Natural Back Pain Relief Series- Part 2: Sleep Must-Haves
Back pain sufferers often dread bedtime which for most is the most coveted part of the day. For people battling with pain, bedtime can offer worsening symptoms, especially if you’re not getting adequate rest, sleep and relaxation. Sleep is essential for recovery. So when sleep is interrupted, pain sufferers experience very little pain relief and wellness. Most often, nighttime unrest for back pain sufferers is contributed to some of the following factors:
- Poor Sleep Position
- Inadequate Mattress
- Lack of Proper Pillows
- Lack of Physical Activity
I found that all of these factors were equally important and played a role in alleviating my back pain. I’ll talk more about the benefits of physical activity in the third part of this special series. In the meanwhile, here are some of my go-to sleep products that have helped me sleep better, hence aiding my body in healing and naturally alleviating pain.
I must be honest and share that initially I found myself relying on prescribed pain medication, although I never liked the way they made me feel-restless, numb and somewhat anxious. For me, pain medication only offered temporary relief. At first, I thought is was the specific type of medication, but after being prescribed various medications, I realized my body was simply not in sync with this pain relief option. That’s when I knew I’d have to find something-possibly something natural that could offer me some degree of relief.
Once I started researching, I found a plethora of options and tried a great deal of them. I tried everything from spinal injections to specialized recliners. Some of the options worked, but unfortunately, a lot of them didn’t. I was so elated when I tried the following products and they worked. Finally, I was resting and it felt great! I looked forward to sharing them with other people who might be experiencing what I’ve been battling with for the past few years. The following products have thankfully contributed to me getting a better nights rest and enhanced pain relief.
Side Sleeper Pillow & Memory Foam Pillows
An emergency room nurse, recommended this pillow to me after helping in ER following one of my excruciating back pain episodes. She thoughtfully shared how she used it while experiencing back pain following the birth of her daughter. I found it online and immediately ordered it. I’ve been grateful ever since the day UPS delivered it to my door. Being a side sleeper, it was the ideal solution to my neck/back pain sleep problems. It allowed me to nestle my ear in a convenient space, it comfortably fit underneath my head and also allowed me to situate the additional part of pillow between my arm and shoulder.
I also tried a variety of memory foam pillows. Most of the ones I tried, were either too stiff or just plain old uncomfortable. Their packaging promised comfort, adaptive shape and support. Majority of looked liked they would do exactly what they assured, but most did not deliver their specified qualities, except for this one…..
I usually alternate between both pillows or use them together. My side sleeper pillow seemingly works great on top of the memory foam pillow. It’s probably not the most conventional way to use them, but they worked great in this combination for me.
If you’re in search of comfortable pillow options, I definitely suggest giving these a try. I also strongly recommend looking into mattresses if your back does not feel supported. Here are some mattress buying tips you might find helpful.
Magnesium lotion has been one of my all around favorite pain relief remedies. I apply it whenever I feel discomfort, especially at bedtime after a nice relaxing bath with my “bath must-haves.” I’ve found that it works best when I massage it to the areas that need special attention which are my neck and back. It has a soothing and light fragrance. Something about this rich shea butter and coconut oil formulated lotion helps me to relax on contact.
Most nights, I put magnesium lotion on after applying my other favorite go-to bedtime lotion (see below) or prior to doing neck and exercises as prescribed by my physical therapist.
Captivating…the only way to describe this moisture rich, pampering body cream. The fragrance is simply delightful. The aromatherapy blend of essential oils, calms to enhance sleep and provide pure relaxation. It also soothes dry skin and works great alone or in conjunction with the magnesium lotion. As soon as I apply it, I know restful and pain-free sleep is right around the corner.
Chamomile tea is truly the cherry on top of my day. Drinking a nice hot cup of Sleepytime Chamomile tea, is the perfect wrap up to my bedtime pain relief regimen. The aroma is comforting and it taste delicious! I’m typically feeling nice and relaxed before I make it to my last sip of this yummy beverage.
Things weren’t always so easy. It took me a while to determine what worked best and helped me the most. Additionally, when my pain was at it’s peak, I also went to sleep with a gel ice pack which I would apply directly to my pain area. Cold applications seemed to work better for me than heat. I would apply it for 5-10 minute intervals at a time. Along with all of my other bedtime must-haves, it was a pretty good fit, offering uninterrupted sleep and relaxation.
Additional Back Relief Products/Resources
Helix Sleep – Customizes mattresses based on your body type and sleep preferences. Each Helix mattress is designed to help align your spine which is associated with improved REM sleep efficiency, higher reported sleep quality, and reduced neck & back pain.
Bedgear Performance Bedding Pillow ID – Offers pillows customized to your body type, favorite position, and more.
I hope these sleep tips are helpful to you as well. Please feel free to share additional options and feedback in comments below.