back pain http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/18198/all en-US 14 Affordable Ways to Relieve Back Pain http://www.wisebread.com/14-affordable-ways-to-relieve-back-pain <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-affordable-ways-to-relieve-back-pain" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_with_pain_in_back.jpg" alt="Girl with pain in back" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spinal fusion surgery for lower back pain can cost more than $100,000, according to Healthcare Bluebook. Many people might consider that a worthwhile price to pay for a pain-free life. But according to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, only 5 percent of back pain patients are good candidates for surgery. And even among those who are, surgery doesn't always work.</p> <p>Another approach to easing a chronically aching back is opioid painkillers. But they come with their own risks, namely, the chance that the patient becomes dependent on, and later addicted to them. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental deaths for adults in America, with more than 20,000 people dying in 2015 alone from overdoses of prescription painkillers.</p> <p>In her book, <a href="http://amzn.to/2lYntTo" target="_blank">Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery</a>, investigative journalist Cathryn Jakobson Ramin chronicles her six-year investigation seeking answers for her persistent back pain. She started out believing she needed surgery, then ended up trying a controversial, heavily-advertised laser treatment, which didn't provide lasting relief.</p> <p>Through her research, she learned that the patients who achieve the most relief are usually those who take an active part in their own recovery, easing pain through various exercise protocols or through rehab programs that combine psychological treatment with intensive exercise.</p> <p>One surprising thing that Ramin learned is that it's often necessary to push through pain, ideally under the watchful eye of a qualified trainer or therapist. In fact, one cause of disability for many patients is not the pain itself, but the fear that too much movement will cause more pain, she learned. One renowned rehab expert, Ramin wrote, made his patients do &quot;exercises that were performed under supervision, at a prescribed dose, without dwelling on associated discomfort.&quot;</p> <p>Ramin isn't alone. Many medical authorities, alarmed by the opioid crisis and disheartened by the limits of invasive surgery, are recommending conservative treatments for lower back pain. Fortunately, many of these treatments are quite affordable, especially when compared to a $100,000 surgery.</p> <h2>1. A heating pad</h2> <p>This may seem old fashioned, but &quot;superficial heat&quot; is the first item on the American College of Physicians' (ACP) 2017 list of recommendations for treating low back pain. It's not that applying heat is expected to cure what's wrong with your back. It's that, as the guidelines state, &quot;most patients with acute or subacute low back pain improve over time regardless of treatment.&quot;</p> <p>Using a <a href="http://amzn.to/2lYqenI" target="_blank">heating pad</a> is mostly about feeling more comfortable while your body heals itself. For a one-time investment of just $10 to $50, it's worth a try.</p> <h2>2. Massage</h2> <p>Often back pain is caused by a muscle strain or muscle spasm, which may be eased by a visit to a massage therapist. At a cost of $50 to $150 a session, it's worth trying even if it doesn't work, because it usually feels good and helps you relax.</p> <h2>3. Acupuncture</h2> <p>Although the ACP calls the currently available evidence &quot;low to moderate quality,&quot; according to National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), results from a number of studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease chronic low-back pain. Routine visits cost $50 to $100, and Consumer Reports found that the average back pain patient spends $200 for a full course of treatment.</p> <h2>4. Chiropractic care</h2> <p>The most familiar chiropractic treatment is spinal manipulation. Although the ACP says the evidence that it works is &quot;low quality,&quot; spinal manipulation is nevertheless among the top recommendations for back pain by the physicians' group.</p> <p>However, one spine surgeon told me he recommends that instead of getting a spinal manipulation, you ask the chiropractor for soft tissue therapy such as active release &mdash; which is similar to a deep tissue massage.</p> <p>Consumer Reports pegs the cost of seeing a chiropractor as similar to acupuncture &mdash; about $200 for a course of treatment. However, unlike acupuncture, many health plans cover a portion of the cost for chiropractic care.</p> <h2>5. Ibuprofen</h2> <p>The ACP recommends &quot;nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs&quot; such as Advil. Doctors say it's important not to just pop an <a href="http://amzn.to/2AwsF64" target="_blank">ibuprofen</a> now and then, when the pain flares up, but to follow a regular regimen for the prescribed time, in order to quell the inflammation that may be causing the pain. At about $10 per bottle of 200 mg pills, this is a very affordable treatment.</p> <h2>6. Muscle relaxants</h2> <p>Some doctors prescribe a muscle relaxant for a short period, if your back pain is caused by muscle spasms. If so, the cost is generally limited to your insurance copay. If you have to pay full price, most prescriptions run from $10 to $200.</p> <h2>7. Rehabilitation programs</h2> <p>In <em>Crooked</em>, Ramin tried several programs that lasted for several weeks, with five sessions each week packed with supervised strengthening exercises, group therapy, and more. Working with highly trained professionals for weeks on end is not exactly cheap, though. The cost of a chronic pain rehab program can run you tens of thousands of dollars. But it costs significantly less than most back surgeries.</p> <p>Unfortunately, it may be more difficult to get insurance companies to cover the full cost of the pain program than it would be to get them to cover surgery. And taking weeks off work to go through the program would be a financial strain for many people as well.</p> <h2>8. Tai chi</h2> <p>One study found that 75 percent of back pain patients showed improvement after a 10-week tai chi program. Considering that many tai chi groups are free to join, and that organized classes are available for as little as $10 a session, this is a very affordable treatment option.</p> <h2>9. Yoga</h2> <p>Not just any yoga class is recommended for back pain patients. In fact, some of the experts interviewed in Ramin's book warned that certain yoga positions can make back problems worse and should be avoided. She learned that <em>Iyengar</em>, a style that requires lengthy teacher training, has been shown to help people with back problems. Such yoga classes are advertised for as little as $14 a session, and <a href="http://amzn.to/2Cud2xN" target="_blank">yoga DVDs</a> and online videos are also available. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-stress-relief-items-you-need-in-your-life-that-are-under-20?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Stress Relief Items You Need in Your Life That Are Under $20</a>)</p> <h2>10. Osteopathy</h2> <p>Some patients report relief after visiting an osteopath, who performs manual adjustments similar to &mdash; but not identical to &mdash; what chiropractors do. One doctor of osteopathy explained to me that her discipline often blames an out-of-place or frozen sacrum (bottom vertebra) for back pain. She said she has been able to eliminate pain for most patients by gently repositioning this bone. Visits with an osteopath may be covered by insurance.</p> <h2>11. Exercise with a trainer</h2> <p>Of all the treatments she tried, the one Ramin found the most relief from was regular workouts with coaches recommended by back pain experts. A large portion of back pain is caused by weak muscles in the core area, such as abdominals and back muscles, and these trainers can help pinpoint which muscles need strengthening, and teach the exercises needed to get the job done.</p> <p>Working with an expert trainer can help a patient maintain good form, because, Ramin learned, it's all too easy to let muscle groups that are already strong do the movement and let the weaker muscles continue to loaf. You might pay $100 or more an hour for an expert trainer, making it not exactly inexpensive &mdash; but many find the relief worth the cost.</p> <h2>12. Independent exercise</h2> <p>If you can't afford to work with an expert trainer, or you can only afford to work with one for a short period, you can find videos online to help you maintain those back-supporting muscles long-term. Ramin found a series of exercises known as the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA1Ve7FWqTY" target="_blank">McGill Big Three</a> so helpful that she links to them on her site and has taught them to strangers in airports. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-back-exercises-that-will-help-eliminate-pain?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Easy Back Exercises That Will Help Eliminate Pain</a>)</p> <h2>13. Maintain a healthy weight</h2> <p>Ask any pregnant woman, and you'll learn that carrying extra weight in the midsection puts a strain on the lower back. It may not be easy, but doctors say that getting rid of belly fat is a reliable and affordable way to ease lower back pain. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-take-better-care-of-your-back?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Easy Ways to Take Better Care of Your Back</a>)</p> <h2>14. Change positions often</h2> <p>Many of us realize that we are causing our own back pain by poor posture at work. An expensive approach to this problem is to buy specialized office equipment, such as standing desks and ergonomic chairs.</p> <p>A cheaper approach is to avoid sitting at your desk for eight hours straight every day. Instead of texting or emailing a colleague, walk across the office to talk to them in person. Have walking meetings as if you're a character in an Aaron Sorkin drama. Stand up and stretch during boring conference calls. If you work from home (like I do), move to different furniture and positions throughout the day. And for goodness sake, just say no to extra hours as an everyday thing. Scoring points at work is not worth ruining your health.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F14-affordable-ways-to-relieve-back-pain&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F14%2520Affordable%2520Ways%2520to%2520Relieve%2520Back%2520Pain.jpg&amp;description=14%20Affordable%20Ways%20to%20Relieve%20Back%20Pain"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/14%20Affordable%20Ways%20to%20Relieve%20Back%20Pain.jpg" alt="14 Affordable Ways to Relieve Back Pain" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-affordable-ways-to-relieve-back-pain">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-free-self-care-rituals-to-get-you-through-a-long-winter">6 Free Self-Care Rituals to Get You Through a Long Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-invest-in-your-health">7 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Health</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-sleeping-position-may-be-hurting-you">Your Sleeping Position May Be Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty back ache back pain body aches chronic pain muscle pain self-care yoga Thu, 11 Jan 2018 09:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2084541 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Back Support Devices http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-back-support-devices <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-back-support-devices" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_back_support_474412030.jpg" alt="Woman wearing best back support devices" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Back support devices can relieve back, shoulder, and neck pain, improve posture, and even reduce pain from issues like sciatica and sports injuries. For many people, these devices are completely life-changing.</p> <h2>What Is a Back Supporting Device?</h2> <p>A back supporting device can help you naturally recover from pain and injuries, so you can get back to your active life in less time, without the use of anti-inflammatory medications. It supports the back and aligns the spine, so you can comfortably stand and sit with less stress on your neck, shoulders, back, and spine.</p> <p>Something as simple as slouching can lead to long-term pain. Poor posture can also lead to tension headaches and migraines. To prevent permanently damaging your body with poor posture, find a device that you can comfortably wear whenever you experience pain. Back supporting devices can be worn while at home, at work, driving, or while exercising. They come in various shapes, sizes, and options, so we've included some of each type below.</p> <h2>Top 5 Back Support Devices</h2> <h3>Mueller Adjustable Back Brace</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2mgH6pg"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/mueller.jpg" width="245" height="165" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2mgH6pg" target="_blank">Mueller Adjustable Back Brace</a> can help you recover from injuries more quickly. It can improve posture and help relieve lower back pain. It has a removable lumbar pad, which helps reinforce the lumbar region. It also has adjustable compression for concentrated support. And it offers extra stability from flexible steel supports along the spine.</p> <p>The internal molded plastic component eliminates brace rolling or bunching. It features a double layer design and dual, outer elastic tension straps for a custom fit. The breathable fabric allows you to comfortably wear it all day. This is available in a range of sizes. It has outstanding online reviews, including more than 2,400 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2mgH6pg" target="_blank"><em>Currently $23.91 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h2>StabilityAce Upper Back Posture Corrector Brace</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2mgHh3U"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/stabilityace.jpg" width="245" height="163" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2mgHh3U" target="_blank">StabilityAce Upper Back Posture Corrector Brace</a> can be comfortably worn all day, either under or over the shirt. The lightweight, washable brace is breathable and easy to apply yourself. The high-quality posture support brace is made with a backpack-style construction that gently pulls the shoulders back to align the clavicle, improve posture, relieve shoulder tension, and reduce back pain and pain from scoliosis. The soft padding and strong cushioned straps are ideal for fractures, sprains, collarbone pain, shoulder instability, and fibromyalgia. The movable D-rings allow additional adjustment for a custom fit.</p> <p>This is available in a range of sizes, and works well on both men and women. It has outstanding online reviews, including more than 400 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2mgHh3U" target="_blank"><em>Currently $19.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h2>ComfyMed Posture Corrector Clavicle Support Brace</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2mVexkF"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/comfymed.jpg" width="220" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2mVexkF" target="_blank">ComfyMed Posture Corrector Clavicle Support Brace</a> can straighten your neck, align your shoulders, and improve posture, especially if you tend to slump over all day. It can relieve upper back pain, as well as pain from Thoracic Kyphosis, Lordosis, Kyphoscoliosis, Osteoporosis, loose ligaments, misaligned spine, cervical and thoracic conditions, sports injuries, and more. It is durable, washable, ultrasoft, and made of premium quality materials. The innovative design is easy to put on and adjust by yourself. It has minimum restriction, doesn't cut into the arms, and offers strong support. You can comfortably wear this lightweight brace under clothing.</p> <p>This works well on both men and women, and is available in a range of sizes. It has great online reviews and is backed by outstanding customer support and a money-back guarantee. The <a href="http://amzn.to/2n3Gxzh" target="_blank">ComfyMed Premium Quality Back Brace with Removable Lumbar Pad</a> and <a href="http://amzn.to/2mjCb8N" target="_blank">ComfyMed Breathable Mesh Back Brace</a> are two other highly rated back braces from the trusted brand.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2mVexkF" target="_blank"><em>Currently $28.45 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h2>Armstrong Amerika Thoracic Back Brace</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2mgLjJu"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/armstrong%20amerika.jpg" width="220" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The premium-quality <a href="http://amzn.to/2mgLjJu" target="_blank">Armstrong Amerika Thoracic Back Brace</a> can quickly relieve pain, tension, tightness, and stiffness. It improves posture, offers back, neck, and shoulder pain relief, aligns the spine, and relieves pain from Osteoporosis, Kyphosis, Lordosis, Kyphoscoliosis, Spinal Curvature, and Scoliotic Decompensation. The special design is fully adjustable with magnets and dual tightening straps, so you can get a comfortable fit.</p> <p>This includes a &quot;Beating Back Pain&quot; PDF Guide. It is available in a range of sizes and works well on both men and women. It has great online reviews and is backed by a one-year warranty and 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2mgLjJu" target="_blank"><em>Currently $22.19 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h2>Back Support Belt and Lower Back Brace by Old Bones Therapy</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2mgKrVf"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/old%20bones.jpg" width="220" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>If your doctor has recommended adding heat or cold therapy to your treatment plan, then the <a href="http://amzn.to/2mgKrVf" target="_blank">Back Support Belt and Lower Back Brace by Old Bones Therapy</a> is perfect for you. It includes two ice heat packs, so you can experience instant pain relief and a reduction in inflammation. It can improve posture, provide maximum lumbar support, and reduce muscle fatigue, stiffness, and soreness. The versatile brace also offers lower back pain relief from Sciatica, Scoliosis, Herniated Disc, or Degenerative Disc Disease.</p> <p>The high-quality brace has a chiropractor-approved ergonomic design, flexible neoprene construction, and dual elastic bands. This ensures maximum insulation and breathability, and keeps moisture and sweat at bay. The built-in support stays and silicone lining of the compression wrap provide extra stability and prevent slipping, so you can comfortably wear it for hours. It is easy to use and inconspicuous enough to wear under clothing. The compression band conforms to your body to provide a better fit, with the gel pack held firmly in place.</p> <p>This features an internal pocket designed to hold the custom hot and cold gel packs for fast, effective lower back pain relief. However, you can also use the brace on its own, without the gel packs. This is available in a range of sizes and is backed by outstanding reviews and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2mgKrVf" target="_blank"><em>Currently $39.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best back support devices. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-back-support-devices">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-anti-itch-creams">The 5 Best Anti-Itch Creams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-smart-water-bottles">The 5 Best Smart Water Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-toilet-papers">The 5 Best Toilet Papers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-dandruff-shampoos">The 5 Best Dandruff Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping 5 best back pain back support back support brace back support devices posture product reviews shopping Wed, 08 Mar 2017 10:00:17 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1905174 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Buy the Best Mattress for the Least Money http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-the-best-mattress-for-the-least-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-buy-the-best-mattress-for-the-least-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-laying-on-mattress-Dollarphotoclub_21789058.jpg" alt="woman laying on bed" title="woman laying on bed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If a house and a car are the two most important purchases in your life, a mattress makes a solid case as the third. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guide-to-buying-a-used-car-without-going-crazy?ref=seealso">How to Buy a Car Without Going Crazy</a>)</p> <p>Without the right knowledge, a mattress purchase can also become like the other two &mdash; very expensive. So rest easy by checking out this buyer's guide.</p> <h2>Increase Your Knowledge</h2> <p>Before any major purchase, it is important to research your options. The first step in this process is to take a visit to mattress store or manufacturer and lie down on a few different options that are available to you. Take notes on what you like and might be interested in. Visit both regional businesses as well as larger, national stores to get an idea on how prices range.</p> <p>Greg Beuerle, of <a href="http://www.purecraftedbeds.com">Pure Crafted Beds</a> recommends small, regional mattress manufacturers for the best value. Local companies &quot;can't compete on volume with the 'big boys,' so they tend to produce higher quality beds at lower price points. That $3,500 [name brand] bed might cost $1,800 from a small manufacturer and have the exact same or even higher quality components.&quot; To know this information, the research you do is going to be essential.</p> <p><a href="http://www.themattressunderground.com/">The Mattress Underground</a> is a great place to do your research, gather credible information from knowledgeable experts and ask questions before you make your purchase. Beuerle suggests any Amazon review you look for be only from &quot;verified buyers&quot; as any others can be inflated or from someone who has never slept on the mattress.</p> <h2>Know What You Are Buying</h2> <p>Before you buy a mattress, you need to know what's inside of it. Beuerle, whose family has been in the mattress business since 1946, advises:</p> <p>&quot;You need to know the density of any foam, and the gauge and quality (tempered or non-tempered) of any innerspring. The most common foams in the mattress industry is 1.0 to 1.5 pound density. Look for foam density of at least 1.8 pound, and preferably higher (density goes up to 2.4 pound for conventional foam). Density numbers for latex and memory foam are much higher (3 to 5+ pound). This is an area of great confusion because while a density of 2.4 pound for conventional foam is great, it's not-so-great for a latex or memory foam.&quot;</p> <h2>Test Out Multiple Models</h2> <p>Start with the least expensive and then work your way to the more costly models. This way you don't become attached with an expensive mattress when a cheaper one would have made you just as happy.</p> <p>Also remember, &quot;every bed feels great when they're brand new,&quot; says Beuerle. This might be especially true if you've been on your feet all day or are especially exhausted because your current mattress just isn't cutting it anymore. Therefore, look for a 30 to 90 day window for full returns, which will allow you to try out the mattress. (As a side note, you may want to buy a mattress protector if you are going to take advantage of this return policy as stains, rips, and tears are going to make your return impossible.)</p> <h2>Look for Places to Save Money</h2> <p>If you have settled on a mattress and are looking for a time or place to buy it, then now is the time to look for all the ways you can save money. Typically, mattresses go on sale during federal holidays like Memorial Day, Presidents Day, and Labor Day.</p> <p>At larger stores, the price on the mattress is not the price you should pay. Negotiate that price down as much as you can. The smaller, regional stores will more than likely not be able to negotiate the price or only by a small amount. You may also be able to negotiate a box spring, free delivery, or a mattress pad into the deal that will save you even more money.</p> <p>Buying a mattress should never be an impulse purchase. If you buy at the spur of the moment or when your back is feeling its worst, you'll find yourself spending far more money than necessary. The best way to spend the least amount of money is by doing your due diligence with research. Learn everything you can about the mattresses you are interested in, test out your favorites a couple of times, and stick to your budget.</p> <p><em>What steps did you follow to buy your mattress? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-the-best-mattress-for-the-least-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-november">What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in November</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-april">What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in April</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-back-support-devices">The 5 Best Back Support Devices</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-anti-itch-creams">The 5 Best Anti-Itch Creams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-memory-foam-mattress-toppers">The 5 Best Memory Foam Mattress Toppers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping back pain buying guide mattress shopping sleep Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:00:08 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1270231 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Easy Back Exercises That Will Help Eliminate Pain http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-back-exercises-that-will-help-eliminate-pain <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-easy-back-exercises-that-will-help-eliminate-pain" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/yoga-position-skd224474sdc-small.jpg" alt="yoga position" title="yoga position" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Stronger muscles won't guarantee you'll be impervious to pain. But particularly around your spine, increased strength can reduce the risk of injury and improve posture, thus reducing pain and the chance of newly occurring injuries. While <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-and-keep-amazing-posture-by-doing-these-10-stretches-today">stretching for posture</a> is important, strength training for your back and spinal cord is just as crucial. (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-body-weight-exercises-and-why-you-should-do-them?ref=seealso">20 Great Body Weight Exercises</a>)</p> <p>When looking to strengthen back muscles, you've got to be certain that your form is good and that you're doing the movements right. Some good practices to follow include:</p> <ul> <li>Using manageable amounts of weight (you usually don't need much);</li> <li>Working on posture before you perform a weighted movement;</li> <li>Focusing on keeping your back straight and stop reps when you begin to lose form.</li> </ul> <p>Your first priority is to avoid injury and issues that will incur more back pain. Go through <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-and-keep-amazing-posture-by-doing-these-10-stretches-today">these stretches</a> first, then try these exercises to build up strength in your back muscles and around your spinal column.</p> <h2>1. Wall Sits</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/tDjKeOCgisw"></iframe></p> <p>Although <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/strengthtraining/qt/wall-sit.htm">wall sits look simple</a>, there's a lot of form involved that you have to think about. Make sure that your back is flat against the wall, with your feet on the floor and your knees bent forming a right angle between your upper leg and your spine. Hold your arms out for balance and keep the position for 30 seconds.</p> <h2>2. Seated Cable or Band Rows</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/OCImzhsJEQ8"></iframe></p> <p>A modest amount of weight is fine if you're just starting out with <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/seated-cable-rows">seated cable or band rows</a>. Sit in front of the pulley system and use both hands to pull the cable towards the center of your chest. Make sure that you release the weight back to the original position slowly, keep your shoulders square and without bending your back forward. Also avoid moving your body backward to try and pull the weight. If you need to do that, use less weight.</p> <h2>3. Kettlebell Swings</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/cgkqQGDNv1Y"></iframe></p> <p>There are a variety of different <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/eow-kettlebell-swing">kettlebell swings</a> you can do but the video explains some of the basic movements and gives you the proper form to follow. Once again the primary concern with form is that you keep your back straight and bend at the hips if you need to.</p> <h2>4. Overhead Band Press</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Zli1UXH9ZeE"></iframe></p> <p>Step on one side of the band with your right foot, then grab the other end with your right hand and push it straight up. Make sure your arm, back and leg are all forming a straight line from the floor to the ceiling. Hold that position, then repeat the exercise on your left side.</p> <h2>5. Lateral Medicine Ball Throws (Against Wall)</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/tBgqxMnHvCY"></iframe></p> <p>To perform a lateral medicine ball throw, grab a medicine ball and stand with your left side facing a wall. Hold the ball with both hands and throw it against the wall so that it bounces back to you. Catch the ball and pivot at your hips if necessary. Switch sides after 10 reps.</p> <h2>6. Long Bar Row</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bs2avYUaIQc"></iframe></p> <p>Before you start a <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/one-arm-long-bar-row">long bar row</a>, make sure you position the long bar in a corner where it can't move on you. Then use one hand to hold the bar on one side and pull it up, bending at your elbow. You'll want to bend your knees slightly while maintaining a straight spine. Try the movement with just the bar before adding weight.</p> <h2>7. Suspended Row</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0XwJOGUvwXw"></iframe></p> <p>The <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/suspended-row">suspended row</a> requires something sturdy to hold onto that sits above you and will support your upper body. The example given uses two suspended rings, but a bar will work as well. Simply pull your body upwards in a controlled movement while resting your feet on the ground. Keep your core tight and your spine straight throughout.</p> <h2>8. Reverse Crunches</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Lkafd6GkaPo"></iframe></p> <p>This simple core exercise strengthens your lower abdominal muscles in the front and on your sides (obliques), which can help reduce back pain and improve posture. Strengthening areas that support your back, like your core are just as important as the back muscles themselves.</p> <h2>9. Cable Arm Pressout</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-lwmMBt4fzc"></iframe></p> <p>This movement works your chest, shoulders and back with a low impact movement. The cable machine is ideal since you have more control over the weight you use. Start with a manageable weight and concentrate on getting your form right. Once again it's crucial that you keep your back straight and avoid bending forward or backward.</p> <h2>10. Hindu Pushup</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/qAkeTtFLV7c"></iframe></p> <p>The form of the <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.menshealth.co.uk/building-muscle/bodyweight-exercises/hindu-push-up-9627">Hindu pushup</a> is a bit tricky so be sure review the video before you attempt the movement. Your chest, back, arm and shoulder muscles will all be engaged. In this particular exercise, there will be a slight curve to your spine as the movement subtly resembles an <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://kristinmcgee.com/pose-gallery/upward-facing-dog">upward dog yoga position</a>.</p> <h2>Strength as a Pain Preventative</h2> <p>Strength training is more effective as a pain preventative than a pain treatment. Particularly when it comes to back pain, the issue can often be injury related, which means strength training isn't going to be the best immediate solution.</p> <p>However, resistance workouts that build muscle should be utilized as tools to prevent injury and decrease the chances of experiencing pain in the future.</p> <p>When done with proper form and technique, it can be one of your best preventative pain treatments.</p> <p><em>What exercises or stretches do you do to alleviate back pain?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-back-exercises-that-will-help-eliminate-pain">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-take-better-care-of-your-back">5 Easy Ways to Take Better Care of Your Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-99-best-fitness-hacks-of-all-time">Flashback Friday: The 99 Best Fitness Hacks of All Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-that-pay-you-to-workout">6 Apps That Pay You to Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/36-workouts-you-can-do-in-your-living-room-while-its-cold-out">36 Workouts You Can Do in Your Living Room While It&#039;s Cold Out</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty back exercises back pain fitness Health strength training workouts Fri, 05 Sep 2014 13:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1203901 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Easy Ways to Take Better Care of Your Back http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-take-better-care-of-your-back <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-ways-to-take-better-care-of-your-back" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/exercise-186942125.jpg" alt="back pain" title="back pain" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you&#39;re glued to a desk for eight hours a day or stand for long periods at work, then you&#39;re probably no stranger to back pain. Just about everyone experiences this type of pain at some point. In fact, back pain is the &quot;second most common neurological ailment in the United States, with Americans spending at least $50 billion a year on low back pain,&quot; according to the <a href="http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail_backpain.htm">National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke</a>.</p> <p>It really doesn&#39;t take much to trigger a backache. Simple activities like twisting the body or lifting a heavy object can have you laid up in bed. And while back pain can point to a medical condition, such as a bulging disc, spinal degeneration, osteoporosis or spinal tumors, most backaches are acute and improve within a few weeks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-sleeping-position-may-be-hurting-you">Ways Your Sleeping Position May Be Hurting You</a>)</p> <p>Sometimes, getting rid of pain &mdash; or avoiding it altogether &mdash; is a matter of taking better care of your back.</p> <h2>1. Get Active</h2> <p>If you&#39;re a couch potato who prefers channel surfing over any type of physical activity, don&#39;t be surprised when you develop chronic back pain. Exercise is key to strengthening the muscles in your body, and your back muscles are no exception. These muscles become weak when you&#39;re stagnant, and with weak back muscles, you&#39;re more susceptible to strains.</p> <p>There is a simple fix &mdash; increase your activity level. Not that you have to transform into a workout junkie. But if you can incorporate <a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002119.htm">20 to 30 minutes of activity most days of the week</a>, you&#39;re on the right track.</p> <p>It doesn&#39;t need to be strenuous activities, just something to strengthen your core and back muscles. Activities might include yoga, Pilates, swimming, walking, light resistance training, or low-impact aerobics. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-body-weight-exercises-and-why-you-should-do-them">20 Great Body Weight Exercises</a>)</p> <h2>2. Practice Good Posture</h2> <p>Old habits are hard to break. And if you&#39;re accustomed to slouching in your chair or standing with your shoulders hunched, standing and sitting tall might feel awkward. But there are undeniable benefits to &quot;straightening up.&quot;</p> <p>Bad posture strains your muscles and joints, and this constant strain can trigger chronic backaches, as well as neck pain, headaches, and tendonitis. Good posture, however, keeps the <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/back-pain/LB00002_D">spine properly aligned and balanced</a>, decreasing stress on ligaments and preventing muscle strains.</p> <p>What can you do?</p> <p>Practice sitting with your feet flat on the floor. If sitting at a desk, adjust the height of the chair to prevent feet dangling, or use a footrest. Keep your spine straight and your shoulders back. Don&#39;t slouch over your desk. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-slouching-5-ways-to-improve-your-posture">5 Ways to Improve Your Posture</a>)</p> <p>Good posture also applies when standing. Make a conscious effort to keep your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent and your shoulders pulled back.</p> <h2>3. Lose Weight</h2> <p>Dropping a few pounds can not only improve your health and the way you feel about yourself, it can also relieve back pain. Some people fail to see the connection between weight and back pain. However, &quot;<a href="http://www.wfcnj.com/chiropractic/holiday-stress.php">every extra pound in the abdominal region could put 10 pounds more stress on the lower back</a>,&quot; says Dr. Luigi DiRubba, a chiropractor and President of the Connecticut Chiropractic Council.</p> <p>If you believe weight is the underlying cause of your back pain, talk with your doctor and discuss a healthy weight for your height. Take steps to drop excess weight. You never know, as little as five to ten pounds could make a difference. Choosing a healthy diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and nonfat dairy foods is a good start, as well as drinking plenty of water and getting regular physical activity. Dr. DiRubba suggests eating in moderation and taking brief 15- to 20-minute walks after a big meal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-reasons-why-you-should-take-a-walk">25 Reasons to Take a Walk</a>)</p> <h2>4. Watch How You Lift</h2> <p>Learning the right way to lift heavy items can also reduce backaches. It&#39;s tempting to lean forward and lift an item with your back. But this way does more harm than good.</p> <p><a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/back-pain/LB00004_D">To avoid straining your spine and back</a> muscles, always bend at your knees. After you have a firm grip on the item, lift with your legs. Tighten your abdominal muscles as you lift and keep the object close to your body. Do not lean forward. And while you may take pride in the ability to do things without assistance from others, just know that a thrown out back is no picnic. With that said, ask for help if an item is too heavy.</p> <h2>5. Take Care of Your Feet</h2> <p>Taking care of your back starts with taking care of your feet. This only makes sense considering how your feet support your body. They are your foundation, and if your shoes don&#39;t provide the right kind of support, the effects can be felt all over your back.</p> <p>For example, high heels might be your shoes of choice, but according to <a href="http://www.bidmc.org/YourHealth/HealthNotes/BackPain/PreventionManagement/AreYourShoesCausingYourBackPain.aspx">Dr. John M. Giurini, Chief of the Division of Podiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center</a>, &quot;high heels can throw off your alignment. They change the center of gravity, causing extra stress and strain on the lower back.&quot;</p> <p>And don&#39;t think you&#39;re doing your back a favor by switching from heels to flip-flops. &quot;Flip-flops actually change the way your foot strikes the ground,&quot; says <a href="http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/07/13/dont-do-flips-for-these-flops/">Annie Malone, a physical therapist for an outpatient rehabilitation provider in Chicago</a>. &quot;Your back will often take the brunt of those unnatural muscle movements.&quot;</p> <p>Of course, nobody is suggesting that you never wear another pair of high heels or flip-flops. Shoes that don&#39;t offer the best support might be appropriate at times, such as flip-flops at the beach or pool. But these shoes shouldn&#39;t be your everyday, normal footwear. For a healthier back and less pain, choose shoes that offer the best comfort and arch support &mdash; preferably flat shoes or sneakers. If you go with a heel, keep it around one or one-half inch.</p> <p><em>Do you have more easy ways to take better care of your back? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-take-better-care-of-your-back">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-back-exercises-that-will-help-eliminate-pain">10 Easy Back Exercises That Will Help Eliminate Pain</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-that-pay-you-to-workout">6 Apps That Pay You to Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thinking-of-going-on-a-diet-heres-how-to-figure-out-which-one-is-right-for-you">Thinking of Going on a Diet? Here&#039;s How to Figure Out Which One Is Right for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on">12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty back pain fitness Health posture Fri, 13 Dec 2013 10:48:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1096697 at http://www.wisebread.com Your Sleeping Position May Be Hurting You http://www.wisebread.com/your-sleeping-position-may-be-hurting-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-sleeping-position-may-be-hurting-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sleep-5295188-small.jpg" alt="woman sleeping" title="woman sleeping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you experiencing discomfort, exhaustion, or pain that doesn't seem to have a cause? You may want to consider changing your sleeping position to see if that helps you feel better.</p> <p>While we often don't notice discomfort while we're asleep, the fact that we spend so many hours asleep means that our bodies can end up in awkward and uncomfortable positions for long periods of time. And even the positions that are comfortable can lead to chronic problems by unbalancing our bodies and putting them out of alignment for those extended time periods. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-back-the-zombies-4-ways-to-avoid-sleep-deprivation">4 Ways to Avoid Sleep Deprivation</a>)</p> <h2>Side Sleeping</h2> <p>While the jury is out as to which sleeping position is the best overall, some experts think that getting your zzz's on your side is <a href="http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/best-sleep-positions">the winner</a>. However, this is only true if you have your pillows positioned properly (and have plenty of them!).</p> <p>First, you'll need a pillow that fills up the space between your head, neck, and shoulder. Otherwise, you could end up with <a href="http://www.sharecare.com/health/neck-pain/how-sleeping-side-neck-pain;jsessionid=A888A967F4AA07C610FCF317DCD3B44B">neck and upper back pain</a>, not to mention <a href="http://www.activebodyclinic.com/blog/top-five-ways-to-relieve-your-tension-headache-without-using-pain-killers/">headaches</a>, over time. You'll also need to place a pillow between your knees. If you don't, the weight of your top leg can pull on your lower back and cause chronic pain there, too.</p> <p>Finally, only sleep on your side if the possibilities of <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/04/19/healthiest.sleep.position/index.html">wrinkles and/or saggy breasts</a> don't bother you. Gravity will pull on your skin, stretching it over time. That may sound silly, but think about how many hours you will sleep over your lifetime. While these side effects probably won't cause you physical pain, they may be more than annoying psychologically. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-natural-diy-facial-products-you-have-to-try">4 Easy, Natural DIY Facial Products</a>)</p> <p><strong>NOTE:</strong> The <a href="http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/sleepingpositions.html">American Pregnancy Association</a> suggests that all pregnant women sleep on their sides, as both back and stomach sleeping can be dangerous for the unborn child.</p> <h2>Back Sleeping</h2> <p>The other sleep position that some <a href="http://www.bistromd.com/health-tips/the-best-sleep-position-for-better-health-what-suits-you-best">experts proclaim as best</a> is sleeping on your back. Not only do you avoid the upper and lower back problems that can come from side sleeping, but you don't have to worry about pillow positioning for support, either.</p> <p>In fact, one of the only ways you can injure yourself sleeping on your back is by placing your head too high. If you stack pillows so that the angle of your neck is too steep, this can cause misalignment and spasms, both of which are painful.</p> <p>While sleeping on your back can be, well, good for your back, it's not recommended if you have any problems breathing. Back sleeping can make both <a href="http://greatist.com/happiness/best-sleep-positions">snoring and sleep apnea</a> worse. If you've ever suffered from either of those conditions, you may want to find a different sleep position (and even if you don't, your partner may think otherwise!). After all, both snoring and sleep apnea can <a href="http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/02/20/which-position-gives-you-the-best-nights-sleep/">disrupt your sleep</a>. Even if you don't wake up, you won't feel as rested in the morning and your body won't perform as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-effective-sleep-tips-you-havent-tried-yet">5 Effective Sleep Tips You Haven't Tried Yet</a>)</p> <h2>Stomach Sleeping</h2> <p>When it comes to sleep positions, the one thing that <a href="http://bettersleep.org/better-sleep/sleep-positions">experts do agree on</a> is that sleeping on your stomach offers the most chances for injury and other discomfort. Because sleeping this way flattens out the natural curvatures of your spine, over time it can distort your spinal alignment. This can cause pain up and down your back, offering chances for discomfort to develop from your spine to your tailbone. This misalignment can also put pressure on the nerves in your back, which can lead to tingling and numbness anywhere in your body.</p> <p>In addition, sleeping on your stomach puts stress on your vital organs. They're forced into the most unnatural positions when you're sleeping this way. While this probably won't damage your organs, it can cause discomfort and lead to restless sleep, which won't allow your body to revitalize and heal the way it needs to.</p> <p>Once again, sleeping on your stomach can also lead to saggy breasts and wrinkles. Gravity will pull on your skin in ways that aren't beneficial, and over time can enhance any problems here that might already exist. It can also <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324595704578241642030220064.html">make acid reflux worse</a>, which is definitely not a comfortable experience. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-solutions-for-acid-reflux-disease">5 Affordable Solutions for Acid Reflux Disease</a>)</p> <p>In the end, it's worthwhile to change your sleeping position if it's hurting you. While it may take some work, as your body is habituated to sleep in the same position every night, it will be worthwhile if it improves your quality of life. However, if your sleep position is working for you, there's no need to change until it's causing you pain.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite sleeping position?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-sleeping-position-may-be-hurting-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">How to Naturally Reset Your Sleep Cycle in One Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-affordable-ways-to-relieve-back-pain">14 Affordable Ways to Relieve Back Pain</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed">How to Get More Sleep Without Spending More Time in Bed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-better-sleep-with-these-5-great-sleep-tracking-apps">Get Better Sleep With These 5 Great Sleep-Tracking Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-back-exercises-that-will-help-eliminate-pain">10 Easy Back Exercises That Will Help Eliminate Pain</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty back pain neck pain sleep sleeping positions Wed, 28 Aug 2013 10:36:42 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 981553 at http://www.wisebread.com