No Pets in Bed! Your Furry Friend Could be Contributing to Your Back Pain
They say dogs are man’s best friend, and for most of the day, this sentiment is likely true. You and your dog share a special bond – one that probably involves ample playtime and even more cuddles. But when the sun sets and it’s time to go to bed, you might want to think twice about letting Fido join you.
Sleeping next to another human can be difficult enough, let alone a four-legged creature that likes to get up and move around all night long. Sharing the bed with your furry friend may contribute to a host of health problems, from poor rest to accidental scratches or bruises.
The main problem to consider, though, is how lying next to your dog may be affecting your back pain. This is particularly important for people suffering from chronic pain, but it can still make a difference even if you only experience the occasional sprain or stiffness.
The chiropractic team at StrongLife Chiropractic in Lithia, FL is happy to help patients dealing with pain from sleeping in strange positions, but we encourage you to reconsider your pup’s sleeping arrangements sooner rather than later.
The dangers of sharing the bed with a pet
Dogs (and sometimes even cats) are notorious bed-hogs. They love to curl up, spread out, and wriggle around wherever they feel comfortable at the time, and this position probably changes a lot over the course of a night. What’s more, is dogs don’t really feel bad about invading your personal space, meaning you’ll need to move around them to stay comfortable.
This can end up putting you into some strange and contorted sleeping positions. Twisted legs, unsupported backs and angles necks are far too common as a result of curling around a beloved pet. While you may be able to deal with this for a night or two, consistently sleeping like this puts a lot of strain on your spine and the surrounding muscles and joints. If it continues for two long, you might begin waking up feeling stiff, sore, and potentially even in severe pain thanks to a bad misalignment.
Tips for minimizing back pain while sleeping
The best way to prevent back pain caused by a restless pet is to make a change: namely, prohibiting your pooch from sleeping on the bed and make your mattress a human-only space. Purchase a doggie bed for your furry friend and use rewards and treats to help your dog adjust.
Even when your dog isn’t joining you in bed, though, you may still be susceptible to back pain due to how you sleep. First and foremost, it’s important to have a comfortable mattress that meets your support needs. People with a history of back pain tend to choose mattresses that offer more support to help stabilize the spine. Also choose a supportive pillow to tuck between your neck and the mattress.
Next, aim to sleep in positions that keep your spinal vertebrae aligned and your blood flowing. This ensures your spine is able to heal from any damage thanks to a consistent flow of nutrients, and that you’re not putting pressure on the spine and causing misalignment. Sleeping in twisted positions may also lead to muscle straining, which can pull on the spine and make you feel out of whack, as well.
Kicking your pup out of bed may not be easy, but it’s ultimately the best way to prevent sleeping in uncomfortable positions and putting your spine on the path to damage. If you are already feeling the effects of bed sharing, make sure to contact a chiropractor from StrongLife Chiropractic in Lithia, FL. Our spinal experts in Lithia use a technique called Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) to help treat patients holistically, ideally leading them to whole-body wellness.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.