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On 31st October whilst the spooks and ghouls come out to play, we have been told to stay in bed and snooze. The day the clocks go back is designated as the day to enjoy a lie in, but new research out today from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) shows that doing just that can bring on back pain.

Extensive research carried out by the BCA has placed sleeping and mattresses as one of the top triggers of back pain, with over a quarter of sufferers blaming their beds. 27% of women and 24% of men said that their pain was brought on during a night’s ‘rest’.

The results revealed that over a third of the population (34%) currently suffer from back pain, and at this time of year the pain seems most prevalent – winter was pinpointed as the season when the aches are most common. But back pain isn’t just for the cold months, 36% of those suffering have been for more than ten years and 12% for ‘as long as they can remember’.

Back pain can be debilitating, but even on a lesser scale it can prevent individuals carrying out day-to-day activities that most of us take for granted, and sleeping is top of the list. The top five activities that back pain has prevented people from doing are:
· Sleeping (35%)
· Exercise/sport/physical activity (35%)
· Housework/DIY (29%)
· Going to Work (27%)
· Lifting/cuddling/playing with children (27%)

Chris Turner from the British Chiropractic Association comments: “The impact of back pain is staggering and this research has highlighted just what a huge effect it has on our everyday lives, the fact that people can’t sleep, work and even just cuddle their kids as a result of their suffering is shocking.”

“Sleep is essential to maintain our body’s natural rhythm, but too much can play havoc with our spines. When you are lying still your back stiffens and is more prone to injury when you get up. One of the common misconceptions is that if you are suffering from back pain the best cure is bed rest – that is not the case, bed rest can actually slow your recovery.”

If you need to catch up on those extra zzz’s this weekend, follow the following tops tips from the BCA to ensure you can sleep soundly and safely:
· Your bed shouldn't be too hard or too soft. If you are lying on your side your spine should be parallel to the mattress and the mattress should not sag (bed too soft) or bow (bed too hard). Your pillow should be an extension of this i.e. your neck should be a continuation of the straight spine (not too high not too low).
· Hard mattresses are not always best – opt for firm but supportive. It is easier to make a hard mattress soft than a soft mattress hard, so if you your mattress is too hard – add an extra blanket or duvet to give yourself a softer surface to lie on.
· Try and adopt a sleeping position, which creates less physical stress on the back (e.g. lying on your side is better than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side!).
· Keep moving and avoid being in any one position for too long (no matter how comfy the position initially; the longer you stay in one position the more this will "load joints"). If your partner moves around a lot at nights try separate beds!! Your partner’s movement could aggravate YOUR back condition!
· Drink water and keep well hydrated (dehydration can make muscles ache).
· Remember to turn your mattress regularly this should be done at least every couple of months and will keep your bed in good condition.

If you are suffering from back pain, call the BCA on 0118 950 5950 or visit to find your nearest BCA chiropractor.


Press enquiries:
Julie Doyle/Liz Harding, icas PR
Tel: 020 7632 2400, Fax: 020 7240 2520, Email:

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