Sleeping and your bed

As a Chiropractor, I am often asked for advice on pillows, beds and mattresses and which ones can help to prevent back or neck pain. In truth, there is no single answer that suits all.

Research by the British Chiropractic Association in 2013 showed that of those experiencing back or neck pain, 30% said that their pain could be brought on by a night’s so-called ‘rest’. We all come in different weights, shapes and sizes, but have one thing in common: we spend more than a third of our lives in bed, so choosing the right bed, pillow or mattress is essential to help reduce the risk.

Which is better, a hard or soft mattress?

The best mattress is a ’supportive one‘. A 16 stone person sleeping on a mattress may not get the same support as a 10 stone person sleeping on the same mattress. If you are lying on your side, your spine should be parallel to the mattress and your spine should not sag (bed too soft) or bow (bed too hard). The longer you can spend lying on a mattress before you buy it, the more accurate this feeling will be.

Your pillow should be an extension of this i.e. your neck should be a continuation of the straight spine and not too high or too low. In clinic we sell the fantastic Complete Sleeprrr pillow and highly recommend it if you suffer neck problems and need a new pillow. For more information visit: Which Pillow Do We Recommend?

 

How do I know if my current bed/mattress needs replacing?

Are you and your partner getting comfortable nights sleep? If the answer is no, your bed may be the problem. Can you feel the springs through the mattress? If the answer is yes, it is definitely time to buy a new one. Is the bed more than 8 years old? If the answer is yes, consider purchasing a new one – beds wear out and may sag or lose support with time.

How do I minimise back or neck problems?

Try and adopt a sleeping position which creates less physical stress on the back. For example, lying on your side is better than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side. Also try to avoid being in any one position for too long, and if your partner moves around a lot at night, try separate beds for a while as your partner’s movement could aggravate YOUR back condition!

Let us help you to achieve better health. You can book an appointment with our chiropractor Chris or massage therapists Liesa or Matt, by calling 01785 530911 in Stafford, or 01952 825042 in Newport. Alternatively you can book using our online diary.

We look forward to seeing you.

Which pillow do we recommend?

As a chiropractor in Newport and Stafford, I’m always being asked which pillow is best to help with neck or back pain.

Well, for the last few years we have been stocking a particular pillow that has proved hugely popular and helped some of my patients get the best night’s sleep they’ve had for years: The Complete Sleeprrr Original pillow.

Like many pillows, it is therapeutically designed in luxurious memory foam and has a gently contoured shape to encourage natural spinal alignment. However, the main difference between this pillow and many others is that it can be altered to suit your needs.

It has a huge range of adjustments (up to 12) to enable you to change the height, depth and firmness of the pillow by adding or removing selected pieces. To alter the height to suit your comfort and postural needs, there are two removable inserts.

You can also alter the firmness of the pillow by taking out or adding the surface “foam noodles”. This unique customisation helps to take the risk out of your pillow being too high, too low, too hard or too soft. One size suits all!

Everyone who has tried one so far (including me) has loved it and in my opinion its one of the best on the market. It is also around half the cost of some of the leading brand orthopaedic memory foam pillows at only £55 (RRP £79), and could make a great present.

This offer isn’t available in shops, and you can only get them through UK clinics, so if you would like to know more then please contact us or drop into our Stafford or Newport chiropractic clinics. You can also get further information by visiting the Complete Sleeprrr website at www.completesleeprrr.co.uk.

Suffering back or neck pain? Here are some helpful tips

New research finds increasing numbers of Midlanders suffering from back and neck pain

New research released to mark Chiropractic Awareness Week (9 – 15 April), has found that more than two fifths (41%) of people in the Midlands are currently experiencing back or neck pain, a 12% increase on 2017.

The research, which was carried out by the British Chiropractic Association, found that for sufferers in the Midlands, the top triggers for this pain were;

  • Lifting or carrying heavy objects (53%)
  • Sitting for long periods of time (43%), and;
  • Poor posture (35%)

Notably, incidences of neck and back pain among younger people are also on the rise, with 40% of people in the Midlands experiencing neck or back pain by age 20.

 

GB back pain

 

Local chiropractor, Chris Mallett from Pure Health Chiropractic in Stafford and Newport, comments on these findings:

“The BCA’s research findings align with what I see in my clinic on a day to day basis, however it’s particularly interesting that lifting and carrying was the most cited trigger for neck and back pain. It really highlights the importance of maintaining a strong and active body that can move well and cope with the demands you are making of it.

“For those who are finding that sedentary lifestyles and sitting for long periods are causing them a problem, we would encourage they make a change. We are designed to move and if you hold your body in any position for an extended period of time, it is likely that you will feel pain.

“To help counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and help prevent back and neck pain occurring, there are a number of simple exercises and small changes you can incorporate into your daily routine. For example, shrugging and circling your shoulders whilst sitting and taking the stairs are easy ways to improve your back health – these may sound simple but I know from my patients that they really work!”

Chris’s top tips to help local residents to prevent and manage neck and back pain are:

  • Take a break: When sitting for long periods of time, ensure you stand up and move around every 30 minutes. When at work, also make sure your desk is set up to support a comfortable position. This is different for everyone so if you don’t feel comfortable in your current set up, try altering the height of your chair or screen.
  • Keep on moving: Physical activity can be beneficial for managing back pain, however it’s important that if this is of a moderate to high intensity that you warm up and down properly to get your body ready to move! If a previous injury is causing you pain, adapt your exercise or seek some advice. Activities such as swimming, walking or yoga can be less demanding on your body while keeping you mobile!

Other things which you can bear in mind are:

  • Lifting and carrying: Remember to bend from the knees, not the waist when lifting heavy items. Face in the direction of movement, and take your time. Hold the object as close to your body as possible, and where you can avoid carrying objects which are too heavy to manage alone, ask for help or use the necessary equipment.
  • Sleep comfortably: The Sleep Council recommends buying a new mattress at least every 7 years. Mattresses lose their support over time, so if you can feel the springs through your mattress, or the mattress is no longer level, your mattress is no longer providing the support you need. Everyone has different support requirements, so when purchasing your mattress ensure it is supportive for you. If you share a bed and require different mattress types, consider two single mattresses which are designed to be joined together, to ensure you both get the support you need.
  • Straighten Up!: The BCA has created a programme of 3-minute exercises, Straighten Up UK, which can be slotted in to your daily schedule to help prevent back pain by promoting movement, balance, strength and flexibility in the spine

The BCA recommends that, if you are experiencing pain for more than a few days you should seek professional help, for example from a chiropractor, who can assess you and help you to get moving again without pain. You can book an appointment with our chiropractors Chris or Nick, by calling 01785 530911 in Stafford, or 01952 825042 in Newport. Alternatively you can book using our online diary.

We look forward to seeing you.