Fight back pain... with your alarm clock!
There's nothing worse than waking up with back pain, and some days you feel like you don't just need a doctor.
You need a carpenter, too -- because you're stiff as a board.
Some folks have back pain so bad that every morning begins with painkillers instead of coffee or tea, but new research shows that what your back really needs isn't a drug.
It's better sleep!
Like the rest of your body, the cells in your spinal discs have their own internal clocks that follow the body's natural sleep-wake cycle.
The key word in there is "natural."
Too many folks make their own hours these days rather than follow the clock built into our design, and the study shows how trying to reset that internal timer can be a recipe for extra pain.
See, those cells can pump out natural inflammation-fighting compounds when you're awake, like your own private painkiller.
But just as you can't be awake 24 hours a day, those cells need some downtime, too.
So they shut off when you're supposed to be asleep.
Sleep at the wrong times... or wake up too early or too late... and you'll be at the wrong end of that natural cycle, because your spine may not be churning out those compounds.
The result? An extra dose of pain, according to new study in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
And that means one of the best things you can do for back pain is follow the old advice and make sure you're going early to bed, and early to rise.
The researchers claim the study also shows the best time to take inflammation-fighting painkillers to maximize pain relief, but using those drugs regularly at any time of day can wreck your gut in the long-term and lead to more serious problems over the long run.
Using them regularly can even increase your risk of a heart attack!
Try natural inflammation fighters instead. Fish oil, curcumin, and topical MSM can all help fight back pain without the risks.
And along with boosting your quality of sleep and catching your winks at the right times, don't forget about a few of the other bedroom basics.
If your mattress is so old that it voted for Reagan, it's time to consider a new one -- and be sure to rotate it regularly. Similarly, a pillow isn't a lifetime commitment; replace it every few months.
These simple steps can make the difference between waking up in pain... or bouncing out of bed, ready to start your day.