One of the most frequent complaints I have heard throughout my years in practice is “I think I slept wrong?!”
How do you sleep? Do you toss and turn all night? Do you wake in pain or feeling rested?
One of the best pieces of advice I can give is DO NOT sleep on your stomach. Several straight hours of your neck turned to one side and your lower back arched is likely to leave you in pain the next morning. Most of my patients state that they have been sleeping like this “forever.”
I tell them to start sleeping on their back or side knowing it’s not going to be easy to break that old habit. But when they make the switch, it will be worth it in the long run. I recommend using a body pillow when sleeping on your side to keep yourself from turning over.
If you are a side or back sleeper, try using an orthopedic pillow to support your head so that it is in line with the rest of your spine. You might also try a pillow or two under your knees to relieve pressure in the lower back if sleeping face up.
When choosing a mattress, be careful with an extra firm bed as it can create pressure points on your shoulders and hips. The converse – and worse option – is a bed that is too soft and doesn’t provide the proper support for your spine.
More importantly than everything discussed above – if your spine is out of alignment it won’t matter how you sleep, you’ll wake up not feeling completely rested and energized and will have some aches and pains.
People present almost daily saying they believe their mattress is “bad.” It is not until they get their spine properly aligned again that their sleep improves and they realize that while the mattress may have been exacerbating the condition, it was not the cause.
The goal with making regular chiropractic checkups part of your overall wellness lifestyle is to keep your spine and body functioning at its best. By keeping your spine aligned and following the sleeping tips above you should notice an overall improvement in your quality of life.
Chiropractic care has long been established as an effective method for restoring proper spinal joint motion and reducing back pain. So what about the impact a chiropractic adjustment can have on hypertension?
Making a claim that chiropractic care could have a positive impact on a person’s blood pressure may sound a little crazy.
However, there is research out there supporting that it does just that.
In a study by McNight and DeBoer published in JMPT, it was noted that in 75 individuals receiving chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine, there was a significant decrease in overall blood pressure. There were no significant changes in the control group not receiving the specific adjustments (1).
Another study showed adjustments to the mid back of 21 patients with high blood pressure resulted in significant imporvement which the control group saw no positive changes (2).
It’s important to note that other studies have shown similar findings with patients experiencing hypotension (low blood pressure) whereas the blood pressure was raised to normal levels after chiropractic care.
The take away from these studies is that by improving joint motion in the spine and reducing nerve flow interference, blood pressure may be impacted as a positive side effect.
1. McNight ME, DeBoer KF, Preliminary study of blood pressure changes in normotensive subjects undergoing chiropractic care. JMPT, 1998; 11;261-266.
2. Yates RG, Lamping DL, Agbram NL, Wright C: Effects of Chiropractic treatments on Blood Pressure and Anxiety: A randomized controlled trial. JMPT 1988; 11 (6):484.
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1. Drink More Water – 2 to 3 liters a day
2. Eat Protein for Breakfast (rather than carbohydrate based foods) – Think eggs and ham rather than pancakes or cereals
3. Walk 5 Days a Week for 30 minutes minimum – Move fast with purpose to get your heart rate up and a little sweat flowing
4. Strengthen your Muscles – Simple squats holding a chair, pushups and crunches is a great start
5. Avoid Fad Diets – Americans spend more than $30 billion annually for weight loss programs and products looking for a quick fix. There is NO quick fix
6. Avoid Fast Food Restaurants – Americans spend more than $100 billion on fast food. Try a salad with grilled chicken. Your heart will thank you and you won’t have that miserable urge to sleep at your desk
7. Get your Spine Checked – Subluxations (misaligned and stuck spinal bones) is considered by many experts to be one of the most commonly misdiagnosed issues leading to headaches, pain, low energy, poor sleep and more. A well-adjusted spine = a well-adjusted life
8. Take a Break – People in the U.S. are continuing to add more time to work and taking less time for leisure. Get off the grid on occasion so you can decompress and renew your energy and passion for work and life