Unfortunately many people suffer from back pain, The current reality is that over 60 percent of people in the United States are going to suffer at least one bout of severe back pain at some point in their life and the likelihood of that is dramatically going up with the increased risk and prevalence of diabetes and obesity, And so I often hear patients complaining about their back hurting their neck hurting their shoulders hurting and wanting to know what they need to do to eliminate that or alleviate that problem while they sleep in a couple of questions come to my mind, And that’s one of the things I always ask my patients, How old is your bed and how old are your pillows.
People will trade in their cars their clothes their shoes when they wear out, But very rarely do people actually invest in a bed comfort truly matters? I’m not going to get all nerdy if you will about thread count and comfort of the sheets and the comforter is important, You spend a third of your life in bed, And so why not be comfortable, You’re not going to wear a pair of jeans that are digging in and grinding and uncomfortable all day long so why would you sleep on a comfortable bed and a pillow and a horrible scratchy sheets, It doesn’t make any sense.
I understand that physiology impacts things we see with age comes aches and pains but it doesn’t have to necessarily be that way and I’ll share some tips and ways to hack that in just a moment, And I also stress stress plays a huge impact in how we feel when we’re achy we’re sore we’re tired and just coming up with some strategies and some mindfulness techniques that I talk about in the course really make a huge difference in terms not only of sleep but how you feel when you’re sleeping and when you wake up in the morning in terms of stiffness and soreness and aches and pains.
Twenty percent of life is in bed, I want you to really consider investing in a mattress, I often hear this from people that I got a new mattress and it’s worse than the old one you know I spent a good chunk of money on it, But you know I paid for it and I’m just going to suck it up and sleep on it for 10 years, And that’s what’s called an economic turn, Terms sunk costs you’re basically throwing good money after bad or in this case you’re throwing a chance of good sleep after the sunk cost the money you’ve already spent, And it’s a hardship to get away from that mindset.
But fortunately there are some companies that are out there now that will let you trial mattresses not just for a week or two but from an extended period of time, That really gives you an idea if the mattress is right for you and so I encourage you just to Google search some of that I’m not going to share a bunch of companies I don’t have any affiliations with any of those but they’re certainly out there. And the other is just to take care of yourselves, We’re so busy worrying about our jobs our careers corporate America our kids and that’s just the reality of life.
But I really encourage you to just exercise some self-care whether that’s massage or stretching yoga taking some supplements like magnesium or Epsom salts bounce a variety of ways to manage your stress and to help minimize some of the negative impact that stress has on all of us, It’s inescapable but it’s not something that you cannot address and be proactive about.
The other thing is I encourage my patients to brace themselves, What I mean by that is to consider where the source of the pain is coming from, Do you have a neck issue do you have a postural issue from being seated at your desk all day if you can get a stand up desk, But the mechanics of the spine when they’re in the bed has a huge impact on our comfort level in how we feel when we wake up, And so you know for example if you’re a side sleeper consider getting a pillow between your legs to kind of prop your knees and your hips into a more neutral alignment.
Understand that the height of your pillow is going to impact the way your neck and your shoulders feel so if you’re sleeping on a huge pillow and your neck is sort of flexed to the side that puts a lot of strain on your cervical spine and the neck muscles and so just be cautious and cognizant of how you lie in just supporting yourself, You know you can get different shapes of pillows orthopedic for little pillows memory foam.
There’s a lot of different options out there, I can’t give you a specific answer because I’m not looking at you and seeing how you sleep but just be aware that you know getting the six dollar pillow off the big box retailers shelf and calling it good is probably not going to help you if you’re somebody who suffers from some musculoskeletal pain and some trouble sleeping. I talked to the previous slide about some supplements, I’m a huge believer in magnesium. It’s involved in so many processes in the body including muscle relaxation turmeric thousands of years of use of this.
There’s plenty of scientific data coming out now in regards to its anti-inflammatory properties, It’s something that I use myself as endurance athlete and it certainly makes a difference in my life, So just take those points to heart. The take home point here is invest in yourself in terms of a proper mattress a pillow experiments and really learn to manage and deal with your stress.