS, and overall it costs £10billion for the UK economy.
Even though back pain is common, it’s not normal and needs to be treated to help sufferers stay mobile and lead a normal life.
Some studies have linked sleep deprivation with chronic pain, including back pain.
It’s easier to sleep with back pain when you’re in the right position.
For an average person, sleeping on your side is generally considered the healthiest sleeping position.
Ms Amini said: “It provides adequate alignment and support for your spine, while also minimising acid reflux.
“The ideal way to sleep on your side is with a medium to soft mattress that provides plenty of pressure relief and cushion for your hips and shoulders.”
However, those with back pain might need to try a slightly different position.
The best sleeping position for back pain – according to a sleep expert
Side sleeping is the best option for those suffering from back pain too, but they should try the fetal position.
Ms Amini explained: “For those that suffer with lower back pain, it is best to avoid sleeping on your back as it can lead to more stress on your lumbar spine and lower back muscles.
“A simple solution is to place a pillow under the knees as this will better align your spine, resulting in less pressure on the spine and lower back muscles.”
Always see your GP if you have long-term unexplained backache.
Once you’ve got to the root of the problem, the NHS site says the following tips may help reduce your back pain and speed up your recovery:
- stay as active as possible and try to continue your daily activities – this is one of the most important things you can do, as resting for long periods is likely to make the pain worse
- try exercises and stretches for back pain; other activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and pilates may also be helpful
- take anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen – remember to check the medicine is safe for you to take and ask a pharmacist if you’re not sure
- use hot or cold compression packs for short-term relief – you can buy these from a pharmacy, or a hot water bottle or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth or towel will work just as well
- Although it can be difficult, it helps if you stay optimistic and recognise that your pain should get better. People who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker
If your GP, specialist or physiotherapist doesn’t think your pain will improve on its own or through home remedies, you may be referred for specific treatment. These may include:
- group exercise classes where you’re taught exercises to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture
- manual therapy treatments, such as manipulating the spine and massage, which are usually done by a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath
- psychological support, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which can be a useful part of treatment if you’re struggling to cope with pain
- Some people choose to see a therapist for manual therapy without seeing a GP first. If you want to do this, you’ll usually need to pay for private treatment.
Surgery is generally only considered in a small number of cases where back pain is caused by a specific medical condition.
Source: Read Full Article