For the roughly 31 million Americans currently suffering with low back pain, bedtime isn’t always something to look forward to. Lying still for hours on end can wreak havoc on preexisting back pain, leading to disrupted sleep. If sleepless nights are the norm, take heart—we’re breaking down the best (and worst) sleeping positions for back pain.
Sleeping on Your Stomach Could Trigger Back Pain
Let’s start with the troublesome positions. According to Everyday Health, certain positions can put undue pressure on your back. Nodding off while on your stomach happens to be one of the worst positions since it essentially flattens the spine’s natural curve. This, in turn, tends to stress the back muscles. What’s more, in order to sleep on your stomach, you have to turn your neck quite severely to one side. This, in itself, puts added stress on the neck, which can have a ripple effect on your back.
Be Mindful of How You Get In and Out of Bed
It isn’t just your sleep position that matters. WebMD reports that the way you get in and out of bed can also lead to back pain. When getting in for the night, they say to sit on the side of the bed while supporting yourself with both hands. Then bend your knees and tuck into your side. When getting out of bed in the morning, do it in reverse. Roll onto your side, then bend both knees before pushing yourself up with your hands. Then swing your legs off the side of the bed before standing up.
The Best Sleeping Positions for Back Pain
Now that you know what to avoid, and how to safely get in and out of bed, let’s talk about the best sleeping positions to stave off back pain. Settling in on your back or side is ideal. According to Healthline, sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees can be helpful because it better aligns your hips, spine and pelvis. Similarly, sleeping in a fetal position can be helpful for back pain since curving your spine naturally opens the space between your vertebrae.
No matter what position you sleep in, Healthline also reports that alignment is really the most important piece of the puzzle. If gaps between your body and the bed create additional tension, use a pillow to even out the space and support better alignment during the nighttime hours.
Is tossing and turning with back pain part of your nightly routine? Pain Stop North Phoenix specializes in non-surgical treatment options so that you can finally get a good night’s sleep. Invasive procedures and long recovery times don’t have to be your reality. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.