Daily Yoga Practice
You may have noticed through my articles that I am a big proponent of yoga. Yoga has many benefits. I have anxiety, asthma, migraines, and intermittent chronic back pain — daily yoga practice helps every single one of these conditions. I do not claim that yoga is any type of cure, but it helps me manage all of my chronic ailments.
This is my personal experience. Research released in January 2017 stated that yoga might reduce pain levels and improve mobility. The study was performed on over 1,000 men and women with chronic lower back pain. Although the study was small, the results were profound — researchers are asking for long-term studies to back up their findings.
How does this translate to you? Do yoga! There are plenty of resources.
Seek out classes in your communities — there are often classes designed specifically for people with lower back pain. Find an instructor who understands how to modify asanas (postures) to fit your needs. Once you learn the basics, you can create a home-based practice.
A New Bed
Although I have lower back pain from nursing injuries, my husband actually has worse back pain. He has bulging disks in his lower back and requires back surgery — he is trying to put it off at this time.
We made the decision, due to both of our back pain, to invest in a new bed. After all, our bed was old, we both had pain, and we were sleeping poorly.
We went to a local furniture store and met with a mattress expert and tried lots of mattresses. In the end, we picked a mattress that was customized to our specific needs — his side of the bed has one firmness, and my side has another firmness. We both agree that it has made a huge difference in how well we sleep at night.
Expensive? Yes. Worth the money? Again and again.
So, what kind of mattress is best for you? In the best, a very firm mattress was recommended. Now, the line of thinking has changed a bit – a firm or medium-firm mattress is now recommended.
But what can you do if you’ve got bad back pain and can’t afford a new mattress?
There are several ways you can modify your existing mattress. You can purchase a memory foam mattress topper that is the correct firmness. You can also buy a piece of plywood and place it under your current mattress. Also, placing your mattress directly on the floor may lessen the movement of the springs of the bed, which may reduce your pain.
I try to get a monthly massage. I go to a massage therapist who is also trained in craniosacral therapy (CST).
According to SpineUniverse, CST “essentially helps the body release restrictions — which it has been unable to overcome on its own — that inhibit the body’s normal, self-correcting tendencies. Rather than deciding how these changes should be made, the therapist follows cues from the body on how to proceed. When the therapist follows this gentle approach, the method is extremely safe and effective.”
I find that massage, coupled with CST, is beneficial for both my migraines and lower back pain. Although I had more massages initially, I go monthly now, and it helps keep my symptoms at bay.
When my pain flares up, I ask my husband to give me a light massage before bed, which definitely helps.
As anyone with chronic pain knows, having medication in our bag of tricks is essential. When the pain gets too severe, I do occasionally take medication to reduce the pain.
While I haven’t done it all, in terms of finding ways to sleep better with back pain, I certainly have sought out various ways to improve my sleep.
Through trial and error, I found ways to reduce my pain, both during the day and at night. Reducing my pain during the day subsequently has had the effect of less pain in the evening (well, most of the time!)
Dealing with chronic pain is a challenge, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. However, finding ways to live with the pain, and live well is a goal of mine – and I am happy to share these tips with you. Do you have anything to add to this list?