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The best sleeping positions for lower back pain

04 September, 2021 Anuja Sahi

Do you suffer from back discomfort in your lower back? You’re not the only one who feels this way. It can be difficult to obtain a decent night’s sleep when you have back pain. At the same time, how you sleep may aggravate the situation- while some sleep positions strain an already suffering back, others may provide relief.

Although there is a correlation between back discomfort and sleep issues, the connection is not well understood. What's more surprising is that the majority of back pain isn't caused by significant medical illnesses such as cancer or arthritis. Instead, improper posture, unpleasant sleeping positions, and other lifestyle behaviors can cause stress or strain.

Let us discuss some of the worst sleep positions for back pain

Some sleeping postures impose additional strain on your neck, shoulders, hips, lower back, knees, and even heels, causing pain. There is no one-size-fits-all sleep position for kicking back discomfort, but there are a few tactics you may attempt to keep it under control so you can get a better night’s sleep. However, sleeping on your stomach is one of the worst postures that flattens the natural curve of the spine, putting some extra strain on back muscles.

Adding more woes to it, sleeping on your stomach means that your neck is also rotated, which can lead to neck pain also.

It is normal to turn your position while sleeping, and it is good because a little movement can help decrease pressure on your back. Another cause that leads to back pain, is long and bad sitting posture. You must try to change your posture in waking hours frequently, to avoid severe back pain.

Sleep positions that help relieve back pain

  • Keep a pillow between your knees while sleeping on your side: If sleeping flat on your back is too unpleasant for you, try lying on your side:
    1. Allow your right or left shoulder, as well as the remainder of that side of your body, to make touch with the mattress.
    2. Between your knees, place a pillow
    3. Consider adding a small pillow to the gap between your waist and the mattress for further support.

Importance of sleeping in this position: You won’t feel any better if you just sleep on your side. The trick is to place a pillow between your knees. Your hips, pelvis, and spine will be better aligned and all thanks go to the pillow for this.

  • Try sleeping on your side in the fetal position: If you have a herniated disc, consider sleeping up in a foetal posture on your side:
    1. Rollover gently onto your side after lying on your back
    2. Curl your torso toward your knees and tuck your knees into your chest
    3. To avoid any imbalances, remember to switch sides from time to time.

How does this position help? The discs in your spine are soft cushions that sit between the vertebrae. When a portion of a disc moves out of its natural area, it causes nerve pain, weakness, and other symptoms. The gap between the vertebrae is opened by curling your torso into a foetal position.

  • Keep a pillow under your abdomen, while sleeping on your stomach: You must have heard that sleeping on your stomach is harmful to your back. This is somewhat true because it may induce neck strain. But if you find yourself comfortable sleeping on your stomach, you need not force yourself into another posture. However; you can:
    1. To reduce some of the pressure on your back, place a pillow beneath your pelvis and lower abdomen.
    2. You may or may not want to use a pillow under your head, depending on how you feel in this posture.

What is the value of this position? Stomach sleeping with a pillow may be especially beneficial for people with degenerative disc conditions. It might help to ease the strain on the space between your discs.

Choose the right pillow for your sleep

Your pillow should support the upper region of your spine by cradling your head and neck. The pillow should entirely occupy the gap between your neck and the mattress if you sleep on your back. However, if you sleep on your side, a thicker pillow will help you keep your head in line with the rest of your body. Do not place your pillows behind your shoulders, under any circumstances.

Other better sleep hygiene tips

  • Maintain a sleep schedule for yourself, and stick to that
  • Skip excessive intake of caffeine, like coffee
  • Skip hard exercise for the morning.