About Upper Back Pain
You’re less likely to experience pain in your upper back because it doesn’t bear the same weight load as your lower back area. When you feel pain in your upper back, the symptoms can manifest as aches, general stiffness, or sharp, burning sensations.
Causes of upper back pain include:
- The muscles and ligaments that support the spine suffering an injury
- A pinched nerve near your ribs
- Fractured vertebrae
- Myofascial pain syndrome
What Is Upper Back And Shoulder Pain
Upper back pain is pain that occurs between the shoulders, often because of a lack of muscle strength surrounding the shoulder blade and rotator cuff, resulting in poor mechanics of the shoulder and spinal joints.
Rarely, the spinal nerves can become compressed, sending inadequate signals to the upper extremity muscles.
A Chiropractor Explains How To Tell When Your Mattress Could Be Causing Your Back Pain
Waking up with a stiff back is uncomfortable and worrisome. It might feel as though you cant bend over, or you may hear creaks and cracks as you stretch out.
But if your back is still in pain after a morning stretch, there might be a bigger problem.
Back pain is frustrating as its hard to pinpoint exactly what causes it. You might have tried different approaches to alleviate the pain, but found nothing works. Have you ever thought that the mattress you sleep on for 7-8 hours every night could the culprit of your back pain?
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Other Ways To Help Your Back/neck Pain
Changing your mattress will most likely work wonders for your back pain if that was the cause. However, you can also incorporate a stretching routine into your day. Make it your daily goal to do a few stretches before going to bed and after waking up to help with spine flexibility.
Remember to learn how to sleep in the best position possible. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs can help support your lower back. Certain pillows can also help promote less neck and back pain while you sleep.
Q: Which Sleeping Position Is Best To Alleviate Back Pain
A: Side sleeping or back sleeping are the best positions to ease your back pain. Even better, you can place a pillow between your knees while side sleeping to take strain off your spine. Likewise, you can slip a pillow under your knees while back sleeping to maintain your spine in its normal “S” curve.
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Is A Firm Mattress Better For Back Pain
Many people will tell you that you need a firm mattress to stop back pain, but thats not necessarily true. A mattress thats too firm can also cause spine misalignment by pushing up the shoulders and hips. Instead, look for a medium-firm mattress that offers some cushioning for these key pressure points.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Upper Back And Shoulder Pain
Signs and symptoms of pain between the shoulders include:
- A twinge of pain after picking up something heavy that slowly becomes more advanced over time
- A burning sensation between the shoulders
- Weakness between the shoulders
- Pain that worsens at night, after working all day, or all-day activity
- Arm numbness if the spinal cord is compressed
Its important to note that anyone who experiences pain between the shoulder blades that has no known reason and doesnt change with moving positions should seek help from their doctor.
Concerned about symptoms of upper back and shoulder pain? Book a physiotherapy assessment at your local pt Health clinic today.
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Mattress Type And Materials
So what is the best mattress for a bad back? Mattresses can be made of many different natural and synthetic materials but some materials are better than others when it comes to providing the extra support needed to alleviate back pain.
Memory foam and latex
The most commonly recommended beds for back pain are memory foam and latex. Memory foam mattresses and their natural alternative, latex mattresses, both offer amazing support and contouring. They hug the body and cradle all your natural curves, supporting pressure points like shoulders and hips while relieving pressure for reduced pain. Memory foam and latex also help keep your spine aligned while sleeping, which further reduces stress on the back and lowers pain in all areas.
An innerspring mattress, sometimes referred to as a traditional mattress, is a bed of coils with a foam layer on top. These mattresses were the standard for around a century, but, despite improvements like pocketed coils and better motion isolation, a regular innerspring with a foam top generally doesn’t offer enough support for substantial back pain relief.
Airbeds don’t offer the kind of contouring that memory foam or latex does. However, there are beds with air components that can be mechanically adjusted for more or less fill and firmness. The ability to customize your bed can be a great asset when trying to get good support for alleviating upper or lower back pain.
You Feel Pain In The Side Too
Anyone whos had a kidney stone knows theyre quite agonizingand they may cause upper back pain, says Dr. Ghannad. Its unlikely that this is the only symptom youll notice though. You may also feel severe pain in your side and back below your ribs, the Mayo Clinic notes. Discomfort while peeing or red- or brown-hued urine may be other clues. The best advice? If pain is severe and persistent, its a good idea to be evaluated by a physician, says Ghannad.
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How The Wrong Mattress Affects Your Back
Most people who experience back pain and stiffness should look to their mattress or more specifically their mattresss firmness level.
If your back pain comes when you first wake up, but you can stretch to get rid of it within 1530 minutes, then thats a major sign that your mattress is doing more harm than good. Also, if you find yourself waking up more frequently, or tossing and turning while trying to fall asleep, then that should also be an indicator.
Its important to note that even if youre not prone to back pain, you should replace your mattress every eight years.
How To Correct Back Pain Caused By Mattresses
We know some of the reasons why your mattress is causing you backache now, lets talk about correcting those back pains.
1. Change your mattress
The best way to correct your back pain and prevent further occurrences of sleepless nights is to change your mattress. If your mattress is too old, too firm, or too soft, youll continue to experience pains. Read the guide on how to choose a mattress, visit the store and get a good one.
2. Maintain a good sleeping posture
Your sleeping posture may also be causing you to have back pains when you sleep. Try to settle into a good posture, and ensure you are comfortable. That way, you can get rid of back pain caused by mattresses.
When you wake up with back pains, try to do a couple of stretches before you go on with other businesses of the day. Help your spine to relax, and it would get more comfortable enough to relieve you of the pain.
4. Use a pillow
Pillows are a good way to support your body even better when you feel back pains of any sort. They further help you maintain a good posture, find a better position to relax, and a good way to sleep.
5. Use an adjustable base.
You could also opt to use an adjustable base under the mattress so that you can control the inclination of your bed to a good sleeping position.
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Could Upper Back Pain Mean Something More Serious
There is always a chance that your upper back pain could be caused by a much bigger problem. Degenerative Disc Disease , a herniated disc, and osteoarthritis are possible underlying problems causing your upper back pain. Shapiro cautions that while pain should never be ignored, normal muscle soreness from exercising is nothing to be concerned about. He warns, however, that you should question intense pain that doesnt go away over time. If you notice symptoms like fever, chills, tingling in your chest or stomach along with your upper back pain you should see your doctor.
Sharp, shooting, radiating, severe, unexplained acute pain or chronic pain lasting more than a few days could be your body’s way of telling you that something more serious is going on, Shapiro says.
Pillow Use For Back Sleepers
Sleeping on the back or supine is the most recommended sleep position to get rid of upper middle back pain after sleeping. It does not only promote good neck and spinal posture at rest, but helps relieve pain related to a muscle strain or injury. These conditions include a stiff neck, rotator cuff tear injuries, adhesive capsulitis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Unfortunately, no matter how healthy this sleeping position is, only 8% of the worlds population sleeps in this pose. Like all the sleeping positions, sleeping on the back can also use a little bit of padded support. In this case, its the knees that will benefit a lot from a pillow. When you sleep with knees, spinal cord, and neck muscles extended straight you also risk creating lower back strain. That is because when you sleep, you are pulling your pelvis out of its neutral alignment and into an arched lower back.
By propping a memory foam or regular small pillow under your knees, your legs will bend in a more natural sleeping posture. This sleeping position can also help get rid of severe shoulder pain and upper-middle back pain after sleeping, as it places your body in a more neutral position. If you feel like this position is too uncomfortable, you can prop your head and neck with a memory foam pillow against the mattress. That can ensure that your body is straight while its natural curve is supported.
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The Dormeuse Mattress Deep
The Dormeuse Mattress matches the quality and construction of the Beausommet, but it also reacts quickly to your body’s natural movements. This interrupts the potential for sleep interruptions so that you can get into slow-wave sleep cycles required for muscle recovery.
What Makes the Dormeuse Stand Out?
- Dormeuse reduces VOC exposure and promotes a clean air environment.
- Its unique latex formula for a customized density, response time, and elasticity. It features the perfect balance of comfort and support for accelerated pain recovery.
- The model is created specifically for those who have a pronounced spinal curve
- Medium firmness that doesn’t compromise density, durability, and performance
- There are no chemical flame retardants or poly foams included. If you like the space-saving concept of a bed in a box, the Dormeuse mattress comes specially fitted to take up 75% less space on a delivery truck.
Look For Zoned Support
Some mattresses like the Level Sleep mattress offer zoned support or zoned firmnesses so that you can experience more support around your lower back and greater pressure relief around your shoulders and head.
This can help to promote better posture and reduce pressure more effectively when compared to a mattress that has the same amount of support/firmness across the entire surface area of the mattress.
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Back Neck And Shoulder Pain From A Tempurpedic Memory Foam Mattress
Hi Pete,We have a Tempurpedic mattress, which has not been very pleasant to sleep on. After several months of discomfort, we purchased a three inch memory foam topper, with memory foam pillows, thinking that was our problem. This situation has worsened and the bed is sleeping hot. I now have neck pain and shoulder pain, and my wife has lower back pain and shoulder pains. Both of our arms and hands tend to tingle and fall asleep. Im currently up typing this, because I can not sleep, due to the severe pain in my left shoulder and left side of my neck. Ive noticed you mentioned using a latex topper.Will that help us and why would it help our situation. Please help, we are in pain!!! Thanks, Charles
Which Mattress Firmness Is Best For Back Pain
A scientific study concluded that a medium-firm mattress outperformed a firm mattress in terms of reducing back pain whilst in bed, upon rising, and throughout the day for 313 adults tested over a 90-day period .
However, this study doesnt mean that everyone with back pain should buy a medium-firm mattress because back pain is a highly individualized condition, and the most suitable mattress firmness is dependant on a range of subjective factors.
The best mattress firmness for back pain could be soft, medium, firm, or another firmness variant depending on your body weight, body type, and dominant sleeping position.
This can make choosing the right mattress firmness for your back pain challenging.
And even if you consult your doctor first , you may still be unclear on the most suitable mattress firmness to help with your back pain.
Thats why Ive put together a list of the different mattress firmnesses and provided some guidelines as to which setting is typically best suited to the different combinations of body weights, body types, and sleeping positions to provide some clarity.
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Its Your Mattress Base Or Box Spring
Sometimes, your bed frame or box spring is the reason why your mattress is sagging. Check the foundation under your saggy mattress and mattress pad to see if the slats in your box spring are solid and aligned. Your mattress foundation should be made of high-density materials so it doesnt erode over time and interrupt a good nights sleep.
Does A Mattress Really Help Relieve Back Pain
On the flip side, if a mattress can cause back pain, it can also help relieve pain. It’s all thanks to the relationship between pain management and sleep.
Sleep is a state that is meant to be restful for a reason. Our body restores itself during the night and recovers its energy, healing fatigued tissue, and cleaning out debris and waste.
So if you sleep with pain, a bad mattress will not allow the body to relax deeply and enter this much-needed restorative state. On the other hand, a poor night’s sleep will intensify the pain you feel the next day.
You can see why choosing the right mattress is so important in maintaining your overall health.
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Can It Possibly Cause Sciatica
If you know anyone that has sciatica, youll probably hear them complain about it constantly. Its quite painful. Sciatica is a painful, tingly or numbing sensation down the side or back of the legs that runs down the sciatic nerve .
Its caused by degenerative disc disease and sleeping on a bad mattress can accelerate or exacerbate sciatica symptoms. Therefore, indirectly, you could say that it can cause sciatica. It certainly wont help!
What You Can Do
Often you can stay home: There are many effective home remedies for upper back pain relief.A typical episode of muscle strain usually lasts only a few days, explains Dr. Chang. Staying comfortable during this time is key. He suggests resting, icing, and taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen.
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Tip #: How You Sleep Is Important
First, make sure youre sleeping in a position that is conducive to maintaining the natural curves of your spine. Specifically, do not sleep on your stomach. Stomach sleeping can cause neck pain and headaches upon waking, and places your spine in an unnatural position.
Try to sleep on either your side or back. If youre a side sleeper, place a pillow between your knees. If you sleep on your back, it may help to place a pillow underneath your knees. Placing the pillow between and underneath your knees gives your spine the best chance of maintaining its natural curves while you sleep.
What Causes Back Pain
The main cause of back pain in bed is poor posture, either from how a person sits at work or how they sleep at night.
Between the vertebrae in the spine are intervertebral discs, which rehydrate at night . Poor posture can prevent the discs from rehydrating.
Read more: The NHS Guide To Back Pain
Attached to the vertebra are smaller muscle groups such as the erector spinae, and large muscles such as the trapezius. Poor posture can put the muscles into awkward positions that can cause irritation over a prolonged period of time, resulting in aches or pains. Lower and middle back pain tend to be the common culprits when sleeping. While there are several causes of back pain, a small number of which can be more serious underlying health issues. NHS Live Well gives us a list of common indicators of poor posture:
- Slouching in a chair
- Sticking your bottom out when standing
- Standing with a flat back
- Leaning on one leg
- Hunched back and text neck when focusing too much on your phone
- Poking your chin out when at a computer
- Rounded shoulders
- Cradling your phone in between your head and shoulder
These points are developed with images and solutions on this helpful NHS web page.
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Tips To Help You Sleep Better And Prevent Back Pain
Q: Every morning, I wake up with severe pain and stiffness in my back and neck. The pain generally wears off as the day wears on, but its very bothersome at the start of the day. Could I be sleeping incorrectly? How can I make sure that I sleep right to prevent neck and back pain?
Sleeping can be an uncomfortable situation for some people, and it can be a cause of back and neck pain. Photo Source: 123RF.com.We spend approximately one third of each day sleeping, as it is an essential part of life. If were going to spend a third of the day sleeping, it should be a time to relax painlessly and prepare for a new day.
Sadly, sleeping can be an uncomfortable situation for some people, and it can be a cause of back and neck pain. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to ensure you are sleeping correctly to prevent neck and back pain.