Ongoing back pain can bring your life to a grinding halt and make it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep. There are many causes of back pain from injury to age to excess weight, but while you focus on fixing the cause, you need to be able to rest. Getting enough sleep will actually your body more quickly, and it is vital to recovery. Here is a quick glimpse at some tips and tricks that you can use to minimize your back pain so that you can finally sleep through the night.

Upgrade Your Mattress

Those who are dealing with chronic back pain should also think about taking a closer look at some mattress sales. Many people are surprised to hear that mattresses need to be replaced around once every 10 years, and sleeping on an older mattress could wreak havoc on your spine. Your doctor or chiropractor should be able to give you more information on what types of mattresses you need to look at for your specific needs.

While the first thing most people think of when choosing a mattress is the firmness—soft, medium, or firm—what you actually need to focus on is the amount of support a mattress gives you. This means looking at how well the mattress keeps your spine aligned. Sleeping with your spine out of alignment is actually the cause of many chronic back pain sufferers’ problems.

Use Topical Painkillers

While it might be tempting to take a handful of over-the-counter painkillers just before you go to bed, those drugs can be very hard on your organs. Unless you are given different instructions by your doctor, you shouldn’t use over-the-counter painkillers for more than a few days. Topical painkillers, on the other hand, can be used as often as you would like. Those products act almost immediately, and they could provide you with multiple hours of relief.

While the effectiveness of the topical painkiller you choose is the most important thing, there are some other things you’ll want to look at too. If you’re planning to use the painkillers around bedtime, you need to make sure that the kind you choose won’t keep you awake. Some creams don’t absorb into the skin as well as others, and some have very strong medicinal scents that can keep you up. Make sure the kind you choose is one that won’t disrupt your sleep, or use it earlier in the day.

Stretch Before You Sleep

Moving around for a few minutes and gently stretching your back are two other steps that you might want to take to alleviate some of the pain. Stretching is going to promote blood flow, and that will reduce inflammation while you sleep. It can also help you to release stress that has built up as tension in your back and shoulder muscles.

During the day, you should also try to move around at least once an hour. That extra movement is going to be absolutely vital to your recovery, and your doctor might even suggest carrying out some low-impact exercises once or twice a day.

Use a Body Pillow

Body pillows are longer than traditional pillows, and they are designed to support your hips, shoulders, and core. When you place a body pillow between your knees, it should pull your spine back into alignment, and that could greatly improve your sleep. You must make sure that you have a high-quality pillow that comfortably fits under your head as well.

These few tips could temporarily help you restore your sleep schedule, but you need to address the root causes of your back pain if you want to enjoy long-term relief. Your doctor or chiropractor can help you come up with a comprehensive treatment plan that strengthens your back and reduces your risk of future problems.

Author's Bio: 

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.