The Right & Wrong Sleeping Positions for Back Pain According to Chiropractors

The Right & Wrong Sleeping Positions for Back Pain According to Chiropractors

The Right & Wrong Sleeping Positions for Back Pain According to Chiropractors 1280 853 Msk Therapy

With our ever-changing modern-day lifestyles, it’s getting harder and harder to get enough sleep at night. In fact, the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night seems like a far-fetched dream for so many people who either work long hours, night shifts or simply find themselves glued to a screen instead of going to bed at a reasonable hour. Regardless of which end of the sleep spectrum you fall between (due to work timings or bad bedtime habits), the last thing you need is a nagging pain in your body that keeps you up and cuts into your already shortened sleep cycle. More importantly, not sleeping well at night will eventually take a huge toll on your health and body; therefore, it is crucial to address issues that are interfering with your sleep.

Today, we are talking about improper sleep positions that are likely causing you pain and discomfort, thus taking away precious sleep time. Additionally, we are sharing the most optimal sleep positions for those of you who suffer from back pain. So, read on for the best advice on sleep positions as told by our expert chiropractors!

Sleeping Positions to Avoid

Knowing what sleep positions you should avoid is just as important as knowing which ones are correct. Particularly for people who are already experiencing back pain or body soreness, it is critically important to avoid aggravating the symptoms with improper sleeping positions. 

Let’s take a look at some common, incorrect sleeping positions that cause back pain.

Flat on Your Stomach

This is considered to be the worst possible sleeping position and yet, it is a very common one. Many individuals prefer to sleep flat on their stomachs which forces their head to be turned to one side for many hours at a time. There are various ways in which these particular body and head positions affect the spine and cause back and neck pain. The primary reason is that your spine is completely flattened while sleeping on your stomach, thus putting excess pressure on your lower back. Your cervical spine is also affected due to your head facing one direction for a prolonged period of time.

Other ill-effects of sleeping flat on your tummy may include damage to your neck muscles, misalignment of your neck and back, excess pressure on your spinal cord which can cause headaches, and pain, numbness, and tingling in the neck and upper back region.

For anyone who spends a lot of time sleeping on their stomach most nights, waking up with a stiff neck, and mild to severe lower back pain is quite common. 

Keeping Your Legs in Awkward Positions

Another common and ‘comfortable’ sleeping position for many is sleeping on one side with your top leg bent at the knee and raised forward while the other leg is tucked underneath and extended towards the foot of the bed. This leaves your spine twisted, and misaligns your pelvis and hips, the results of which lead to an added strain on surrounding muscles in these regions.

Similarly, when one leg is higher than the other, it throws your hips out of line, thus causing your lower back to bear more pressure. If you have existing pain or injuries such as a herniated disc, this sleep position will aggravate the condition and cause you more pain.

Recommended Sleep Positions for Back Pain

Nagging pain in your upper or lower back can really get you down; however, when it starts to keep you up at night, that’s generally when you might consider seeking treatment for the same. Upon visiting a chiropractor, there is a good chance that you will be advised to change your sleeping position and adopt one or more that are intended to relieve back pain and keep your spine healthy

With that in mind, here are the best and recommended sleeping positions for back pain.

Flat on Your Back

When you’re flat on your back, your spine is not twisted in any way (something it tends to endure for most of the day). In fact, the key to relieving back pain is to realign your spine and support its natural curves. In order to do this, sleeping flat on your back isn’t enough; you need to go one step further and raise your neck and knees (slightly) with the help of small rounded pillows placed underneath. This sleeping position ensures that there is no unnecessary stress placed on your spine while giving your muscles a chance to relax and recover too.

Sleeping on Your Sides

If you are more comfortable sleeping on either of your sides or simply want to change your position from flat on your back to your side, it is important to remember not to twist your spine. With the right approach, you can keep your spine aligned and alleviate the stress placed on your lower back. To do this, simply place a pillow between your knees and ensure that one leg isn’t raised or extended beyond the other. It should also be noted that the pillow (between your knees) must be firm while the level of thickness is enough to keep your hips in line (if you feel a drop in your hips while sleeping on your side, that means the pillow is not thick enough). Additionally, the pillow under your head must also be thick enough the maintain alignment between your hips/pelvis and neck/back. 

Fetal Sleeping Position

If your back pain is associated with pinched nerves or a herniated disc, then the fetal sleeping position is definitely advised. This is because, even though your spine is not in a natural position, it will alleviate the pressure that triggers a pinching pain in the back. With that said, the fetal sleeping position is not recommended for individuals who do not have a condition related to spinal cord pressure or compressed vertebrae.

Having knowledge of the right and wrong sleeping positions for back pain is crucial in alleviating any related symptoms you may be experiencing. For more advice on the best sleeping positions or chiropractic treatment for back pain, schedule an in-house consultation with one of our experts at MSK Therapy today!