If you feel that your sleeping position is aggravating your back pain, doctors recommend considering it to another comfortable position. Changing or taking the time to find the right sleeping position can help you sleep better and avoid problems while awake. See if sleeping with your back straight is comfortable for you as a starting point.
Exercising yourself and sleeping on your back can be a challenge, but the benefits are worth the effort. Here in this article, we have provided you with expert recommendations for the best sleeping position in general, depending on individual needs, from neck and back pain to sciatica and sleep apnea, etc..
How to use your sleeping position to get relief from back pain?
As soon as the light goes out and the head touches the pillow, the stimuli that have held your attention throughout the day will evaporate and you will tend to focus on your back pain. A poor sleeping position can exacerbate the pain because it puts unnecessary pressure on the back, neck, and hips.
The curvature of the lower back, which mimics the natural curve of the spine, occurs when you sleep in the fetal position on your side. Sleeping on your back with your knees resting on a cushion can relieve pressure from the spine and relieve pain if you suffer back pain. In general, lateral sleepers should avoid this position for people with back pain, but can benefit from the way it stretches the intervertebral discs in the spine.
The best sleeping position for back pain is to sleep straight and sleep in a natural position that maintains the natural curvature of your spine and that keeps your head, shoulders, and hips in line. Sleeping with a straight back causes the tongue to be at the back of the mouth, resting on the back and throat, blocking the airways.
To reduce the pressure, the Mayo Clinic suggests placing a pillow between the legs and pulling the legs closer to the chest. If you sleep with your head held high, an adjustable bed can help you bend at a 30-45 degree angle, as this can relieve neck and other joint pain during sleep.
What role does a pillow play in finding the right sleeping position to eliminate back pain?
You can sleep on your intact side with a support pillow between your knees. Lie on your back, place a pillow across your chest and roll your arms around your chest for support. If you have hip pain, you can also try sleeping with your back straight and legs spread, which can help alleviate some of the strain.
If you prefer to sleep on your side and stretch your upper knees and legs, you can create an H-shape by placing a pillow between the two knees. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow to support your knees and consider a pillow or a fluffy towel on your hips.
The pillow you use to sleep should be firm enough to support the natural curves of your neck. It should support your neck at an angle that allows you to fall back without waking up with neck or shoulder pain. The pillow should also allow you to switch between sleeping on both sides, whether it is the right or the left side.
A good pillow for sleeping in the back keeps the head on the spine and the face staring at the ceiling. Staying in this position helps to avoid neck pain and allows you to enjoy the benefits of sleeping on your back.
If like most desk workers, you have tight knee joints or hip flexors, you can put a small pillow under your knees to release the tension in your lower back. Take the pillow method we mentioned in the above steps, but if you feel like it, surround yourself with them, because that is what you will need to sleep on your back. Place a pillow behind your head, under your arms, between your knees, and to the side of your stomach.
Some tips to sleep in the right manner to end back pain
There is not a single sleeping position that works best for each person, but for those with a pulled back muscles, the best place to start testing is sleeping on the side. Here are some good tips to follow that are generally helpful when trying to sleep to end your back pain.
- If you have not had a back or side sleeper, sleeping in the fetal position is preferable to belly sleep.
- Sleepers who have not switched to dormant sleep are encouraged to use pillows under their knees. Put the pillow between the knees, straighten the hip flexors and neutralize the spine. It may be necessary to place the pillow slightly above the knees to prevent the back from arching.
- If possible, try to sleep on your stomach so that your spine can be aligned and pain-free.
- Snoozing on the side can help to give the spine a break from tension, keeping the head down all day while standing or sitting. Side sleep also relieves the sciatic nerve, so if you sleep on the side, it hurts less.
- Avoid rolling into a fetal position during sleep, where the knees are pulled into the body as the body lengthens. Instead, pull a narrow cushion below the knees to support the natural curvature of the spine.
- Sleep-assisted lateral sleep is considered to be the most ergonomic, as belly sleep tends to be associated with pain. It allows weight distribution and prevents pressure points. Among the conditions that bring more relief with proper lateral sleep are osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and herniated discs, as they reduce the pressure on the vertebral joints.
- The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to breathe lying on our backs because gravity presses on the body. Switching to a lateral sleeping position may be a better option for heavier or older persons.
- Gastric sleep has several disadvantages and is not recommended for most people. While it provides the smallest back support for any sleeping position, the increased pressure on the spine can cause pain when you wake up.
To sum up
The best sleeping position for your back pain is one that feels comfortable for you, says Neel Anand, MD, professor of orthopedic surgery and director of spinal trauma at Cedar Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles. Changing your sleeping position is unlikely to cure your back pain, but Dr. Womack says it can help. Before going to sleep, look at the recommended ideal position best suited for your back health.
So try using these tips we have given above and find out the best sleep position for yourself that you are comfortable in and which also as well helps you in getting some relief from your back pain.