The Connection Between A Good Nights Sleep And Back Pain
By Anisha Joshi – award winning celebrity osteopath.
So a little about me, I own an Osteopathic clinic in central London (Cavendish Square). Osteopathy is a form of treatment that helps ongoing muscular and joint pain like upper back tension from working at home to acute injuries like spraining your ankle from running. We have to study 4-5 years at university to be able to conduct a full medical case history, examination, diagnosis and treatment.
We are considered an essential healthcare service, which has also meant we’ve been able to stay open during lockdown.
The majority of us love sleeping but more than ever during the last year, most of my patients have really struggled with getting the rest they need and have experienced the quality of their sleep deteriorate due to stress and anxiety.
Not only can stress and anxiety affect your sleep but it can also predispose you to subconscious tension. This can manifest in the form of teeth clenching, fist clenching, shoulder shrugging, hyperventilating and digestive issues.
When our body responds to stress it will alter the way in which our joints and muscles function and can cause them to tighten up. The majority of my patients whom I see in my clinic have felt this as neck pain and headaches, but it can also manifest as lower back pain due to the attachments of the rib cage and the diaphragm.
Our bodies release it’s own growth hormone whilst we sleep which then aids muscle repair. If our sleep is disrupted, it can impact the hormone secretion and can impair how quickly something like sciatica or neck pain resolves when caused by muscle tension.
I recommend the Mela Weighted Blanket to all my patients who have been struggling with their sleep, it has not only improved the quality of their sleep but has consequently improved their response to my osteopathic treatment and enabled them to get back on their feet much faster.
I’m also a big fan of the MELA pillow and sleep on it every single night (not joking). I find it perfectly supports my head whilst sleeping whether I’m lying on my back or on my side.
Our heads weigh on average 5 kg (a stone), so you can imagine that if they’re not supported properly at night it can increase the likelihood of chronic neck pain which can then lead to headaches.
Here’s my top tips for bettering your sleep in order to avoid back and neck pain:
- If sleeping on your back, place a pillow below both your knees. The Mela Pillow has the perfect thickness to do this as well as reduce pressure on these areas.
- If sleeping on your side, place a pillow between your knees.
- Turn over your MELA pillow every night for maximum support.
- Try to switch off your phone at least 1 hour before you go to bed.
- Use you weighted blanket to help you have a rested night sleep.
- Try journaling before bed to help get your thoughts out of your head.
If you have any ongoing niggles that have been causing you discomfort you can get more tips on Anisha’s Instagram page where she has many resources and helpful tips, @osteoanisha.
If you’d like to get your back alignment checked by Anisha or her team she has a clinic in Hertfordshire called Woodside Osteopathic Clinic and in Central London.
To book in Hitchin, Hertfrodshire call 01462 452929
To book in London you can do so online at www.osteoanisha.com
Both clinics are open 6 days a week and offer late evening appointments.