Persistent Back Pain? Try a New Sleeping Position!


Sleep is essential. A time to forget all your daily worries and let your mind wander to blissful dreamland while your body recharges its batteries.

You know your brain can feel foggy with lack of sleep, but sleeping in a bad position can have a real physical toll. While you’re getting that much needed shut eye, certain hormones wake up and encourage tissue growth. You want to make sure your body is well positioned to allow the recovery of underlying injuries or tired muscles.

Have you ever wondered how much time you spend sleeping?

For a whole third of your life you will be sound asleep! That roughly translates to 25-27 years for the average person. So, thinking about it, if you’re going to spend that much time horizontal, you want to choose the right position to compliment your back-health while you’re catching those precious Zs.

We’re taking a look at the good, the bad and the ugly: three of the most common sleeping positions people adopt while snoozing.

Back sleepers

This is the best sleeping position for your back as it maintains your native spinal alignment. Although it may feel unnatural, sleeping on your back without a pillow under your neck will really help maintain your spine in a neutral position. It can even be an instant cure for those suffering from back, shoulder or neck pain.

For lower back pain we highly recommend propping a pillow under your knees. This small adjustment works to keep your spine’s natural curve and your back will feel more supported.

Extra bonus for this position: Lying on your back means your face isn’t squished against a pillow, so this in theory means fewer wrinkles!

Side sleeper

Side sleepers

This is by far the most popular sleeping position. Many spice it up by cuddling a pillow or curling right up into a ball. This position is good if your spine is well aligned but it’s easy for your body to twist when sleeping on your side.

-Make sure your pillow is thick enough to bring your neck level with your spine. 

-You could also insert a pillow in between your knees to avoid hip-twisting.

Front sleepers

Front sleeper

This is a definite no-go.

Sleeping on your front puts excess pressure on your spine and your neck twists and strains as you attempt to breath evenly. Many tummy sleepers will wake with neck or lower-back pain.

If lying on your stomach is really the only way you can sleep, we do have a couple of suggestions to reduce the stress on your spine.

-Place a thin pillow under your stomach to bring your spine level with your head.

-Bend one knee and place it to the side. Prop this leg up with a pillow to alleviate pressure on your spine.

Sleeping is a very personal experience, so you should sleep in whichever positions you feel comfy. If you would like to get into the habit of sleeping on your back to optimise your spine health, at Spinal Care Clinics in Brentwood, we recommend using positioning pillows. Insert these under your knees or down your sides. The idea is to put a physical soft barrier that will stop you from turning in your sleep. This technique is very affective, and, with time, you should be able to adopt a back-sleeper’s pose.

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