I'm sure you are familiar with it. You wake up in the morning, go to get out of bed BUT are stopped in your tracks by the pain and stiffness in your lower back or sciatic nerve. It can then take a few minutes or much longer to straighten up and become more mobile again. . . Why is your back so stiff and painful in the morning?
Well, contrary to popular belief, it is more than likely NOT due to the bed / mattress you are sleeping on! That's right, I believe this is a myth well worth busting, as it may save you a fortune by avoiding the unnecessary replacement of your current bed.
There are also those that may say you are stiff and painful first thing in the morning due to the fact you have moved relatively little for the previous few hours. Although I would agree that there is an element of truth in this last statement, once again I do not believe it is likely to be the main cause.
So why is your back so stiff and painful in the morning?
More often than not, it is not due to the bed itself, but rather the position you are sleeping in or what you have been doing the few hours before retiring to bed, it is the former which I am going to be discussing in this article.
So what is the best position for me to sleep in then?
The best position for you to adopt would primarily depend upon what is the cause of your low back / sciatic pain. However, as a rule of thumb, the most comfortable position to sleep in is usually side lying (either side) with your bottom leg fairly straight and your top leg supported by a couple of pillows, so that this top leg is more or less parallel with the bed.
By sleeping in this position, keeping the bottom leg straight is encouraging your lower back to be in a neutral position. Yet with the top leg being supported by pillows, it is preventing it from dropping ‘across & down’ and twisting your low back and stretching your sciatic nerve in the process.
Some people tend to lie on their side, but forget to support the top leg. This just has a twisting stress upon the lower back which is maintained for several hours while you are sleeping. Therefore it should come as no surprise that your low back or sciatic nerve may feel stiff and painful first thing when you wake up.
As I alluded to above, there are other positions which could be more beneficial, but this depends upon the cause of your pain, but side lying with pillows supporting your top leg is usually a good comfortable position to get in no matter what your diagnosis.
It is also important to realise that it may not necessarily be your sleeping position which is the problem, but rather the things you are doing to your low back before going to bed. If you try different sleeping positions, including the one given here and yet you are still having difficulty sleeping, it is likely what you are doing before going to bed which is your problem. This will need to be assessed before thinking of replacing your bed.
Paul Boxcer - Bsc (Hons) Physiotherapist, has over 10 years experience of treating people in pain. During this time and especially over the last few years, he has concentrated his treatment on those suffering with Low Back Pain & Sciatica.
Following years of analysis of different treatment procedures (http://expertbackcare.com ) his belief is that our own body has an innate desire to heal itself, no matter what the injury. When someone suffers from Low Back Pain it is no different.
By ensuring the body is given the correct conditions to heal itself, conditions such as Low Back Pain & Sciatica can be resolved just as easily as a twisted ankle or pulled muscle. . .
Knowing what to and not to do, is the crucial element.
His book "Free Yourself of Back Pain & Sciatica" not only explains everything you need to know in order to allow the body to heal itself, but also ensures the risk of subsequent episodes is kept to an absolute minimum. Subscribe NOW to his FREE Course and begin curing your pain STRAIGHT AWAY.