We love being in our new home. The kids love running around the wide-open spaces and climbing the avocado trees. The dog has a constant smile on her big dopey face and can’t stop rolling around on the ground. Bec and I love sitting out under the trees and even the cat seems more relaxed! I can’t believe how blessed our family are to be able to call our little bit of land home.
Unfortunately, we had to leave our piece of heaven on earth and headed to Sydney for Christmas and the New Year break. Now, while I love my brother and his family and I do think that Sydney Harbour is the most beautiful harbour anywhere in the world, it is just mad down there. So many people who are all so busy and all so stressed.
We were very happy to get back to “Our Mountain” and take it easy. The reason I am writing this article is because two of the things we missed the most was our bed and our awesome memory foam pillows. Two of the first questions I ask my patients when they tell me that they are waking up with stiffness and pain are: “How old is your mattress,” and, “What kind of pillow do you have?”
As Bec and I discovered, poor beds and pillows play a massive part in spinal health. For the last five days that we were in Sydney we woke up every morning with back and neck pain and an inability to straighten up for the first few steps. It didn’t take long to settle after we got up and with the help of some stretches and gentle treatment we would be right for the rest of the day. However, the next morning it would start off all over again. After being back home and back in our own bed for two days these symptoms completely resolved.
Think about how long we spend in our beds. If we are dedicating 6-8 hours of our day to being in a prolonged posture that is not good for our body, we are going to be causing joint irritation. Our body responds to this irritation with inflammation and a small amount of swelling in our spinal joints. Each of these joints are enclosed in a tight capsule. These capsules do not have much space, so a small amount of swelling will lead to a lot of poor joint mobility causing stiffness. In some cases, this stiffness doesn’t settle well and results in pain and dysfunction.
It is relatively easy for us at Physique to get joints moving well that have been a bit stirred up by sleeping in beds while travelling. This is because once we “unlock” the joints and they are back in their own beds the irritation will settle down nicely.
However, think about those of you who wake every morning with a stiff neck and sore back from sleeping in your own beds. Physiotherapy, exercise, stretching and doing all the right things will help tremendously with your back. But, as soon as you go to sleep every night you are just re-irritating your spine.
If you do regularly wake with a sore back or neck you will often need some treatment at Physique to get the joints moving first. But it is quite probable that it is also time to look for a new bed or a new pillow. Why not try something new, think about replacing your old bed or pillow and get a fresh start for the new year?