Is your pain worse in the morning?
Sometimes, pain at dawn is the worst pain of the day. We tend to be vulnerable early in the day because the muscles are stiff, the mind is not completely awake, the blood pressure is low, and the medications are losing their effectiveness. Breaking this daily pain cycle can be a matter of improving your sleep posture, changing your morning routine or changing your medications. Here are some ways to help you start your day with less pain.
Sleep posture: Spending five, six or seven hours in a poor sleep posture is going to cause you to wake up in pain. Poor sleep postures can be fixed with a good mattress and some well-placed pillows. Millions of people--including me--wake up in less pain by using the Tempur-Pedic mattresses and pillows. A body pillow is also worth a try because it can help you avoid sleeping in a twisted or rotated position. A pillow between the knees or one at the small of your back likewise is worth considering. Eventually, you may find yourself surrounded in a cloud of pillows, but that’s a good thing. Side-sleepers especially need that thick supportive pillow to support the head and neck. Back-sleepers might want to use a pillow to support the legs so that the knees and hips are flexed. Stomach-sleepers should use a pillow underneath the chest and stomach so that the hips can slightly flex. Whichever way that you sleep, do it in a healthy, natural body position.
Morning routine: Before you crawl out of bed, wait a minute. Consider starting your day by giving yourself a gift of relaxation. Pain is often worse when you are feeling tense and stressed. So why not start your day feeling more relaxed? Even though your sleep posture may have been well-supported, you could still benefit from a little warm-up activity for your body. Try doing some of your favorite stretches before your feet hit the ground. Try tensing up individual muscles, starting in your feet. Then completely relax them as your work your way up towards your head. This progressive relaxation routine is a good way to release body tension and relax the mind. Another way to relax the mind is by doing a deep breathing exercise. Inhale completely for three seconds, hold for seven seconds and exhale for eight seconds. Repeat these deep, deliberate breathes several times and relax. The morning is also a good time to meditate. And don’t forget to touch the person you love, even if that means touching yourself, because the touch is a therapeutic way to start your day with less pain. Breaking a cycle of pain may mean you need to change your routines, starting in the morning.
Medications: If you are waking up in pain, you might be experiencing “end-of-dose failure.” Pain relief provided by a medication has a time-limited effect. Pain medication usually wears off in the middle of the night or in the morning. Stopping this cycle of pain requires a long-acting, sustained release medication that can last all night long. The transdermal patches that deliver medication through the skin are typically the best products when it comes to helping someone wake up in less pain. But others options are available, such as the buprenorphine products or even methadone. Talk with your doctor if you think that your medications are failing to help you wake up with less pain.
Published On: November 26, 2012