Can Weighted Blankets Cause Back Pain?

Can Weighted Blankets Cause Back Pain?

Weighted blankets are like a warm, cozy hug in blanket form. They’re popular for their potential to soothe anxiety, alleviate stress, and kick insomnia to the curb. But could this seemingly innocent relaxation tool be causing you a literal pain in the back?

Weighted blankets are filled with materials that add extra weight. This extra weight exerts pressure on the body, mimicking the sensation of being hugged or swaddled. This triggers the effects of deep pressure stimulation and the release of neurotransmitters that tell your brain to chill out and relax. Sounds blissful, right?

But this added weight can come with some unexpected side effects. Lingering soreness and back pain after weighted blanket use are common issues that many don’t consider before diving into the trend. 

Let’s talk about the connection between weighted blankets and back pain, and, more importantly, how you can reap the benefits without sacrificing your spinal health.

Is Your Weighted Blanket Causing Back Pain?

Can weighted blankets cause back pain? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Their added weight can lead to pressure and discomfort, particularly in the back, hips, and joints, along with other unpleasant side effects. If you’ve been experiencing lingering soreness after using a weighted blanket, the extra weight may be the cause.

Why Does My Back Hurt After Sleeping with a Weighted Blanket?

After a night of snuggling under your weighted blanket, waking up with lower back pain is frustrating and unexpected. Let’s explore some common reasons why your back might be hurting after using a weighted blanket.

Excessive Pressure

One of the main causes of back pain after weighted blanket use is the excessive pressure exerted on your entire body. Too much weight in certain areas can lead to lingering soreness and discomfort, especially in the lower back, shoulders, and hips.

Imagine carrying a heavy backpack for hours - the constant pressure on your shoulders and back eventually leads to pain and soreness. Sleeping under a weighted blanket that is too heavy or poorly distributed can place similar stress on your muscles and joints, causing the discomfort you’re feeling in the morning.

Restricted Movement

Another factor that may contribute to back pain after using a weighted blanket is restricted movement during sleep. While the pressure of a weighted blanket can feel comforting, it may also limit your ability to shift positions throughout the night. 

This restriction of movement can lead to back pain and stiffness in the morning. Keeping your muscles in a fixed position for hours places strain on your back and joints, especially if you tend to sleep on your stomach or in a fetal position. And the added weight of the blanket intensifies that pressure even further.

Pressure on Injured Areas

If you have an injury affecting your back, sleeping with a weighted blanket may worsen existing pain or discomfort by placing additional pressure on those areas. Whether you’re recovering from a strained muscle, dealing with arthritis, or managing a spinal issue, the added weight can intensify pain and inflammation, slowing healing and making it difficult to get comfortable.

Frequency of Use

Using a weighted blanket every night without taking breaks in between can lead to muscle fatigue and strain. If you’re using a weighted blanket every single night, back pain and discomfort may be a sign that you need to take a break.

Increased Risk for People with Pre-Existing Back Conditions

People with pre-existing back conditions, such as a herniated disk, sciatica, or spinal stenosis, should be especially cautious about using a weighted blanket. The added pressure and strain placed on the spine and surrounding muscles can worsen chronic pain in these areas.

If you have a pre-existing back condition, it’s important to consult with your doctor before incorporating a weighted blanket into your bedtime routine. Your doctor can provide personalized guidance on whether or not a weighted blanket is suitable for your specific condition.

The Signs of Back Pain Caused by a Weighted Blanket

Here are some common signs that may indicate your back pain is being caused by your weighted blanket.

  • Persistent soreness or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or shoulders upon awakening, even though you’ve never had back pain before.
  • Difficulty moving or discomfort when changing positions during sleep.
  • Increased pain or discomfort when using the weighted blanket frequently or for extended periods.
  • Tingling sensations or numbness in the arms, legs, or back.
  • Noticeable redness or indentation marks on the skin after using the weighted blanket.
  • Worsening of pre-existing back conditions or injuries, such as herniated discs or sciatica.
  • Disrupted sleep patterns due to back pain and discomfort. 

Tips to Avoid Back Pain with a Weighted Blanket

Here are some practical tips to help you enjoy the benefits of deep touch pressure while minimizing the risk of back pain and soreness.

Choose the Right Weight

Selecting the appropriate weight for your weighted blanket is key for avoiding excessive pressure on your back and joints. As a general rule, your weighted blanket should weigh less than 10% of your body weight. Heavier blankets may provide more intense sensations, but they present a much higher risk of causing back pain and joint discomfort.

Ensure Proper Positioning

When using a weighted blanket, ensure that it covers your body evenly without any folds that could create uneven pressure points. Avoid placing the weighted blanket directly over sensitive or injured areas.

Avoid Prolonged Use

Listen to your body and take breaks from using your weighted blanket if you experience back pain or discomfort. Prolonged use of a weighted blanket can lead to muscle fatigue and strain, particularly in the back and shoulders, even if you’ve never had back issues before.

Use a Weighted Pillow Instead

Consider exploring weighted pillows as a viable alternative to a weighted blanket if you’re experiencing back pain. Weighted pillows offer the same benefits of deep touch pressure stimulation without the risks because they’re used in a more localized and targeted way.

By hugging a weighted pillow or placing it on your chest while you sleep, you can experience the calming effects of deep pressure stimulation without the risk of putting excessive pressure on your lower back or shoulders. 

Our Original Weighted Pillow is available in three different weights and sizes to accommodate different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences. Weighted pillows are also portable, so you can take them with you wherever you go, from the couch to the office, and even your hotel room.

FAQs: Can Weighted Blankets Cause Back Pain?

Let’s delve into the answers to your frequently asked questions about weighted blankets and back pain.

How Do I Know If My Weighted Blanket Is Too Heavy?

If you’re experiencing discomfort or difficulty moving while using your weighted blanket, it may be too heavy. Pay attention to persistent soreness or strain in your muscles, particularly in your back, shoulders, and hips. 

Additionally, if you find it challenging to breathe comfortably or feel restricted or claustrophobic under the blanket, it may be too heavy for your body. Consider opting for a weighted pillow instead to alleviate these issues and ensure a safer, more comfortable night’s sleep.

Should I Consistently Wake Up Sore After Using a Weighted Blanket?

You should not consistently wake up sore after using a weighted blanket. While some initial discomfort may occur as your body adjusts to the added weight of a heavy blanket, persistent soreness or stiffness suggests that the blanket is not a good fit for you.

Listen to your body and consider adjusting the weight and distribution of the blanket to alleviate discomfort, or opt for a weighted pillow instead to minimize the risk of soreness and improve sleep quality.

Is Back Pain Caused By a Weighted Blanket Permanent?

Back pain caused by a weighted blanket is typically not permanent and can often be alleviated by reducing or eliminating weighted blanket use. Adjusting the duration of weighted blanket use or switching to a safer alternative like a weighted pillow should reduce the strain on your back and give it a chance to heal.

But if your back pain persists despite these adjustments, it’s worth a visit with your doctor to rule out any potential underlying causes of lower back pain.

Are Weighted Blankets Bad for Joints?

Weighted blankets aren’t suitable for everyone, and that includes people with joint issues or arthritis. The added weight of the blanket can exacerbate pressure on the joints, potentially leading to increased discomfort or pain. It’s best to consult with your healthcare provider to determine what is appropriate for your specific needs.

Relieve Anxiety and Sleep Better without Back Pain

While weighted blankets do offer many benefits for anxiety and better sleep, they also pose risks, including potential back pain and discomfort. Weighted pillows offer the same calming effects of deep touch pressure without the risks associated with a weighted blanket.

Quiet Mind’s Original Weighted Pillow is designed to deliver targeted, gentle, and effective pressure to promote relaxation and alleviate stress without restricting movement. Say goodbye to back pain and get a weighted pillow instead. Your spine will thank you!

The Original weighted Pillow

Never Hot or Claustrophobic

Easy To Move from Place To Place

Hug it Or Let it Hug You