A How-To For Sleeping With A Spinal Injury

Sleep is essential for pain management

For people suffering from spinal conditions, sleep often offers the only reprieve in a day full of pain and discomfort. Being able to extend your spine on a comfortable mattress may offer pain relief for some, but for others, sleep is less easy to come by. When it comes time to quiet your mind and get to sleep, there is nothing to distract you from your back pain. Insomnia becomes both a cause and an effect of your back pain, and this cycle can be hard to break out of. The best way to get to sleep despite your pain is by finding comfort. We have dedicated our lives to helping people with chronic back pain increase the amount of comfort in their lives so that they can find the sleep they need to push on. 

Most comfortable sleeping position by spinal-condition

  • Herniated discs: people with this condition find the most relief sleeping on their sides and stomach, as long as the stomach is supported by a pillow underneath. A medium-density mattress allows for your shoulders and hips to sink in comfortably while still supporting the curvature and neutral alignment of your spine. 
  • Degenerative disc disease: reducing stress on the discs is achieved by opening up space between the vertebrae. When sleeping, most people find comfort on their stomach, with a supporting pillow underneath. 
  • Osteoarthritis: we most often recommend a loose fetal position, in which the knees are raised but the spine remains straight through the neck. This position relieves pressure on spinal joints.

At our office our job is to use hands-on modalities to restore alignment to your spine and reduce the severity of your symptoms. In so doing, we aim to reduce pain and improve function, helping you find the comfort you need to sleep. 

Eating Clean to Defeat Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is the natural result of a poor diet

Foods that are high in processed ingredients usually contain high levels of sugar and bad fat- foods that make you feel OK and fill you up but let you down in the long run. A buzzword in the health community, inflammation is linked to all sorts of problems in the human body- pain, arthritis, obesity, and beyond, but here’s one that may not have occurred to you before:

Chronic inflammation is linked to cortisol imbalance

The brain’s foremost stress hormone, cortisol, is produced by the adrenal gland, and keeping it in balance is critical for maintaining the health of every cell in the body. By raising inflammation, a poor diet is helping to throw your cortisol rhythm out of balance and thereby, results in the following symptoms: 

  • Anxiety and depression 
  • Problems falling and staying asleep
  • Weight fluctuation
  • Decreased memory
  • Immune system dysfunction

A plan for eating clean to fight inflammation and cortisol imbalance 

Diet, along with sleep, is one of the most powerful ways you can control cortisol rhythm and the functioning of your adrenal glands. 

  1. We start by ditching the processed foods. As much as possible, try to limit your intake of drive-thru or ready-made meals. 
  2. This goes along with controlling the quality of fats and sugars you intake.
  3. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods or supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids, spices such as turmeric, cloves, and ginger, 
  4. Avoid caffeine and alcohol late at night: Both are great at disturbing your natural flow and interfering with the quality of sleep. 

This is not a radical change in your diet, but it does ask that you take some care in avoiding the pitfalls of ready-made meals and exercising more care over the ingredients you consume. We can help you identify behavior that is causing inflammation and cortisol levels to remain high and quality of life low. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. 

How to Keep your Office from Being the Death of You

Office ergonomics are made for form and function but rarely are they made for good health

Let’s subscribe to the conventional wisdom that working in an office has fewer risks than working construction, or directing traffic or being a lion trainer … … … The risks associated with office work are much less glaring and tend to fly under the radar as they build up over the years. Many people exit office life riddled with degeneration- carpal tunnel in the fingers, degeneration in the spine, pain in the lower body. These are insidious diseases and are caused by the sedentary nature of the office. If we are going to work hard all our lives in an office before retirement, we may as well set our bodies up for success to enjoy that hard-earned freedom. 

Here are some ways to combat pain on the job

  • Scheduling breaks: once an hour at the top of the hour; it’s easy to remember and all you have to do is stand up and move for 60 seconds.
  • Resetting posture regularly: whenever the thought strikes you, shake out the tension and reset to an upright position. 
  • Supporting the lower back: this region needs the most support so lend it a hand with a cushion to maintain the curve throughout your lower back. 
  • Using a headset: if you use your phone a lot, consider using a headset to encourage the upright position. 
  • Massaging yourself: gently rub tender spots with your hands and release trigger points from tension.

If you have long-standing pain that is made worse in the office, it’s time to stop taking a painkiller, shrugging off the pain, and continuing to work. We want to help you get to the root of your pain and set a course for healing your condition that starts with the therapy we provide. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.