The problem of suffering from back pain while trying to get a good night’s rest can become a never-ending cycle. When you have so much pain that you can’t rest well, you’re more likely to toss and turn, leading you to wake up in even more pain than before. If you could get some rest, you’d be in a better position to manage pain, but the insomnia-pain cycle makes that difficult.
This negative cycle is especially problematic if you’re also dealing with anxiety or depression. For some people, anxiety and depression are underlying issues that are already going on. For others, the feeling of helplessness that comes from dealing with chronic pain can actually lead to poor mental health, and sleeplessness only exacerbates this, creating a downward spiral. This is why it’s important to find solutions for better pain management so you can put a stop to this cycle.
Troubleshoot Your Sleep Space
We all need the right conditions to sleep well, and that includes being comfortable and relaxed. Even if you feel comfortable when you first get in bed, if you’re waking up in pain, it’s possible that you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress. For someone who has chronic pain, a good mattress that provides the support you need can increase your comfort and help you get the quality rest you require. However, if your mattress doesn’t have the right support, it can actually make your pain worse.
One thing to consider when shopping for a new mattress is your typical sleeping position because some types and brands are better than others for different sleeping styles. For example, if you usually sleep on your side, you may want to look at the popular mattress brand Purple. However, if you need extra back support, the WinkBed mattress may be best.
Diet and Exercise
Of course, eating a healthy diet and activity are essential for overall health, especially a healthy heart and lungs. But these are also two key ways you can decrease back pain. For example, to improve joint health, consider adding more cruciferous vegetables to your diet, along with ginger, bone broth, and any fruits that are full of vitamin C like oranges, mangoes, and pineapple.
Many people who have back pain are hesitant to exercise because they’re afraid of making the pain worse. This is understandable, but doing just about any aerobic activity, even gentle exercise like walking or swimming will help strengthen your core and help reduce back pain. Self notes you can also do specific core exercises that target that key muscle zone.
We also highly recommend practicing yoga or doing simple stretches to relieve pain, especially in the evening before going to bed. As an added benefit, any exercise you do is also great for mental health. Aerobic activity and strength training get endorphins pumping, which means your brain gets a boost of the natural chemicals that make you feel happy. And yoga is an excellent way to relax both your body and mind before resting.
Ease Muscle Tension
Besides doing stretches or yoga, another way to ease muscle tension at night is to use heat therapy. Anytime you have an injury, you want to use cold therapy instead, but for chronic pain that is related to arthritis or tense muscles, heat therapy can work wonders. Try using a heating pad before bed, or take a hot bath to relax your mind along with your muscles.
Manage Mental Health
Regardless of which came first, getting mental health care can help you manage pain as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression. PsychCentral explains that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you reframe thoughts in a way that reduces your experience of pain.
Just as therapy is only one component of good mental health, it’s only one component of pain management too. However, a positive note for pain sufferers is that your situation isn’t hopeless, even if it feels that way sometimes. Any of these strategies can help, but they’re even better when combined and practiced consistently.
At Path to Hope Counseling we can help you better manage chronic pain through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and relaxation techniques. We offer a free 20 minute no obligation consultation. Reach out today and see how we can help! Call 984-500-2021 or email at email@example.com.
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Cheryl Conklin is a freelance writer and tutor by trade and a blogger, adventurer, traveler, and creator of Wellness Central in her free time.