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Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Collected Short Stories. Get A Copy. Published first published July 15th More Details Other Editions 1.

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For example: How old are you? Do you have any other known medical conditions? Do you take any medications? Do you have any other symptoms? Nasal drainage? Ringing in your ears? Face pain? Vision changes? Sensitivity to light? Exactly where is your headache located?

The Consequence of Sleeping the Wrong Way

On one side of your head or on both sides? Exactly what activities prompt headache for you? You mention having had this same kind of headache in the past; when? How long did that go on? Hope you find more permanent relief soon. Submit a new response. More information about text formats. Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

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Lines and paragraphs break automatically. Legs should ideally be positioned straight out not kicked off to the side or spread too wide, which can strain the pelvis and hip joints. Bed pillows should support the natural angle of the neck, not push your chin to your chest or allow your head to fall back too far. The semi-fowler position, in which the head and foot are both elevated, is often recommended for lower back pain, especially the type that feels worse when you stand up straight.

A reclining chair or adjustable bed can allow you to achieve this position. Sleeping on your stomach is considered least ideal for pain relief, since the lumbar region is left unsupported, placing strain on your spine and lower back muscles. This position can also place strain on your neck and shoulders. Use props to to support the spine, whether on your back or side, he added.

Collected Short Stories

To better support your body, place a pillow under your pelvis and lumbar region. At your head, use a flat pillow or no pillow so as not to strain your lower back. There are two situations where stomach sleeping is actually recommended, though. People with degenerative disc disease and paracentral disc herniation may feel more relief laying on their stomachs since it can reduce disc pressure compared to other positions.

A firm mattress with a pillow beneath the abdomen is considered best. We spend one-third of each day in bed, meaning your mattress and how you sleep is just as important as focusing on posture in the daytime hours. Since sleep is a time for healing and renewal, it may arguably be even more important. So, what is the best mattress for back pain? But, there is no single right answer.


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When it comes to picking a bed, there are no hard and fast rules that will apply for every person, every time. Essentially, the best mattress is the one that you feel gives you good, refreshing sleep with minimal pain and stiffness. While we all have different preferences and needs that are important to consider, research and studies can shed some insight on different mattress traits and how they may interact with back pain. Support comes from the core of the mattress, typically a sturdy foam layer or innersprings depending on the type of bed.

Although preferences for the firmness and thickness of padding layers will vary, a good mattress for back pain will also adequately cushion areas like hips, shoulders, elbows and heels from pain in your preferred sleep position — without compromising the support of the mattress. Now, comfort is pretty easy to identify, but how do you know if a mattress is providing adequate support?

Essentially, your spine should maintain an even, natural posture similar to good standing posture , with whichever sleep position you prefer. Mattress firmness is another area to consider. Generally, most experts recommend beds in the medium to firm spectrum for back pain. The American Chiropractic Association says medium is best, and studies have shown best back pain results with people sleeping on medium to medium-firm mattresses. Side sleepers, especially people with larger frames, may prefer beds closer to the medium or medium-soft range, or those that have thicker comfort layers, since more of the body sinks into the bed in the side position.

On the other hand, beds on the firmer end of medium will typically feel more comfortable and supportive for back and side sleepers.

Your personal comfort preference and health will also play a role. For example, beds in the firm to medium-firm range can be painful for people with conditions like bursitis or fibromyalgia, as they can lead to more pressure points.

Turn away from neck pain - Harvard Health

There are a fairly wide variety of mattress types on the market, but scientific studies on mattress types and back pain prove quite limited. One of the few to compare types found that memory foam and waterbeds resulted in better sleep and less pain than firm futon-style mattresses. Mattress review organization Sleep Like The Dead finds that memory foam and latex mattresses earn above-average reviews for pain relief due to the combination of support and conformability, with less risk of sagging.

More common innerspring mattresses tend to be below average on pain relief due to potential durability issues. These are averages however; within the categories there can be quite a bit of variation, and the best one for you will depend on individual preferences. Researching and comparing beds can take a little time, but the sooner a mattress starts sagging and losing support, the sooner it will stop feeling comfortable. Fabrics on the surface of the mattress can also play a role in overall comfort. The majority of beds use polyester blends, but some may use natural fabrics like cotton and wool.

Wool is a natural thermoregulator, meaning it helps balance body temperature and may promote circulation, which can in turn reduce pain. Participants also spent less time awake in bed The age of your mattress can play a surprising role in how it feels.

Turn away from neck pain

As time wears on, even the best mattress will eventually begin to lose comfort and support. Estimates vary quite a bit, but a quality mattress is generally expected to last about eight to ten years. Beds made with lower quality materials or that receive heavier wear may need to be replaced as soon as five years. People in the study were sleeping on a variety of beds at least five years old, and had an average mattress age of 9.