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Sleep Hygiene

Back Clinic Sleep Hygiene Chiropractic Team. The ideal sleep environment is cool, quiet, and dark. However, research has shown that continuous sleep can be interrupted by uncomfortable room temperature, light, and noises. Proper sleep hygiene specialists may also recommend that you select a comfortable mattress, pillows, and bedding, in addition to moving or hiding a visible clock. This prevents the sleeper from focusing on time passing while trying to fall asleep. Dr. Alex Jimenez describes sleep hygiene as a variety of different habits which are often necessary to achieve a proper quality of sleep to rise with full daytime alertness.

Sleep is essential for an individual’s mental and physical health and well-being because it plays an important role in the body’s natural healing and repairing functions. Therefore, the most important sleeping measure is to maintain regular sleeping patterns. According to Dr. Jimenez, heavy meals before bed, caffeine or alcohol before bed, and even improper sleeping postures accompanied by pain and discomfort can be frequent poor sleep hygiene practices that can interfere with the sleep quality of many individuals. Therefore, the various articles on sleep and sleep hygiene can help provide a useful insight towards improving sleep and overall health.


Sciatica Sleep: Decompression

Sciatica Sleep: Decompression

Sciatica Sleep: Poor sleep can leave the body feeling off and unable to function. Not getting the proper amount of sleep can decrease health, decrease work or school productivity, and cause burnout. If it becomes chronic, it can have serious side effects on the brain and body that include:

  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Memory problems
  • Body discomfort, pain
  • Exacerbation or trigger disease

Sciatica Sleep

When sleeping, certain positions/postures can place added pressure on the spine, irritating the nerve. The best sleeping positions maintain the spine’s natural curve and are different for everybody. For example, many individuals sleep on their side. They do not start sleeping this way, but they end up on their side and wake up in pain to find their sciatica flaring up. Other individuals can turn on a specific side, and the symptoms fade or go away.

Positions

The best sleeping position for one individual may not be the best for another. A lot of this depends on the placement of the injury/pinching that can affect how certain sleep positions work, causing no symptoms, while other sleep postures generate all kinds of symptoms, especially pain. Individuals are recommended to sleep in the position that works for them, provided with the correct posture.

Side Sleepers

  • Side sleepers are recommended to place a pillow between their knees for healthy sleep and pain avoidance results.
  • A pillow between the legs helps to prevent twisting.
  • A firm pillow will work or a soft pillow folded in half.
  • It is also recommended to consider a small pillow under the waist to maintain the alignment between the ribs, hips, and the spine.

Back Sleepers

  • Back sleepers can benefit from a pillow under the knees to maintain a neutral curve of the spine.
  • This keeps the legs slightly elevated helping prevent the legs from tilting the pelvis and pulling the spine out of a neutral position.
  • Individuals that sleep on their back but end up on their side, are recommended to use a large pillow or body pillow placed on the side they turn on to prevent this.

Stomach Sleeping Not Recommended

  • Sciatic pain can become worse with sleeping on the stomach.
  • Sleeping on the stomach can collapse the spine and the pelvis as there is no support underneath. This causes damage to the nerves, increasing symptoms and pain levels.
  • Try to avoid sleeping on the stomach until the sciatic nerve has healed or try to train the body to sleep on the side or back.

Sciatica Sleep Decompression

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Can Help Sciatica Sleep Symptoms

Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy relieves pressure on the sciatic nerve, spine, and surrounding muscles by pulling/stretching them in small increments. The decompression creates negative pressure within the discs that floods the area with an abundance of nutrients to activate and expedite the healing response.

  • The chiropractic physical therapy team uses motorized medical equipment with sensors linked to a computer-aided system to perform the procedure.
  • The equipment is designed to adjust the pull force accordingly to prevent muscle resistance.
  • The adjustable table also allows the spine to be stretched at different angles to target all areas of the back.

Relieves Pressure On The Sciatic Nerve

  • Decompression stretches the nerve out and increases the space around the impinged and inflamed nerve.

Pain Relief

  • Decompression relieves tension in tight, spasming, or injured muscles.
  • Stimulates the nervous system to release the body’s natural pain killers.
  • Spinal tissue healing from fluids, cells, and other substances that enter the damaged tissue.

Restores Disc and Joint Alignment

  • Decompression realigns the joints and discs, preventing pain, inflammation, mobility/flexibility problems, and dysfunction.

Encourages Sleep

  • There are toxins in the body, decompression causes these toxins to be expelled.
  • This causes exhaustion because the body needs time to adjust after expelling the negative energy.
  • After a short time, energy levels will return.
  • The decompression relaxes the entire body which allows for more restful sleep.

DRX9000


References

Kim, Shin Hyung et al. “Risk factors associated with clinical insomnia in chronic low back pain: a retrospective analysis in a university hospital in Korea.” The Korean journal of pain vol. 28,2 (2015): 137-43. doi:10.3344/kjp.2015.28.2.137

Radwan, Ahmed, et al. “Effect of different mattress designs on promoting sleep quality, pain reduction, and spinal alignment in adults with or without back pain; a systematic review of controlled trials.” Sleep health vol. 1,4 (2015): 257-267. doi:10.1016/j.sleh.2015.08.001

Santilli, Valter, et al. “Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal manipulations.” The spine journal: official journal of the North American Spine Society vol. 6,2 (2006): 131-7. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2005.08.001

Healthy Sleep, Physical Activity, and Muscle Recovery

Healthy Sleep, Physical Activity, and Muscle Recovery

Healthy sleep plays a vital role in the body’s overall health, as it ensures muscle growth, recovery, and illness prevention. This is especially true for home D.I. Yers’ fitness enthusiasts, weekend warriors, athletes, and physically active individuals. When sleeping, the body goes into recovery mode, releasing hormones and other chemicals to repair and restore muscle. A healthy night’s sleep provides the rest the mind and body need to perform at optimal levels.

Healthy Sleep, Physical Activity, and Muscle Recovery

Healthy Sleep

Sleep is vital for recovering from workouts. This could be construction work, exercise, gardening, sports, landscaping, any activity that uses bodyweight or works against some form of resistance. The muscles cannot repair themselves properly without proper sleep. Sleep aids the muscles in releasing protein-building amino acids, helping them grow in size and strength.

  • Growth hormone is released during non-REM sleep that stimulates tissue growth and repairs muscle.
  • During REM or rapid eye movement sleep, blood pressure drops, breathing slows and deepens, the brain relaxes, and blood supply to the muscles increases, feeding them oxygen and nutrients.

Unhealthy Sleep

Sleep maintains the muscles’ sharpness, coordination, function, and muscle movement patterns that improve physical performance. The body needs to sleep for at least 7 hours a night for muscles to grow properly. Not getting healthy sleep decreases protein synthesis activity and increases the activity of degradation that leads to muscle loss.

Less Sleep Leads To Eating More

Hormonal changes occur when the body sleeps less, causing individuals to feel hungry more often, increasing the amount of food taken in because after eating, the body does not feel full right away, so the individual continues to eat. Without sleep, the body decreases the production of a hormone that indicates when the body is full and activates a hormone that causes hunger. Insufficient sleep also lowers the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Because of this, the muscle fuel glycogen is not adequately replenished. Without the regular restoration of glycogen, individuals have less energy, insulin sensitivity decreases, increasing the risk of diabetes.

Physical Health

Unhealthy sleep also impacts overall physical health. Individuals that do not get healthy sleep have an increased risk of developing:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Mental health issues
  • Depression

Body Composition


Nutrition Before Bed

Nighttime Snacks

  • Research has found that certain foods that contain tryptophan or melatonin can help with sleep.
  • These include turkey, bananas, milk, rice, grapefruit, oats, cherries, walnuts, and almonds.

Cut Back on Carbohydrates Before Bed

  • Consuming carbohydrate-rich foods before bed can impair growth hormone activation during sleep.

Reduce or Remove Afternoon and Evening Caffeine

  • Caffeine can impair sleep, sometimes without knowing it.
  • Avoid caffeinated foods or beverages before bed.

Eliminate Energy Drinks

  • These drinks can contain elevated levels of caffeine and other substances that can result in overstimulation.
  • This hyper-active state can cause individuals to decline in performance.
  • Overconsumption of energy drinks has been linked to adverse effects, including strokes, seizures, and death.

Eliminate Sugar

  • Sugar raises blood sugar, which triggers the pancreas to release insulin, fueling the cells causing overstimulation.
  • Eliminating sugar after dinner can help the body fall asleep.
References

Dattilo, M et al. “Sleep and muscle recovery: endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis.” Medical hypotheses vol. 77,2 (2011): 220-2. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2011.04.017

Morselli, Lisa et al. “Role of sleep duration in the regulation of glucose metabolism and appetite.” Best practice & research. Clinical endocrinology & metabolism vol. 24,5 (2010): 687-702. doi:10.1016/j.beem.2010.07.005

Murray, Bob, and Christine Rosenbloom. “Fundamentals of glycogen metabolism for coaches and athletes.” Nutrition reviews vol. 76,4 (2018): 243-259. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuy001

Sleeping With A Bulging Disc

Sleeping With A Bulging Disc

Sleeping with a bulging disc can be challenging for the body to achieve the proper rest. And sleeping in an awkward position can add stress to the spine, making the bulge worse, which can cause tingling, numbness, pain, and digestive problems. This can disrupt the sleep cycle and prevent proper healing of the spinal injury.

Sleeping With A Bulging Disc

Sleeping With a Bulging Disc

When sleeping, most back pain occurs in the lumbar or lower back, in one of two places where the spine meets the pelvis. Around 95% of lower back herniations happen in the L4-L5 spinal segment or the L5-S1 Lumbosacral joint. Any back pain can turn into a vicious cycle of:

  • Inconsistent sleep
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Work/School performance
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Immune system compromisation
  • Mental health problems
  • Depression

Sleeping with a bulging disc requires maintaining the ears, shoulders, and hips aligned to keep the spine aligned.

Sleeping on The Back

Back sleeping done correctly is the best way to sleep for the spine’s health. The important thing is to ensure the entire back is supported when sleeping. If there is a gap or space between the mattress and the back, the weight and gravity force the spine to lower in an unnatural way to fill the space. This can cause back muscle soreness, injury, and sciatica. A thin pillow, blanket, or towel can be used to fill the space, giving the spine the support it needs. Back sleepers can also benefit from a pillow or two under the knees to elevate the legs and help maintain the natural curve of the pine.

Sleeping on The Side

Side sleepers can try pulling the legs up toward the chest, and placing a pillow between the knees can provide relief when sleeping with a bulging disc. Pulling the legs up in the fetal position can relieve pressure on the discs. It is recommended to switch sides to keep the spine balanced. This helps maintain hip alignment, which helps keep the spine in a neutral position.

Sleeping On The Stomach

It is recommended to avoid sleeping on the stomach. This pulls the spine down into an unnatural curve that can cause and exacerbate back pain. For individuals that naturally stomach sleep, it is recommended to place a pillow under the hips and lower abdomen to prevent unnatural spinal positioning.

Chiropractic Relief

Utilizing the right sleeping position can provide pain relief and thorough rest. However, sleeping with a herniated disc is far from what is needed to get back to a normal healthy sleeping pattern. This depends on the location of the bulging disc, severity, and cause. A chiropractor can:

  • Determine the cause.
  • Relieve the pain.
  • Help heal the bulging disc.
  • Realign the spine.
  • Maintain long-term relief without recurrence.
  • Help the individual develop an optimal sleeping routine and positioning.

Body Composition


Sleep and Growth Hormone In Children

Growth, in all ages, is primarily controlled by growth hormone. The hormone is regulated by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland which plays an important role in sleep. Growth hormone has been found:

  • It peaks during the beginning of deep sleep.
  • There are multiple smaller peaks during the other stages of sleep.
  • Those who have a delay at the beginning of deep sleep have delayed rises in growth hormone levels.

For children to grow they need to have proper levels of growth hormone. This means they need to have the proper amount of sleep for proper body composition. Research has found that increased levels of sleep resulted in less overall fat mass and a reduced percentage of body fat allowing their bodies to grow.

References

Al Qaraghli MI, De Jesus O. Lumbar Disc Herniation. [Updated 2021 Aug 30]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560878/

Desouzart, Gustavo et al. ‘Effects of Sleeping Position on Back Pain in Physically Active Seniors: A Controlled Pilot Study. 1 Jan. 2016: 235 – 240.

Kose, Gulsah et al. “The Effect of Low Back Pain on Daily Activities and Sleep Quality in Patients With Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Pilot Study.” The Journal of neuroscience nursing: Journal of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses vol. 51,4 (2019): 184-189. doi:10.1097/JNN.0000000000000446

Sener, Sevgi, and Ozkan Guler. “Self-reported data on sleep quality and psychologic characteristics in patients with myofascial pain and disc displacement versus asymptomatic controls.” The International Journal of prosthodontics vol. 25,4 (2012): 348-52.

Inadequate Sleep

Inadequate Sleep

Individuals talk about how they don’t sleep much because they have so much to do and can operate/function on only 5 or 6 hours of sleep and are surprised when they develop serious health problems and mental health issues. However, inadequate sleep is a big deal. Depriving the body and mind of proper sleep leads to all kinds of health problems that include:

  • Daytime fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly
  • Memory issues
  • Delayed reaction time and response
  • Weakened immune system
  • Decreased libido

Inadequate Sleep

Over time the adverse effects become worse, increasing the risk for severe medical conditions that include:

Chiropractic

Chiropractors focus on whole-body health, are specialists in the musculoskeletal system, and take a multifaceted approach to treat fatigue and inadequate sleep. They can help with sleep problems and other health factors by bringing the body back into alignment/balance, improving circulation, nerve energy flow, and nervous system function. This includes chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic massage.

Spinal Adjustments

  • Misalignment of the cervical spine could be contributing to issues breathing and getting into a deep sleep.
  • Spinal realignment can help with better sleep.

Posture Analysis and Sleep Positions

  • Posture is a significant part of optimal health, especially when breathing correctly.
  • A chiropractor can analyze and correct any posture misalignments.
  • They can also advise how best to sleep, so the airway does not become obstructed during the night.

Health Factors

  • A recommendation for fatigue and inadequate sleep is to lose weight if overweight or obese.
  • A trained nutritionist or health coach can help develop healthy eating and lifestyle habits.

Less Stress and Plenty of Sleep

The combination of spinal adjustments and therapeutic massage can generate significant benefits to help keep the body healthy. Chiropractic adjustments have been found to release stress-reducing hormones like oxytocin and neurotensin. And therapeutic massage has been shown to improve inadequate sleep patterns, as well as:

  • Relax the body
  • Reduce Stress
  • Reduce muscle tension that causes restlessness
  • Relieve pain and discomfort
  • Release positive hormones
  • Increase mobility

Body Composition


Lack of Sleep Makes It Harder To Lose fat

  • Irregular sleep throws off the ghrelin and leptin cycles, making the body hungrier.
  • Sleeping less has been linked to eating more, increasing energy intake.
  • Sleeping less can cause reductions in Basal Metabolic Rate by as much as 20%, reducing total energy output.
  • Being tired also reduces spontaneous movements, reducing total energy output.
References

Jamison, Jennifer R. “Insomnia: does chiropractic help?.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 28,3 (2005): 179-86. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2005.02.013

Jehan, Shazia et al. “Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Obesity: Implications for Public Health.” Sleep medicine and disorders: international journal vol. 1,4 (2017): 00019.

Kashani, Fahimeh, and Parisa Kashani. “The effect of massage therapy on the quality of sleep in breast cancer patients.” Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research vol. 19,2 (2014): 113-8.

Kingston, Jana et al. “A review of the literature on chiropractic and insomnia.” Journal of chiropractic medicine vol. 9,3 (2010): 121-6. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2010.03.003

Chiropractic Reset For Jet Lag

Chiropractic Reset For Jet Lag

Chiropractic Reset: Traveling is not an easy adjustment as it disrupts the body’s internal clock. When flying even just 3 hours, the body can start to experience symptoms like:

  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Stiffness
  • Stomach problems
  • Nausea
  • Hunger
  • Bad mood

Not only is the flight a physical challenge, but so are the long lines, backed-up traffic, lost luggage, etc. All take a toll on the mind and body; a chiropractic reset can help restore the body’s balance and energy levels.

Chiropractic Reset For Jet Lag

Jet Lag

Jet lag happens when the brain region known as the hypothalamus or center that controls sleep cycles, appetite, and temperature conflicts with travel changes. A survey from international flight attendants found that despite being used to long air travel:

  • 90% had fatigue over the first five days.
  • 94% had a lack of energy/motivation.
  • 93% had broken sleep.
  • 70% had ear, nose, or throat issues.

Scientists have estimated that it takes a full day to recover for every hour of time difference. The direction traveled can affect how intense the symptoms are since it’s easier for the body to delay its internal clock than speed it up. Traveling east is more difficult on the body compared to traveling west.

Ways To Limit The Effects

Workout

  • Get a thorough physical workout the day before you fly.
  • It doesn’t matter; it can be an hour on an elliptical machine, a mile jog, or a vigorous swim.
  • The objective is to get the lymph system moving to help prevent edema in the legs, hands and flush toxins from the body.

Take a Walk Every Hour

  • Try and get up at least once an hour for long trips and every half hour for shorter ones.
  • This will help prevent back pain.
  • Reduce the risk of blood clots from prolonged sitting and change in cabin pressure.

Bring Familiar Food

  • Fresh fruit, vegetables can be placed in a ziplock baggie.
  • Nuts are allowed as long as there are no passengers with severe allergies.
  • If it’s a long flight, include protein-like:
  • Chicken wings.
  • Hard-boiled eggs.
  • Cooked burgers.
  • All fit the criteria for a long plane flight.

Sleep

  • Try and get a proper night’s rest the night before the flight.
  • Eye patches and music also work well if available.
  • Utilize the flying time to increase rest.

Exercise

Flight time can make a difference

  • If possible, try to get a flight that gets to your destination in the evening.
  • Then, stay up until 10 pm local time.
  • If you have to take a nap, set the alarm not to surpass two hours.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol

  • You don’t have to go without alcohol or caffeine, but they should be cut out a few hours before sleeping.
  • Both can affect the ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and the quality of sleep.

Change sleep patterns beforehand

  • In the week leading up to the trip, start adjusting sleep time and wake time to get closer to the new time zone.
  • This way, upon arrival, the body is basically adjusted.

Skip the big meal

  • To help the digestive system, try not to eat a massive meal upon arrival.
  • Allow body functions like sleep and digestion to adjust to the changes.

Bask in the sun

  • Daylight has a significant effect on the body’s clock.
  • Get outside to wake up the brain to help the body and mind adjust to the daytime hours.

Melatonin

  • This is a hormone in the body that helps control the circadian rhythm.
  • Melatonin is dependent on the amount of light the body is exposed to.
  • When there’s light, melatonin release is stopped.
  • When dark, melatonin release is stimulated.
  • It is recommended not to take melatonin before leaving, or it will make the jet lag worse.
  • Wait until landing in the new time zone to supplement one hour before regular sleep time at the new location.
  • Continue for three nights or until the body has adjusted.

Pycnogenol

  • Pycnogenol has been studied for its effect of reducing jet lag symptoms.
  • It reduces cerebral and joint swelling, which leads to fewer short-term memory problems, fatigue, and cardiac issues.
  • It has been shown to decrease deep vein thrombosis and superficial vein thrombosis, typical side effects of long flights.
  • Recommendations are to take three times a day for up to five days maximum of seven days after landing.

Chiropractic Reset

Chiropractic reset adjustments the day before and especially after the flight can restore balance to the nervous system and the body. This will help reset sleeping and waking patterns after the stress of flying.


Body Composition


Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a name for a set of symptoms and conditions that revolve around cardiovascular health.

  • Obesity and a high amount of visceral fat are significant risk factors for being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
  • Individuals can prevent metabolic syndrome by:
  • Focusing on minimizing visceral fat.
  • Maximizing lean mass leads to weight loss.
  • A diet that boosts HDL is essential.
  • Proper body hydration.

Body composition analysis can be thought of as a tool for understanding the approach to preventing the onset of metabolic syndrome. Knowing how to identify the risks can support individuals in making informed decisions on their healthcare journey.

References

Belcaro, G et al. “Jet-lag: prevention with Pycnogenol. Preliminary report: evaluation in healthy individuals and hypertensive patients.” Minerva cardioangiologica vol. 56,5 Suppl (2008): 3-9.

Herxheimer, Andrew. “Jet lag.” BMJ clinical evidence vol. 2014 2303. 29 Apr. 2014

Janse van Rensburg, Dina C Christa et al. “How to manage travel fatigue and jet lag in athletes? A systematic review of interventions.” British journal of sports medicine vol. 54,16 (2020): 960-968. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2019-101635

Straub, WF et al. “The effect of chiropractic care on jet lag of Finnish junior elite athletes.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 24,3 (2001): 191-8.

Zerón-Rugerio, María Fernanda et al. “Eating Jet Lag: A Marker of the Variability in Meal Timing and Its Association with Body Mass Index.” Nutrients vol. 11,12 2980. 6 Dec. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11122980

The Importance Of Sleeping On The Right Pillow

The Importance Of Sleeping On The Right Pillow

Many individuals do not realize the importance of the type of pillow they use for sleep. Sleeping on the wrong pillow is the perfect set-up for neck, shoulder, and back pain. Here are a few chiropractic tips on what to know about picking the best pillow. Knowing which is the right pillow for you can be the key to proper sleep and waking up pain-free.

The Importance Of Sleeping On The Right Pillow

Importance of Pillows

Neck and shoulder pain can be a nightmare, especially when the body cannot get decent rest. The right pillow/s can help with neck and back pain symptoms and recover from injuries quicker. When the head is in an awkward position for sleep duration, this causes neck, shoulder, and headache problems. The importance of finding the right pillow follows a set of guidelines.

Shape

The shape of the pillow has a definitive role in the cervical/neck’s curvature.

Posture

Sleep posture is important in preventing neck, shoulder, and back musculoskeletal pain.

Sleep quality

Craniocervical pressures and cervical spine alignment are height-specific. Any changes can affect an individual’s sleep quality.

Height

Cervical alignment can become significantly impacted by the shape and height of the pillow.

Pillow Comfort Importance

Trying to find the right pillow will require trial and error. The basics to consider include:

  • One sign that it’s time for a new pillow is waking up with pain.
  • Age of current pillows. The recommendation is they should be replaced every year or two. This depends on the stuffing/material used as different types wear down quicker.
  • If problems are getting comfortable and being able to fall asleep.
  • Constantly readjusting or fluffing the pillow/s.
  • The pillow has become lumpy or lost its shape.
  • It is flat with no cervical support or, too high placing the head in a forward tilt.
  • A new pillow to consider are those that control temperature.
  • Cooling pillows are made to prevent heat retention if a warm/hot pillow keeps you up at night.

Temperature affects sleep quality.

  • Tossing and turning all night means loss of sleep.
  • The frustrating, angry, shifting movements can aggravate back and neck pain/issues.
  • Consider bed linens and pillowcases that cool the body.

Pillow Types

Today’s pillows are made from a variety of materials. Learning about the different kinds of materials can help make an educated choice.

  • Choose a retailer or brand that offers a guarantee or fair return/exchange program.
  • If the pillow isn’t right, you can return it and try another type.

Memory Foam

  • This material is polyurethane that has been combined with certain chemicals to make it viscoelastic.
  • These pillows return to their shape, can stretch and conform to the curves of the body.
  • Different kinds of memory foam include Open cell, Egg crate, and Gel.
  • They will mold to the contour of the spine, helping with misalignments.

Down Pillows and Down Alternative/polyfill

  • These pillows are generally softer.
  • They are made from actual down feathers or a non-allergic synthetic alternative that feels like real down.
  • There is not a great deal of firmness, but they are a good option because they are soft and workable.

Latex

  • These can be natural or synthetic latex, also known as rubber pillows.
  • They offer soft cushioning and proper support.
  • The latex is generally shredded, meaning it can be customized with more or less filling depending on the individual’s needs.

Combo style

  • There are combination pillows that could have a foam core, with down around them for comfort and support.
  • Gel cores are common, specifically in cooling pillows.

How to Choose

Tips and things to keep in mind include:

  • Does it conform to the shape of your neck and spine?
  • How soft is it?
  • Is the pillow stiff?
  • Is it too high?

Remember the importance of sleeping positions. Back, side, or stomach. Pillows that match an individual’s sleeping position criteria:

  • Back sleepers are recommended to use a medium-thick pillow. This keeps the head, neck, and spine properly aligned.
  • Side sleepers are recommended to use a slightly thicker, firmer pillow for proper alignment.
  • Stomach sleepers are a challenge because of the strain placed on the pelvis and lower back. An almost flat pillow is recommended.

Shopping

  • If possible, try out the pillow before buying it.
  • Most stores will allow this, and some companies take it further.
  • For example, The Sleep Number company offers a service called PillowFit.
  • This is an online quiz along with a personalized process in their stores.
  • The process helps choose a pillow based on individual support preferences and sleep position for the best spinal alignment.
  • Customizable or adjustable pillows are another option. These pillows allow the individual to change the amount of filling to fit their needs.
  • Research, personal preference, and advice from a doctor and or chiropractor will help find the pillow that is right for you.
  • A third of an individual’s life is spent in bed. Make it as comfortable as possible.

Body Health


Sleep Body Composition Importance

Not getting enough sleep makes it difficult to gain muscle.

  • Not getting enough sleep means that the body experiences less short wave sleep, affecting the body’s ability to secrete Growth Hormone and develop muscle.
  • Testosterone is negatively affected by lack of sleep.
  • Not enough sleep increases cortisol levels, impairing muscle development.

Not getting enough sleep makes it difficult to lose fat.

  • Irregular sleep throws off the body’s ghrelin/leptin cycles, causing hunger.
  • Not getting enough sleep has been linked to eating more.
  • Not getting enough sleep can cause reductions in the body’s Basal Metabolic Rate, reducing total energy output.
  • Tiredness reduces spontaneous movements.
References

“Effect of sleep posture on neck muscle activity.” Journal of Physical Therapy. June 2017. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28626314/

“Effect of pillow height on the biomechanics of the head-neck complex: investigation of the craniocervical pressure and cervical spine alignment.” PeerJ. August 2016. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27635354/

“How Often Should You Replace Your Pillows?” Sleep Foundation, Seattle, WA. www.sleepfoundation.org/bedding-information/how-often-should-you-replace-your-pillows

“Improving the quality of sleep with an optimal pillow: a randomized, comparative study.” Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine. July 2014. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25008402/

“The effects of pillow designs on neck pain, waking symptoms, neck disability, sleep quality and spinal alignment in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Clinical Biomechanics. May 2021. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33895703/

Okamoto-Mizuno, Kazue, and Koh Mizuno. “Effects of thermal environment on sleep and circadian rhythm.” Journal of physiological anthropology vol. 31,1 14. 31 May. 2012, doi:10.1186/1880-6805-31-14

Learning How To Combat Insomnia With A Few Strategies

Learning How To Combat Insomnia With A Few Strategies

Learning how to manage and combat insomnia. Being wide awake early in the morning, trying hard to fall back to sleep before the alarm goes off. Individuals that have trouble falling asleep find that it usually happens right before a vacation. Everyone experiences an occasional sleepless night, but if insomnia continues on a regular basis it can lead to various health issues.

The average adult requires over eight hours of sleep for the body to function properly.  But managing hectic lives means individuals end up going to bed later than sooner and not following the body’s natural biological rhythm. Remote and in-person learning, jobs, children, and other obligations require getting up with the birds with only 4-6 hours of sleep.  A disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm that regulates:

  • Hormone production
  • Body temperature
  • Sleep
  • Can lead to insomnia.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Learning How To Combat Insomnia With A Few Strategies

Mind and Body Performance

The body needs adequate, restful sleep to perform its best. Insomnia that is prolonged can cause brain fog and interfere with performing daily activities. It also increases the risk for:

  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Learning abilities
  • Accidents – auto, sports, work, personal
  • Can lead to sleep medication dependency.

Stress, anxiety, profound caffeine, and alcohol consumption can contribute to insomnia. Learning how to effectively manage stress is recommended to getting a proper night’s sleep. Making lifestyle adjustments can make a significant difference in the number of sleep hours. Here are a few strategies to try that could be effective:

Regular exercise/physical activity

  • Getting some physical activity before dinner can help put the body in a restful state before going to bed. However, do not exercise close to bedtime as this could make the body restless.
  • Getting out in the late evening sun as often as possible will help stimulate melatonin release. This will help reset the body’s circadian rhythm.

Stress-reduction

  • Stress-reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, and Tai Chi are recommended to help teach the mind and body to relax.

Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol

  • These keep the body stimulated. Try to reduce/avoid from mid-afternoon until bedtime, and keep consumption of alcohol to a minimum.

Snacks

Sleep cycle

  • Maintain the same sleep and wake schedule every day.
  • Do not alter by more than an hour on the weekends or on vacation.

Electronic devices

No television, computer, and phone use at least an hour before going to bed. This stimulates the brain, making it difficult to get to sleep.

Darkness

  • Keep the bedroom dark, quiet and cool.
  • If lying awake for more than 20 minutes, get up and sit in another dimly lit room until sleepiness starts to set in, then go back to bed.

Give these strategies a try and research others. They could help. For more information contact Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic, to see how we can help.


Body Composition


Learning How To Incorporate Prebiotics

Incorporating more prebiotics into one’s diet is best done through nutrition. Prebiotic foods supply these nutrients directly to the colon, where they are broken down, fermented, and utilized. Prebiotic foods consist mainly of fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans.

Prebiotic Food Sources

Vegetable Sources
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Sugar Beets
  • Leeks
Fruit Sources
  • Bananas
  • Apples
Other Sources

However, cooking could alter the food’s fiber content, so look at recipes. Prebiotics also come in the form of supplements to make them easier to consume.

Disclaimer

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*
email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com
phone: 915-850-0900
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico

References

Goto, Viviane et al. “Chiropractic intervention in the treatment of postmenopausal climacteric symptoms and insomnia: A review.” Maturitas vol. 78,1 (2014): 3-7. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.02.004

Jamison, Jennifer R. “Insomnia: does chiropractic help?.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 28,3 (2005): 179-86. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2005.02.013

Kingston, Jana et al. “A review of the literature on chiropractic and insomnia.” Journal of chiropractic medicine vol. 9,3 (2010): 121-6. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2010.03.003

Sleep Apnea and Back Pain

Sleep Apnea and Back Pain

A good portion of the population deals with night back pain. But there is another group that can attribute their back pain to sleep apnea. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that 26% of adults between 30 and 70 have this disorder. Sleep apnea back pain can turn into a vicious cycle. Unrestful sleep caused by sleep apnea can make an individual more susceptible to pain. Back pain can cause sleep problems, and the cycle begins again.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep disorder in adults in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Symptoms include:

  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Snoring
  • Abrupt waking during sleep

Risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Narrow airway
  • History of sleep apnea in family

There is ongoing research about risk factors for sleep apnea.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sleep Apnea and Back Pain

The Sleep Apnea and Back Pain Connection

Back pain could be a symptom of a vertebral fracture. Sleep apnea has been found to be associated with a higher risk of vertebral fractures. Research has found a connection between obstructive sleep apnea and vertebral fractures in women. The study found that women with a history of obstructive sleep apnea had an increased risk of vertebral fracture compared to individuals with no history of sleep apnea. Research is looking into how sleep apnea impacts bone health, specifically in the vertebrae. Doctors believe there are multiple ways in which sleep apnea can affect bone health like:

  • Low oxygen levels
  • Acidosis or a build-up of acid in the blood after intermittent hypoxia or a lack of oxygen in the tissues
  • Increased inflammation
  • Modulation/variation of sex hormones
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sleep Apnea and Back Pain

Lifestyle Adjustments and Treatment

There are treatments that include lifestyle changes that can help to lessen the effects and alleviate back pain.

  • Around 70% of individuals with sleep apnea are obese. This is according to the Obesity Medicine Association.
  • Smoking can increase the severity by lowering the functionality of the airway causing inflammation.
  • CPAP machines or continuous positive airway pressure, have proven to be beneficial.

Treatment options need to be discussed with a healthcare provider if diagnosed with this condition. Treatment is important because if left untreated it can lead to serious health issues increasing the risk for:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Post-surgery complications
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sleep Apnea and Back Pain

Better Sleep

If experiencing sleep apnea neck or back pain, make an appointment to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. A treatment plan that works for the individual will be developed to ease symptoms, resulting in back pain alleviation and better sleep.

Body Composition

Proper Sleep and Fat Loss

Losing fat mass is strongly linked to proper sleep. For the body to lose fat the body needs to be in a caloric deficit, which means more energy gets used than the amount of energy the body takes in. This can be accomplished by restricting calories through diet and burning more calories through exercise. This can be referred to as calories in/calories out.

Losing sleep can sabotage fat loss goals significantly altering the body’s hormonal profile. This includes hormones that regulate appetite. Ghrelin is associated with hunger, and leptin is associated with feeling full. Ghrelin spikes right before a meal prompting an individual to eat. Losing sleep interferes with the body’s ghrelin/leptin balance. This results in an increase in ghrelin and a reduction in leptin levels.

Disclaimer

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP, CIFM, CTG*
email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com
phone: 915-850-0900
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico

References

Intro: Rheumatology International. (May 2013) “Prevalence and severity of insomnia in chronic low back pain patients” pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23124732/

How Sleep Apnea and Back Pain are Related: Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. (September 2020) “Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Risk for Incident Vertebral and Hip Fracture in Women” asbmr.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/jbmr.4127

Sleep Apnea Treatments: Obesity Medicine Association. (2021) “Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea” obesitymedicine.org/obesity-and-sleep-apnea/

Combat Insomnia with Chiropractic Care

Combat Insomnia with Chiropractic Care

Combat insomnia with chiropractic care. Struggling to get a full night’s sleep, wide awake at three in the morning trying to fall back to sleep before the alarm goes off. Everyone suffers from occasional sleepless nights, but when insomnia occurs regularly it can lead to other issues like:
  • Daytime fatigue and/or sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Low motivation and energy
  • Poor concentration
  • Inability to stay focused
  • Lack of coordination can lead to errors and accidents
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Combat Insomnia with Chiropractic Care
 
Research shows that around 50 percent of the population are experiencing some type of sleep problem. Adults require a little more than eight hours of sleep every night. However, very few individuals are able to manage that with busy/hectic lives. Job, children, and other obligations require many to be up and on the move and getting to bed much later than if following the body’s natural biological rhythm. A disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm, which governs hormone production, body temperature, and sleep, can lead to insomnia.  

Combat Insomnia

The body needs adequate, restful healthy sleep to perform its best. Insomnia can cause mental fuzziness and interfere with how the body performs its regular activities. It also increases the risk of:
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Accidents
Stress, anxiety, regular caffeine, and alcohol use are some of the greatest contributors to insomnia. Learning how to combat stress effectively is highly recommended to increase the chances of getting a healthy night�s sleep, along with making small lifestyle adjustments could be the difference in getting back to normal sleep.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Combat Insomnia with Chiropractic Care
 

Sleep Suggestions

  • Some light regular exercise before dinner time can help put the body in a restful state by bedtime. But do not exercise close to bedtime, as this can amp up the body creating restlessness.
  • Get out into the sun as often as possible to stimulate melatonin release, which will help reset the circadian rhythm.
  • Reduce stress through yoga, meditation, and Tai Chi, whichever works and are great ways to help teach the mind and body to relax.
  • Caffeine and smoking keep the body stimulated. Try to avoid them from mid-afternoon onward.
  • Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.
  • Have a small snack of protein with a complex carbohydrate just before bed, like some peanut butter on a whole-grain cracker. This will keep the blood sugar from dropping too low, causing the body to wake up.
  • Maintain a regular sleeping and waking schedule.
  • Turn off the television or any type of electronic device screen an hour before bed, as it stimulates the brain, causing sleep difficulties.
  • Keep the bedroom dark, quiet, and cool.
  • If lying awake for more than about 20 minutes, get up and sit in another dark/dimly lit room until sleepiness begins to come on.
Creating healthy sleep habits, along with discussing treatment options with a chiropractor, can help combat insomnia and bring sound sleep.

InBody Composition


 

Lack of Sleep Stops Muscle Growth

Lack of sleep has a significant effect on catabolic hormones, and specifically, a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that is released as a stress response. It helps break down tissue including muscle tissue, which gives the body energy that it needs to deal with whatever stressful situation the body is dealing with. Research has shown that during restricted sleep and complete sleep deprivation, cortisol levels become elevated the following evening by up to 45%, potentially accelerating the development of metabolic and cognitive impairment. Cortisol has a muscle-reducing effect, and increased levels from a lack of sleep can threaten muscle development. The overall effect of not sleeping enough can seriously hamper efforts to gain muscle and increase Lean Body Mass.  

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*  
References
Bolash R, Drerup M. How to Beat Insomnia When You Have Chronic Pain. Cleveland Clinic Web site. health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/12/managing-insomnia-for-those-with-chronic-pain/. Published December 18, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2017. Improving Sleep: Special Health Report. Boston, MA: Harvard Medical School; 2015. What is Sleep? American Sleep Association Web site. www.sleepassociation.org/patients-general-public/what-is-sleep/. Accessed April 18, 2017.
Achieving Better Sleep With Chronic Back Pain

Achieving Better Sleep With Chronic Back Pain

Achieving better sleep with back pain through strategies that will address the pain. The spine is an amazing but highly complicated structure. It is made up of:
  • Bones
  • Joints
  • Ligaments
  • Muscles
All support the body’s weight, protect vital organs and nerve structures while maintaining flexibility. When the spine gets:
  • Injured
  • Strained
  • Sprained
This can make standing up, lying down, and sleeping a consistently painful experience.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Achieving Better Sleep With Chronic Back Pain
 

Achieving Sleep Solutions

The connection between sleep disturbance in individuals who suffer from acute or chronic back pain is high. Fortunately, back pain does not have to ruin the sleep experience. There are strategies to achieve better sleep. These include:
  • Adjusting sleep positions
  • Improving sleep hygiene
  • Better understanding the source of pain

Sleep Positions

When back pain presents, finding a comfortable position leads to endless tossing and turning. But sleeping in the wrong position can worsen chronic/acute back pain, or create new injury and pain. Here are some options for alleviating pain:  
 

Back sleeping

Sleeping on the back is the best position anatomically, especially for back pain. It evenly distributes the body’s weight putting less strain on the back. For optimal results, use a soft pillow with minimal height to keep the spine aligned with the neck through the low back. Placing a pillow under the legs can also reduce stress on the low back. Back sleeping is also not recommended for pregnant women in their second or third trimester. This is because the weight can press against the spine causing strain. It can also press on the main vein that carries blood back to the heart from the lower extremities. This can interfere with circulation causing dizziness. For this stage sleeping on the side is recommended.

Side sleeping

Sleeping on the side is considered a safe position for those with back pain. However, this is only if the mattress has proper support. Side sleepers need a mattress that maintains spinal alignment. Any strain while sleeping translates into backaches. Side sleepers should also utilize a pillow with enough height to hold their heads so that the spine stays aligned. To keep the mid-spine from sinking into the mattress, place a pillow in the waist area below the ribcage above the pelvis. This will maintain a neutral position. Using a pillow between the legs and slightly with the knees up toward the torso in a relaxed position along with a body pillow for extra comfort and support.

Stomach sleeping

Stomach sleeping is strongly discouraged by a majority of medical professionals, including the American Chiropractic Association. This is because this flattens the natural curve of the spine, straining the low back placing unnecessary pressure on the neck from twisting the head for prolonged periods. If stomach sleeping is a must use a pillow with a very little height so that the neck stays aligned with the backbone. Also, place a thin pillow under the pelvis, this gives the lower back more support.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Achieving Better Sleep With Chronic Back Pain
 

Achieving Pain-Free Sleep

Here are some other strategies for achieving pain-free sleep.

Mattress quality

Mattress quality affects healthy sleep, especially when it comes to back pain. Older, sagging mattresses lose performance factors needed to support the lower back, relieve pressure points, and maintain spinal alignment. Newer mattresses with memory foam, latex, or a hybrid with a core of innerspring, have been proven to help back pain and achieve better sleep.

Getting in and out of bed

Getting into and out of bed can be a challenge. There are techniques that limit movement and put minimal pressure on the back, reducing back pain. One technique works by sitting on the edge of the bed and then leaning to the right or left making sure to keep the spine aligned and ease down onto the mattress. Bring the knees up so the body is entirely on its side. Then, in one smooth movement, gently roll onto the back. To get out of bed do the same steps reversed. Because getting into and out of bed requires sitting or lying on the edge of the mattress, make sure the mattress has enough edge support so it won�t sag when sitting.

Healthy sleep habits

Adopting healthy sleep habits ensures proper sleep. Establish a consistent sleep schedule going to bed and waking up at around the same time every day, including weekends. Schedule at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Establish a relaxing nighttime routine around half an hour to an hour before sleep to help release any tension.
  • Take a warm bath
  • Practice yoga or meditation
  • Listen to gentle music
  • Read a little
  • Avoid electronic devices
  • Don�t drink caffeinated drinks from mid-afternoon on
  • Drink warm caffeine-free tea to help the body calm down before sleep
  • Sleep in an environment that is cool, dark, and comfortable
 

Back Pain Types

Pain can be severe or persistent. Understanding the source is one of the first steps toward knowing how to treat and manage it.

Posture

The bones and muscles can slip out of alignment with poor posture and not switching positions to allow the muscles, and bones to relax and recover. This can lead to:
  • Muscle tightness
  • Headaches
  • Back pain upper to lower
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Tingling
  • Numbness

Muscle Strain

Muscle strains happen when the muscles or attaching tendons get damaged. This can happen when lifting something heavy or working out too hard. However, it can also happen during regular activities if the muscles are not warmed up. Muscle strain can cause swelling, bruising/redness, and pain in the muscle/s even when resting.

Nerve Pain

Nerve pain can is unpredictable. Nerve-related back pain usually involves the sciatic nerve. When the sciatic nerve becomes irritated, inflamed, pinched, or compressed, the pain can be felt in the low back and radiate down the leg to the foot.

Fractures and Bone Spurs

Bone pain is usually caused by a fracture or bone spur. Fractures cause a deep ache. Bone spurs, or bony growths that appear on the edge of a bone, often along the spine. If bone spurs press on the nerves, it can cause:
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling in the arms or legs
  • Muscle spasms and cramps
The main cause of bone spurs is joint damage.

Medical Emergency

Sometimes back pain requires a visit to a medical professional to rule out more serious causes, like fractures, tumors, or infections of the spine. Symptoms to look out for include:
  • Fever could indicate an infection
  • Trauma, like a fall, could indicate a fracture
  • A diagnosis of osteoporosis could mean a fracture has occurred
  • Numbness or tingling could indicate nerve irritation/inflammation damage
  • History of cancer
  • Foot drop condition and needing to lift the foot higher to prevent dragging, which could be a sign of a nerve or a muscle condition
  • Pain that presents only at night when sleeping
  • Unexplained weight loss can accompany infection or tumors
  • Advanced age increases the risk for infections, tumors, and abdominal issues

Better Sleep

Around 80% of the world�s population will experience backache, and back pain at some point. When the spine’s bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles become injured, strained, or sprained, it can interfere with sleep. Try some of these strategies to help reduce the pain so sleeping well and waking up refreshed can be achieved.

Body Composition


 

Increase Movement with Exercise

One reason the body could be holding on to extra weight could be from high cortisol levels. Cortisol increases when stressed. Stress can derail exercise routine, diet, and sleep, increasing the chances of becoming overweight/obese. With exercise, the body releases endorphins or hormones that help reduce pain and stress. Exercise does not mean intense gym workouts. It can be as simple as taking small parts of the day, moving around to get the blood flowing, and muscles, tendons, ligaments stretched out. For example, if an individual uses the elevator or escalator regularly, take the stairs instead. Or take a short walk. All it takes is small and consistent adjustments to achieve health.

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. (2010.) �Advice to rest in bed versus advice to stay active for acute low-back pain and sciatica.��pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20556780/ National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. (Updated April 30, 2020.) �Back Pain.��medlineplus.gov/backpain.html
Getting Up In The Morning With Back, Neck Pain Chiropractic Brings Relief

Getting Up In The Morning With Back, Neck Pain Chiropractic Brings Relief

For individuals getting up with pain and stiffness in the back, neck, shoulders practically every morning becomes frustrating and depressing. For most, the pain wears off throughout the day but having to deal with it at the start of the day. Dr. Jimenez of Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic offers some suggestions for pain reduction and prevention.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Getting Up In The Morning With Back, Neck Pain Chiropractic Brings Relief
 
The body spends around a third of each night sleeping because it is a vital part of life. Sleeping means it is time to relax and prepare for the next day. For many, sleeping can be uncomfortable and can be a cause of back and neck pain when getting up. There are steps an individual can take to ensure that correct sleep is achieved while preventing neck and back pain.  

Sleep Position Is Important

Sleeping in a position that maintains the natural curves of the spine is essential. It is recommended not to sleep on the stomach, as this places the spine in an unnatural position and allows the pelvis and lower back to sink into the mattress with no support. This position can also cause neck pain and headaches when getting up. If this is a position that can’t be changed from years of practice, place a pillow under the stomach and or pelvis to keep the lower back and pelvis straight.
  • Sleeping on the side or back is highly recommended.
  • Side sleepers should also place a pillow between the knees.
  • Back sleepers should place a pillow underneath the knees.
  • Placing a pillow between and underneath the knees gives the spine proper support to maintain the natural curves.
 

Check How The Bed Is Set Up

Make sure the bed/sleeping equipment is set up correctly. For example, most pillows do not provide the proper amount of neck support. This can cause neck soreness even if sleeping in the recommended side and back positions. If getting up with neck pain or headaches a cervical pillow can bring relief. A cervical pillow is designed to support the natural curves of the neck while sleeping and places the neck in the proper position. Cervical pillows are designed for side and back sleepers, but make it difficult to sleep on your stomach, which is an added perk to using them.  
Getting Up In The Morning With Back, Neck Pain Chiropractic Brings Relief
 
Using the proper mattress is equally important. The type of mattress being slept on can be a significant contributor to back and neck pain. Individuals that use a medium-firm mattress have less back pain compared to individuals that use too firm or too soft mattresses. Research has shown that mattresses should be replaced every 10 years. Mattresses that are 10 years old and beyond are shown to be a possible cause of back pain while you sleep.  

Getting Up and Out of Bed In A Way That Doesn’t Cause Pain

Getting up and out of bed properly will help as well. Most individuals sit up, twist their back to get into a standing position and use the back to stand. This is like lifting with the back and not the legs, which will cause back pain and a possible spinal injury like a herniated disc.
  • The recommended way to get up and out of bed after waking is to roll onto the side and use the arm to push up and off from the side-lying position.
  • From this position, scoot to the very edge of the bed and get up using the legs, and not the back.
Implementing these suggestions into your routine can be a great way to decrease pain while sleeping and increase getting up without experiencing stiffness, soreness, and feeling refreshed.

The Body’s Composition


 

Muscle Mass and Workout Recovery

Looking at muscle mass and the intake of certain nutrients into the evening can be beneficial. Protein intake is essential in muscle formation and muscle recovery after working out or engaged in physical activity. Research has shown that a little protein before sleep helps stimulate muscle protein synthesis. In a study, ingested proteins were shown to cause a rise in circulating amino acid levels, increased whole-body protein rates, and improved net protein balance. Following exercise, the muscles need to be able to recover properly and protein intake is essential. To achieve weight management goals, an individual must achieve a healthy amount of Lean Body Mass. Lean Body Mass is based on Skeletal Muscle Mass, and protein intake is essential.

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Improving Sleep: Special Health Report. Boston, MA: Harvard Medical School; 2015. Bolash R, Drerup M. How to Beat Insomnia When You Have Chronic Pain. Cleveland Clinic Web site. health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/12/managing-insomnia-for-those-with-chronic-pain/. Published December 18, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2017. What is Sleep? American Sleep Association Web site. www.sleepassociation.org/patients-general-public/what-is-sleep/. Accessed April 18, 2017.
Getting Better Sleep with Inflammatory Spinal Arthritis

Getting Better Sleep with Inflammatory Spinal Arthritis

Inflammatory spinal arthritis can cause significant joint pain and severely damage sleep quality. Any of the following conditions can cause individuals to experience sleep problems:
  • Spondylosis (osteoarthritis)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylosis
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Dr. Jimenez from Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic gives insight into how inflammatory spinal arthritis can disrupt healthy sleep, along with some tips to help individuals with joint pain restore healthy sleep.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Getting Better Sleep with Inflammatory Spinal Arthritis
 

Inflammatory Spinal Arthritis and Sleep

First, it is not just the joint pain of arthritis that is causing sleep problems. Research is discovering that more factors could be at play. A study in the journal SLEEP examined how individuals with chronic pain, including osteoarthritis slept. What was revealed was a strong connection between chronic pain and insomnia. Insomnia can lead to added joint pain because poor sleep can trigger inflammatory pathways that worsen arthritis pain. Plus a poor night of sleep can heighten an individual’s perception of pain the next day. Arthritis pain does not just impact the sleep of adults, but young individuals with juvenile idiopathic arthritis can also struggle with getting healthy sleep. Sleep, pain levels, and mood are strongly related.  
 

Sleep Tips

Achieving quality sleep and a well-rested body can be done. Things to consider to help secure a healthy sleep.  

Medication interference/side effects

Corticosteroids could be part of the sleep problem, as corticosteroid treatment has been linked to insomnia. If struggling to fall asleep, talk with a doctor about altering any prescribed medication regimen before sleep like taking aspirin or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory NSAID medication in its place.  

Adjust sleep position to joint pain

If the neck is sore/aching rest the head on a flat pillow so the cervical spine is in a neutral position. For low back joint pain, individuals might find relief by sleeping on their back or side with the knees and hips flexed at a 90-degree angle. For hip joint stiffness, sleeping on the side with a pillow between the legs is recommended.  
 

A firm mattress and support pillow

A firm mattress will support the body and help reduce pain. The right pillow/s are also important for healthy sleep. A lumbar and cervical pillow can help cushion tender areas.  

Readjust chores

Joint pain first thing in the morning needs time to adjust. For morning physical chores try to reschedule for later on in the day or if possible the night before. This could be fixing lunches, picking out clothes, preparing breakfast, or packing the work case, tools, etc. The extra time will reduce morning stress and allow the body to gently adjust.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Getting Better Sleep with Inflammatory Spinal Arthritis
 

Wake up and stretch

With joint pain in the morning, some gentle stretching can help. Doing some stretches before even getting out of bed will help minimize pain and allow the body to gradually prepare for movement. Follow the stretch session up with a hot shower to loosen stiff joints.  
 

Increase Sleep Quality

Sleep problems can affect anyone even those that don’t have inflammatory spinal arthritis/joint pain. There could be other issues causing sleep problems unrelated to joint pain. If still not getting quality sleep, talk to a rheumatologist about available options.

Body Composition

 

Osteoarthritis and Exercise

Obesity is a significant risk factor in the development of osteoarthritis. This is not only from the effects of extra weight on the body’s joints but also as a result of the pro-inflammatory effects of adipose tissue. The hips and knees are the weight-bearing joints. Excessive adipose tissue on the midsection and legs have been shown to negatively impact these weight-bearing joints. Promoting Lean Body Mass and encouraging weight loss can potentially lower the risk of osteoarthritis and improve the quality of life. Gentle exercise is regarded as safe for individuals with osteoarthritis and is a key component to improve body composition, reduce body fat mass, improve lean body mass and maintain a healthy weight. Improving body composition and utilizing exercise in weight management can have a direct and positive effect on joint health.  

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*  
References
Myers W. 9 Ways to Rise and Shine With Osteoarthritis. Everyday Health.�http://www.everydayhealth.com/osteoarthritis/ways-to-rise-and-shine-with-osteoarthritis.aspx. Last updated September 25, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2017. Watson S. Why Osteoarthritis Could Disrupt Your Sleep�and Your Partner�s. Arthritis Foundation. www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/comorbidities/sleep-insomnia/osteoarthritis-and-sleep.php. Accessed April 18, 2017.
Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain Chiropractic Review

Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain Chiropractic Review

A mattress topper for back pain can help by conforming closely to the body, correctly aligning the spine, and providing relief to the pressure points. The right quality mattress topper can provide relief when sleeping and can help keep the spine in proper alignment. Chiropractor Dr. Jimenez shares some top mattress toppers for back pain including:
  • Pros
  • What to consider when buying
  • Determine if a mattress topper is the best solution
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain Chiropractic Review
 

Layla Memory Foam

Best Temperature Neutral

The Layla Memory Foam Topper is 2-inches thick and made from memory foam infused with copper. It’s enclosed in a polyester cover and becomes denser under deep compression points, like the hips and shoulders. The Layla brand is known for coming with cooling copper-infusion technology improving airflow and blood circulation. The copper helps an individual sleep cooler than most memory foam and is available at a reasonable price. All sizes cost less than $400 and come with free shipping and returns, a 120-night trial, and a 5-year warranty.  
 

Snuggle-Pedic Memory Foam

Best Memory Foam

The Snuggle-Pedic is a two-layer structure, with softer memory foam on the outer layer and a firm channeled base layer for spinal support. It is a versatile design that makes it appropriate for back, side, and stomach sleepers. Memory foam mattress toppers can be too soft, providing no support, or too firm. This topper finds the balance. One side is soft-to-the-touch, with the other providing twice the support. This double layer system is soft but supportive. It is available in all sizes for less than $300 and comes with free shipping, returns, and customizations.  
 

Saatva Latex Mattress Topper

Best Latex

The Saatva is 1.5 inches of latex and is covered in organic cotton. The latex has ventilation to aid in breathability and the cotton cover adds to the overall temperature neutrality. For individuals that prefer all-natural materials, this latex topper is recommended. The latex used is Talalay latex and is natural and breathable. It also has ventilation spots and is hypoallergenic. For individuals that sleep hot, want a natural option, or have allergies, this could be an option. It comes with a 120-night trial period, free shipping and costs less than $350 in all sizes.  
 

Zinus Memory Foam

Best For Side Sleepers

The Zinus topper measures four inches thick. It is a simple design with 2 inches of gel memory foam that is highly durable. Under the gel foam is a 2-inch-thick layer of support foam for added durability and support. This is an affordable option. The dual-layer provides cooling comfort, durable support and is designed to fit under any deep-pocket sheets. Side sleepers with hip and shoulder pain can appreciate the top layer�s softness and benefit from the durability of the bottom layer, preventing cradling and sinking.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain Chiropractic Review
 

Linenspa

Fastest Relief

The Linenspa is made with three inches of memory foam that conforms to the body’s curves while sleeping. This mattress topper is infused with temperature-regulating gel beads that evaporates any heat. It is available in two-inch, three-inch profiles and the foam is made to distribute weight evenly. With every size available for less than $105, this is a comfortable and affordable way to rejuvenate a worn mattress or soften a mattress that is too hard.  
 

What to Look For

Mattress toppers can be beneficial for providing relief for aches and pains, but the best topper for back pain requires knowledge about materials, styles, and features that will provide relief. An overview of what to look for:  

Materials

  • Memory foam and latex are ideal for pressure relief because they conform to the body�s curves without sagging. Look for high-quality materials, like American Talalay latex and open-cell foam.

Body Conformity Amount

  • The ideal amount of conformity provides pressure relief for painful areas. An ideal level depends on weight and sleeping positions. Look for details about the mattress weight, type, and sleeping style.

Sleeping Position

  • Sleeping on the back is a way to naturally align the spine, but a firm topper that does not sag is needed to provide the proper support.
  • Stomach sleepers need a topper that does not sag in the midsection, which can lead to neck pain.
  • Side sleepers need a topper that conforms to the contoured areas, like the shoulders and hips.

Price

  • Prices for mattress toppers vary. There are high-quality mattress toppers available for $150. For luxury, prices will be in the $300s and above.

Durability

  • Sagging is the main issue to avoid. Optimal spinal support is the objective. Do the research, read reviews, consult a chiropractor, and take plenty of time before investing.

Thickness

  • Toppers differ in thickness and can measure from one to seven inches thick. Thicker does not mean more comfortable and thicker toppers tend to be softer. Thinner toppers are usually firmer, which is better for back and stomach sleepers. What feels right depends on an individual’s sleeping position, weight, and size, however, most toppers fall in the two to three-inch thickness range.

Back Pain Causes

Back pain can range from a dull ache to sharp sensations and can be the result of an auto accident, work injury, or personal injury that has developed over time. A sedentary lifestyle also contributes to low back pain. The following conditions are common sources of back pain:
  • Strains
  • Sprains
  • Disc degeneration
  • Herniated discs
  • Sciatica
  • Traumatic injury
  • Radiculopathy
Lifestyle-related risk factors:
  • Aging
  • Fitness level
  • Pregnancy
  • Weight gain
  • Occupation
  • Mental health
  • Genetics
Regardless of the cause or source, a mattress topper, which is more supportive than a mattress pad, can help alleviate back pain when sleeping, leading to a minimization of symptoms and improved quality of life.  

Possible Option

Aching muscles, shooting/stabbing pain, reduced range of motion, and flexibility are detrimental to work, and home life. Whatever the case, there�s an option out there. An overview of mattress topper benefits:
  • The current mattress is old or not supportive enough, but don�t want to invest in a new mattress.
  • The current mattress is too firm, but a partner is comfortable on it. Mattress toppers are available in split sizes to soften/firm up one side.
  • A sedentary lifestyle has increased the frequency of dull low-back pain. A topper can help with back pain prevention.
  • Improve the comfort of a guest bed without spending too much. Similar to the first scenario, a mattress topper can be an upgrade for just several hundred dollars.
One of the most affordable sleep innovations today, but remember that durability, materials, and sleep factors, like weight, position, and height, should all be considered.

Composition of The Body

 
 

Sleep Stages

Sleep researchers are divided into two types of sleep: REM sleep is when dreams occur and NREM sleep which is non-REM sleep. NREM sleep is divided into stages:

Stage 1

  • Stage 1 makes up just 5-10% of a sleep cycle and is known as light sleeping. In this stage, the brain remains semi-conscious and is in between wakefulness and sleep. The brain waves start to elongate from alpha to theta waves.

Stage 2

  • Stage 2 is the bulk of the sleep cycle and makes up around 55%. In this stage, the body/brain is fully asleep and brain waves slow down even more.

Stage 3

  • Stage 3 is the deepest sleep state and is marked by elongated brain waves and slowed brain activity. It is also called short wave sleep. Slow-wave sleep makes up 15-25% of sleep but is the most important sleep state for body composition because most of the body’s restoration happens during this cycle.

REM/Rapid Eye Movement

  • This is the stage where dreams occur. It�s very distinct from the other three in that brain activity becomes more active. An individual passes through these sleep stages every 90 minutes. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night means going through 4-5 cycles. Going through a complete sleep cycle ensures an individual will go through Stage 3, which has a significant effect on body composition.

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Bolash R, Drerup M. How to Beat Insomnia When You Have Chronic Pain. Cleveland Clinic Web site. health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/12/managing-insomnia-for-those-with-chronic-pain/. Published December 18, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2017. Improving Sleep: Special Health Report. Boston, MA: Harvard Medical School; 2015. What is Sleep? American Sleep Association Web site. www.sleepassociation.org/patients-general-public/what-is-sleep/. Accessed April 18, 2017.
Sleeping With Sciatica and A Better Night’s Rest

Sleeping With Sciatica and A Better Night’s Rest

Trying to get a proper night’s rest and healthy sleep with sciatica can be difficult. Here we discuss how to combat sciatica discomfort for a better night�s rest. The sciatic nerves are the two largest nerves in the body. They run from the low back through the:
  • Hips
  • Buttocks
  • Down each leg into the feet
 
When the nerve gets:
  • Irritated
  • Inflamed
  • Pinched
  • Compressed
Sciatica can cause pain, tingling, numbness in the butt, lower back, leg, calf, and foot. It is a common condition that affects many individuals.

Is It Sciatica

Sciatica happens when the nerve becomes pinched from a bulging or herniated disc. In rare cases, the pain can result from a tumor putting pressure on the nerve or damage to the nerve caused by disease. The location and intensity of the pain depend on where the injury or damage occurred and how bad it is. Sciatica pain can be described as:
  • Dull
  • Sore
  • Numbing
  • Jolting
  • Throbbing
  • Hot
  • Stabbing
  • Radiating
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sleeping With Sciatica and A Better Night's Rest
 
For many sciatica usually resolves within a matter of weeks. However, once sciatica has presented future episodes are almost guaranteed to resurface and if not treated properly can lead to more serious problems.

Symptoms

The sciatic nerve/s can affect several areas of the body, making symptoms vary. The most common include:
  • Lower back pain starts at the low back, runs along the hips and buttocks down each leg.
  • Pain radiates/spreads down the butt/leg area sometimes described as a shooting pain and usually occurs on just one side.
  • Pain while sitting for long periods of time places pressure on the gluteal muscles, lower back, and nerves. This can cause or worsen the condition. When having to sit for a while, it is recommended to get up every hour or so and walk/move around. This gets the blood flowing and stretches out the tightened muscles.
  • Hip pain, as the sciatic nerves run through the hip joint and in some cases can cause pain to settle in the hip. Injuries in the hip can mimic the symptoms of sciatica. If there is hip pain that does not improve with time get checked by a doctor to rule out other causes like osteoarthritis, bursitis.
  • Numbness, some experience weakness in the legs and an altered sensation of numbness. This is caused by a herniated disc in the lower lumbar region.
  • Burning/tingling like a pins and needles sensation, especially in the feet and toes.
 

Conditions/Causes

There are several conditions that can cause sciatica:
  • Degenerative Disc Disease is where the discs of the spine deteriorate and become susceptible to painful herniation.
  • Spondylolisthesis is a painful condition where the lower vertebrae slip forward onto the bone directly below impinging the sciatic nerve.
  • Muscle Spasms and involuntary contractions of the muscles can cause sciatica if they compress the nerve.
  • Pregnancy sciatica is not uncommon. As the baby grows it places pressure on the nerve causing aches and pains.
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis is when the spaces in the low back begin to narrow compressing and irritating the nerve.
  Risk factors include:
  • Age, as the spine gets older it becomes more susceptible to herniated discs and bone spurs, which are leading causes of sciatica.
  • Obesity and excess weight create added stress on the spine, which can inflame the nerves.
  • Occupation/work that requires standing/sitting for long periods or if a lot of heavy lifting is involved there is added pressure on the back increasing the risk for back problems.
  • Individuals with diabetes have an increased risk for nerve damage. When nerves are damaged, they can cause radiating pain.

Night Time

Sleeping at night can be a challenge, especially not being able to get into a comfortable position. Sleep deficits and insufficient sleep can reduce the body�s tolerance to pain and worsen inflammation. Many wake up with increased symptoms. This is likely due to the fact that when the body is laying down the discs draw in and absorb fluid, which results in increased pressure within the disc, creating more pressure on the nerve. But there are some things to do to lessen pain and get a good night�s sleep. This includes changing sleep position, stretching, and practicing healthy sleep hygiene.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sleeping With Sciatica and A Better Night's Rest
 

Sleeping Positions

  • Sleeping on the back is considered the best sleeping position for sciatica because it eases pressure on the low back and discs where the nerves are located.
  • Sleeping on the side can be more comfortable and is a good position because it doesn�t place direct pressure on the muscles, discs, or sciatic nerve. But, it is important that the mattress is supportive enough to keep the spine aligned. If more support is needed place a pillow between the legs.
  • Sleeping with the knees elevated can help take the pressure off the low back. To achieve this place a pillow under the knees or, with an adjustable bed, use it to elevate the foot of the bed.
  • Sleeping with a body pillow provides extra comfort and helps the body remain in a certain position throughout the night. These pillows come in a variety of shapes, sizes.
 

Stretches

Stretching can provide relief. It�s important to stretch to keep the body flexible and to prevent pain. Gentle stretches before bed, and after waking up will loosen the muscles and ligaments surrounding the spine and joints.
  • Reclining pigeon pose is a yoga pose that opens the hips and eases lower back pain.
  • Lying on the back with both knees bent.
  • Lift the right leg and place the ankle on the top of the left knee. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Sitting pigeon pose stretch is similar to the reclining pigeon but is done while sitting.
  • Sitting on the floor with knees bent. Keep balance by placing the hands on the floor.
  • While seated, place the right ankle on the top of the left knee.
  • Lean forward and move the upper body forward. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Forward pigeon pose is a more advanced version of the pigeon stretch.
  • Start in a plank or push-up position.
  • Move the right leg in front so that the right knee is toward the right wrist and the right foot toward the left wrist.
  • Stretch the left leg out behind. The top of the foot should be on the ground and toes flat against the floor.
  • Shift the weight forward onto the hands or elbows. Feel the stretch in the right glute.
  • Repeat steps with other leg.
  • The knee�to the opposite shoulder is a simple stretch that is easy and pain-relieving.
  • Lie on back with legs extended.
  • Bend the right leg, grasp the knee and pull it toward the abdomen.
  • Straighten the leg and then repeat these steps with the left leg.
  • Do three times on each side.
  • Sitting spinal stretch can help open the vertebrae to relieve sciatica pain.
  • Sit on the floor with the legs extended.
  • Bend the right knee so that the foot is next to the inside of the left knee. Keep the right foot flat on the ground.
  • Move the left arm around so that the elbow is on the outside of the right knee. Place right hand behind for balance.
  • Gently turn toward the right, looking behind. Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Standing hamstring stretch can ease pain in the hamstrings.
  • Stand and place one heel on an elevated surface, like a chair.
  • Fully extend the knee and flex the ankle by pointing the toes toward the ceiling.
  • Bend forward at the hips keeping the spine in a neutral position. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sleeping With Sciatica and A Better Night's Rest
 

Sleep Hygiene

Proper sleep hygiene helps prepare for a good night�s sleep. Here are some tips to help improve sleep hygiene.
  • A nighttime routine will help unwind the body before bedtime. Start the routine 30 minutes before planning to go to sleep. Some things to do to help unwind:
  • Take a warm bath
  • Listen to relaxing/soothing music
  • Meditation
  • Reading
  • Get a new mattress. An old, sagging mattress can worsen sciatica and strain the back. The best mattresses for sciatica pain combines contour comfort to ease pressure points at the hips and shoulders with the proper support to keep the spine aligned.
  • Eye masks can help with artificial light which can fool the mind along with the circadian clock into thinking it�s daylight. Keeping out unwanted light all night can help.
  • Avoid blue light too close to bedtime like lamps and device screens. These are great for the day, as they help boost attention, reaction time, and mood. But at night it can be disruptive. Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before bed to help the body adjust.
  • Room temperature control has found that most sleep better in a cool room. The optimal temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees.
  • Avoid exercise close to bedtime. Working out before bed can interfere with sleep. This is because exercise releases adrenaline keeping the mind and body alert.
  • Avoid stimulants before bedtime like caffeine, sugar, etc. which will keep the body up.
 
 

Medical Intervention

Sciatica pain can be mild or severe. Stretching or changing up sleeping position can help ease discomfort. But if the pain is severe or chronic, and if it prevents getting a good night�s sleep, consult a chiropractic professional.

InBody Spotlight


 

Sleep And Body Composition

A lack of sleep makes it harder to gain muscle and harder to lose fat.
  • Sleeping less means fewer opportunities to secrete growth hormone and develop muscle
  • Testosterone is negatively affected by lack of sleep
  • Sleeping less can increase cortisol levels, impairing muscle development
  • Irregular sleep throws off the body’s cycles, making the body feel hungrier
  • Sleeping less is linked to eating more snacks, increasing energy levels
  • Lack of sleep can cause reductions in Basal Metabolic Rate by 20%, reducing total energy output
  • Being tired reduces spontaneous movements, reducing total energy output
If trying to get into shape and change body composition, sufficient sleep is vital. Any positive changes to get more sleep are going to have positive changes in efforts to change body composition.

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Siengsukon, Catherine F et al. �Sleep Health Promotion: Practical Information for Physical Therapists.��Physical therapy�vol. 97,8 (2017): 826-836. doi:10.1093/ptj/pzx057
Sleep Soundly With Chiropractic Adjusting

Sleep Soundly With Chiropractic Adjusting

Chiropractic adjusting: Poor sleep is detrimental to the body’s general health. If it becomes chronic side effects like high blood pressure, brain fog, exacerbation or development of a disease, and chronic fatigue can set in. Getting the proper quality amount of sleep needs to become a priority. The hard work and to-do lists can only get done when the machine that is the human body is functioning well-rested and at full capacity. When the body is starved of sleep it sets in motion a downward spiral of system failure, burnout, declining health, and decreased productivity.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sleep Soundly With Chiropractic Adjusting
 

Assessing sleep quality

7 to 9 hours should be the objective for the quantity each night or day depending on shift work, etc. Quality of sleep is just as vital as the proper amount. Sleep quality can be affected by:
  • Chronic pain
  • Poor sleep hygiene
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of physical activity
Improper sleep hygiene can be associated with: Here are a few ways to evaluate sleep quality:
  • The ability to fall asleep within 30 minutes
  • Not waking up unless to use the bathroom and being able to fall back to sleep within 30 minutes
  • Wake up feeling fresh and rested
  • Being full of energy, focused, and able to handle responsibilities
 

Spinal alignment affects sleep ability

Chiropractic can improve sleep quality by adjusting the spine, bringing the body back into balance. Chiropractic is an expert-based approach that will address any underlying issues with spinal misalignment that could be affecting sleep. Spine misalignment contributes to poor nerve energy circulation that affects the body�s ability to function and recover, which occurs during the sleep cycle. A chiropractor will restore alignment and provide expert recommendations for decreasing pain and sleeping posture optimization. Poor posture specifically when sleeping, a pain-causing injury, and poor biomechanics can all contribute to poor spinal alignment. This affects the body�s ability to complete normal tasks like sleep. Not letting the body rest properly can exacerbate other health issues and create a vicious cycle of compromised health.

Chiropractic adjusting

Restoring the body’s balance via the spine allows the body to properly move, heal, and function at full potential. Working with a chiropractic care provider can help this process and help restore refreshing and restful sleep. When sleep quality improves quality of life improves. Chiropractic practitioners can provide effective spinal treatment and optimize the quality of sleep.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sleep Soundly With Chiropractic Adjusting

Sciatica Pain Chiropractor


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Fietze, Ingo. �Sleep Applications to Assess Sleep Quality.��Sleep medicine clinics�vol. 11,4 (2016): 461-468. doi:10.1016/j.jsmc.2016.08.008