Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last blog, we discussed headaches and chiropractic care. Today, we’ll be talking all about sleep and chiropractic care. Not only can chiropractic care help with sleep issues, but making a few changes in your sleeping habits can also help eliminate sleep issues and discomfort that prevents you from getting the sleep you need. We’ve all heard about the importance of getting adequate sleep, but are you aware of the actual reasons why? Sleep is an essential function and is vital for adequate function of the brain and body. When you do not get enough sleep, your risk for health conditions rise, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and migraines. Additionally, lack of sleep can compromise your immune system, which increases your risk of disease and infection. People can have trouble sleeping for a variety of reasons, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and discomfort or pain. In fact, pain seems to be one of the leading causes of poor quality sleep. If you are interested in learning more about the link between sleep and chiropractic care, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get started.
How can chiropractic care improve sleep?
Chiropractors are licensed medical professionals that are trained to adjust and manipulate the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. These adjustments have a variety of benefits, including the ability to reduce or eliminate pain, improve posture, regain mobility, improve range of motion, and more. Although most people associate chiropractors with reducing back pain alone, chiropractic care can help with a variety of conditions, such as fibromyalgia and digestive issues. It can also help with sleep conditions such as insomnia or chronic pain that contributes to poor sleep. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders that makes it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. People may experience acute or chronic insomnia. Some causes include stress and anxiety, lifestyle factors, a poor sleeping environment, and physical health conditions.
Many people do not realize that the spine is directly related to the nervous system. The spinal cord allows nerve impulses to travel to and from the brain, helping your body perform necessary functions. When certain vertebrae are out of alignment, they can press on nerves and block signals. These blockages are known as subluxations, or interferences, and they prevent your body from using its natural ability to heal itself. Subluxations can be caused by accidents, falls, bad posture, or even emotional stress. The truth is, subluxations have the power to affect almost all areas of your health, causing digestive issues, headaches, pain, and sleep disorders. They are actually the cause of a multitude of health issues, and cannot be cured with medication; This only masks the problem, rather than addressing the cause.
Chiropractic care can help treat insomnia and other sleep disorders by addressing the root cause or source of the problem, which may be a subluxation, or stress that caused a subluxation. When we think of stress, we often think of mental or emotional stress. But this kind of stress can also manifest physically, causing symptoms that can range from aches and pains to nausea and restlessness. When the body experiences stress, muscles often tense up in an attempt to shield the body from pain or injury. If you are feeling particularly stressed, you may notice that your jaw is clenched or you may feel tightness in your neck or back muscles. This is your body’s immediate response to stress; The muscles tense up, and then release once the stress passes. Chronic stress can cause the muscles to stay tensed almost constantly.
An adjustment can release tension held in the muscles, which relaxes the body and increases blood circulation. Additionally, moving vertebrae back into their proper alignment can eliminate pain caused by tensed muscles, which may also reduce emotional stress almost immediately. If you are unable to sleep solely because of discomfort or pain that is not related to stress, an adjustment can alleviate that as well. Not only do adjustments release tension and increase blood circulation, but they also remove pressure on spinal nerves to encourage the body to perform its essential functions efficiently.
A chiropractor also has the knowledge and means to speak with you and discuss your sleeping posture and habits, as well as lifestyle habits. They can offer advice and recommendations that can help you get the sleep you need. Sometimes, a small lifestyle change can make a big difference.
What is sleep posture?
Sleep posture refers to the position your body is in during or prior to sleep. You may be surprised to find out that there is a “wrong” way to sleep! Just like there is good posture when it comes to standing, there is good sleep posture, too. Different sleep positions have different benefits and play a huge role in the quality of your sleep. Your sleep posture can also have an impact on back pain. So what is the best position to sleep in? This may vary from person to person, depending on your needs. However, an ideal sleeping position supports the natural curve of your neck and spine, keeping them in proper alignment. You want to avoid sleeping positions that put unnecessary stress on your back, neck, and hips. Here are some examples of good sleep posture.
With that being said, there are also some sleeping positions that you should avoid:
Additionally, your mattress may be the cause of your back pain. A general rule of thumb is to search for a firm mattress. However, I recommend trying to change your sleep posture first.
As you can see, chiropractors do so much more than relieve back pain. They can also help you get the good night’s rest that you deserve! I hope you found this article informative. If you or a loved one are suffering from poor quality sleep or any type of joint or back pain, you may benefit from chiropractic care. Consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic! We specialize in different chiropractic techniques, as well as both therapeutic and Swedish massage. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a healthy and pain-free life– it’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
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