What is the best sleeping position for back pain?
The 5 sleeping positions I recommend are what have helped me to keep back pain at bay. They served me through 4 pregnancies, when I injured my back by lifting something heavy without using my knees, and when my sciatica nerve started acting up.
Back pain is often one of the top reasons people complain about, not only that, but it is also one the leading cause of disabilities worldwide. Most people over the world will experience back at least once in their lifetime.
This type of pain isn’t limited to young or old, man or woman. It can affect anyone at any age.
Bedtime is when back pain makes itself heard. During our quiet times when there are no other distractions around is when we get distracted by pain experienced in our body.
We often toss and turn all night long, which makes the back pain even worse then what it may have been before we went to sleep. There are some proper sleeping positions which may lessen back pain so you can get a good night sleep.
Some of the symptoms of back pain are:
- Radiating pain down the leg
- Aching Muscles
- Worsening pain when bending, lifting, standing or walking
- Improvement of pain only when reclining
- Stabbing pain which shoots in all directions
Back pain can come on suddenly lasting no longer than six weeks, which means it acute, or it can last longer than three months, which leads to it being chronic.
Causes of back pain:
- Sciatica nerve acting up
- Lifting weight without using the Knees
- A herniated disc in the back
- Spine misalignment
- Arthritis or osteoporosis
Being acute or chronic, it will still disrupt your sleep. You will still need to pay attention to your sleeping positions to minimize the pain to ensure a good deep sleep at night.
Sleep With A Pillow Between Your Knees
When back pain becomes an issue, using a pillow is the most affordable and straightforward solution which can provide some relief.
When lying on your side in a fetal position, with a pillow between your needs, it helps keep the spine in alignment. This will also reduce stress on the hips, which is another cause for back pain.
A pillow that has the right firmness will prevent the upper leg from pulling the spine out of a neutral position.
One of the things you want to make sure is that the pillow resting underneath your head is thick enough to align your head with your spine. Your hipbones should be stacked right on top of each other so that your spine remains in a neutral position.
Benefits of placing a pillow between your legs are:
- Eliminates pressure from your hips
- Prevents rotation of the hips while working to keep them in alignment
- Excellent for people who suffer lower back pain or leg pain
- Helps those with breathing issues
- Works to improve blood circulation
Sleep on Your Back
By sleeping on your back, you allow your spine and neck to be in alignment without any forced angles of sleeping. It’s not a very preferred position for most people; by far, it’s still one of the best positions to sleep in if you are dealing with back pain.
Not only that, but people who sleep on their backs tend to have fewer wrinkles on their faces.
When you are sleeping on your back, there is no extra pressure on your head, neck, and spine. This sleeping position also helps to deflect acid reflux.
However, those who have breathing issues; this may not be the best position for them as their tongue can block the breathing tube.
You may want to use a wedge pillow to help with acid reflux so that you can sleep on your back to decrease back pain.
Sleep On Your Stomach
Even though sleeping on your stomach may be considered one of the less desired sleeping positions, for those who struggle with back pain, this may be perfect for them.
Those who have herniated disc or degenerative disc disease will find it most beneficial sleeping on their stomach.
You may want to use a flat pillow for the head maybe even consider sleeping without one. But remember to place a slim pillow underneath the stomachs and hips, which will help to improve your spinal alignment.
Not only does sleeping on your stomach help with back pain, but it also may help to ease snoring by shifting obstructions from the airway.
Sleep In A Loose Fetal Position
Almost half of the population of the world chooses to sleep in a fetal position. It is one of the most common found positions preferred by adults.
This position is especially helpful to women who are pregnant. It helps to improve circulation in the woman’s body as well as in the fetus. It will also stop the uterus from pressing against your liver, which is on your right side. People who snore will also benefit.
The fetal position should be a loose, free sleeping position. People who sleep too tight in this position may end up having breathing issues and wake up with back pain.
Sleep In A Reclining Position By Using Wedge Pillows
Sleeping in a reclining position by using wedge pillows helps with acute and chronic back pain. When you sleep in a reclining position, you take the pressure off your spine, which allows your core muscles to rest. In the process of doing this, they heal and become stronger.
Many people use reclining chairs, but if you prefer being in your room for sleep, placing the wedge pillows on your bed may be exactly what you need to sleep.
Aside from those people who suffer back pain, individuals with spinal issues such as the lumbar spinal stenosis or osteoarthritis will also benefit from sleeping in a recliner.
The reason this sleeping position helps a person with back pain is that it elevates their head and knees to give them a more comfortable, refreshing night’s rest.
Not only are you going to be helped with your back pain, but it will also help to reduce sleep apnea, which is a breathing issue when going to sleep. It will also help to reduce the risk of heartburn, another common problem that pops up when going to sleep.
Pregnant women will also find this position a good sleeping position as it takes the stress off back pain as well as the discomfort from the weight of their unborn baby.
Get A Good Mattress
To deal with back pain effectively, you will need the right mattress for a bad back which helps to alleviate pain successfully. The right type of mattress will also accommodate the different sleeping positions for you to get the best rest.
The mattresses we have reviewed all conform to your body to aid in the alignment of your spine. By having a mattress conform to your body, it allows the more substantial parts to sink down while the lighter parts of you stay up.
Find The Best Pillow
Pillows, when chosen appropriately, allow for the best positioning of the body possible. When your body is aligned where your spine is in neutral, recovery is achievable.
When you choose a pillow which will help your back pain, there are several things you will need to watch out for:
- Pillow thickness
- Pillow material
- Pillow shape retention
- Pillow temperature neutrality
The pillow I would recommend is the Malouf Z ZonedDough Gel-Infused Memory Foam. This pillow is made from soft memory foam which has been air infused. It will conform to your head as well as between the knees to give your spine the best alignment possible.
It has ventilation holes in it, which helped circulate the air, this allows the pillow to be more cooling than other memory foam models.
It is durable and has a life span of three years or more. You can get this pillow in low, medium as well as high loft options to accommodate your best sleeping positions for your back.
When pressed down upon, the pillow recovers its shape quite efficiently. Meaning you will never have to fluff it up back into shape.
This pillow comes with a five-year warranty.
Visit Your Dr. To Rule Out Serious Issues
Visiting your doctor is one of the most recommended things when dealing with back pain. Sure you could try any of these positions, get a good mattress or the right pillow.
But if you’re back pain is to the point where you can not get any sleep; then it’s time to your doctor.
Your doctor will help to rule out any serious issues. Sometimes anxious thoughts can also disturb sleep, especially if we’re in pain. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If pain lasts for more than two weeks, please see your doctor.
Remember, alignment is key; each of the sleeping positions I have gone over all encourage spinal alignment. Although the positions encourage spinal alignment, make sure that you focus specifically on aligning our ears, shoulders, and hips.
Best sleeping position for back pain that needs not be complicated? Find the one that suits you the most to use for your benefit.
Share below on what position you sleep in to deal with back pain.
Reading is my favorite thing to do. But other than reading, I enjoy discovering new techniques on how to do something in simpler methods. My daughter likes to call me the Renaissance woman. So I do have to live up to the name.
One of my main issues is sleeping, so I’m always searching for new ways to get a good night sleep, I’m more than happy to share them with you.
My posts are either geared towards pain or self-help. Pain posts because I suffer from ongoing cancer pain. In the past 6 years of my fight with cancer, I have learned many ways to deal with pain, especially when going to bed.
The self-help posts come from my work as a mental health counselor for over 15+ years. My background in counseling training is from UFV and RRU. I also have personal trainer certification from IFA, so I might throw in some exercise posts as well.