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How To Sleep To Reduce Back Pain

Can Your Mattress Cause Lower Back Pain

3 Best sleeping position for lower back pain relief

Because it is a principal means of supporting the body during sleep, a mattress can play an important role in preventing or reducing lower back pain.

Proper spinal alignment demands a mattress that is in good condition and doesnt sag excessively. Research supports using a medium-firm mattress to combat lower back pain, although the most appropriate firmness can vary based on a persons weight, body shape, sleeping position, and individual comfort preferences.

Dont Forget That Its A Mattress For Your Body

Yes, read reviews. Yes, try out and test as many mattresses as you can. But, as the Cleveland Clinic points out, the mattress you pick also depends on your body shape:

If your hips are wider than your waist, a softer mattress can accommodate the width of your pelvis and allow your spine to remain neutral. If your hips and waist are in a relatively straight line, a more rigid surface offers better support.

Keeping The Hips Stacked While Sleeping On The Sides

Lying on the side is the most common sleeping position but it can often pull the spine out of its position causing strain on the lower back. For side sleepers, placing a flat, firm pillow between the knees can prove to be effective. The pillow will help to align the hips with your lower spine and prevent the leg on the top to exert pressure on your pelvis or lower back. The support also helps in creating room for the spinal nerves and relieves stress from the lower spine. Also, make sure to use a head pillow to align your head with the shoulders.

To adopt this side sleeping position:

  • After lying on your bed, slowly roll on to your preferred side.
  • Place a pillow to support the neck and head.
  • Slightly pull up the knees and place a pillow between them.
  • For added support, you can place more pillows at the waist to fill any gap between the mattress and the body.

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Best Sleeping Positions For Back Pain

The best sleeping position for lower back pain is widely considered to be on your back. This position distributes the weight along the entire spine. Placing a pillow under your knees will help to maintain the natural curve of the spine.

For those who sleep on their side, placing a firm pillow between the knees helps to maintain the natural alignment of the hips, pelvis and spine. However, if you are a side sleeper, try to alternate sides. This will help to avoid muscle imbalance and perhaps even scoliosis. In addition, side sleeping in a curled-up fetal position may help those with herniated disc pain.

Lying on your stomach is considered the worst sleeping position for back pain. However, if it is difficult to change sleeping positions, place a thin pillow underneath your hips and stomach to improve the alignment of the spine.

Why Your Mattress May Be Causing Back Pain

How should i sleep with lower back pain

Weve talked a lot already about alignment and it can be very hard to get into a good position if your mattress is old and too soft. The best mattress for people with lower back pain is one that is in the medium-firm to firm range. This will give your body enough comfort while still giving your back sufficient support.

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Change Your Sleeping Style

Often people have their favorite way of sleeping but this may be causing your back issues. If you want to relieve your back issues then you need to consider changing your sleeping style. If you’re used to sleeping a specific way then this may feel a bit weird at first but you should persevere with it as it’ll soon feel much more normal.

Sleeping On The Back With Knee Support

Lying on the back is usually considered to be the best sleeping position for a healthy back.

This position evenly distributes weight the full length of the bodys largest surface. It also minimizes pressure points and ensures good alignment of the head, neck, and spine.

Placing a small pillow under the knees can provide additional support and help maintain the natural curve of the spine.

To adopt this sleeping position, a person should:

  • Lie flat on their back facing the ceiling, and avoid twisting the head sideways.
  • Position a pillow to support the head and neck.
  • Place a small pillow under the knees.
  • For extra support, fill in any other gaps between the body and mattress with additional pillows, such as beneath the lower back.
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    Have Increased Pain Sensitivity Or Pain Centralization

    Research shows many people with OA may experience centralized pain, which is often described as any pain that happens when the central nervous system doesnt process pain signals properly. This means someone with OA may still experience pain, despite having adequate treatment.

    Sleep disruption in healthy individuals amplifies pain perception and is associated with increased pain sensitivity, says Dr. Winiarska.

    Best Sleeping Positions For Lower Back Pain

    Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain Recovery

    Dr. Nayantara Santhi

    Dr. Nayantara Santhi holds an academic position at Northumbria University. After completing her Ph.D. at Northeastern University , she joined the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School as a post-doctoral fellow to research how sleep and circadian rhythmicity influence our cognitive functioning.

    By McKenzie HydeCertified Sleep Coach

    Lower back pain and poor sleep have a two-way relationship, meaning one intensifies the other. Back pain makes it difficult to get comfortable in bed, resulting in poor sleep and

    Lower back pain and poor sleep have a two-way relationship, meaning one intensifies the other. Back pain makes it difficult to get comfortable in bed, resulting in poor sleep and reduced muscle recovery, and thereby causing more back pain.

    Lower back pain is commonly caused by health conditions such as arthritis or herniated discs, muscle strains due to bad posture, improper lifting, and a poor sleeping position. Lets take a closer look at the best sleeping positions for lower back pain.

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    The Dangers Of Sleep Deprivation

    If you have inadequate sleep, you will likely have increased inflammation and low back pain. And finally, you will get depression if you do not have a good sleep, which also causes back pain.

    Therefore, you need to sleep well, which will make you painless many problems caused by lack of sleep are likely reduced when you have a good sleep.

    Sleep On Your Side With A Knee Pillow

    Chances are you’ve slept on your side many times. Unfortunately, this sleeping position can take your spine out of its proper position and strain your back. The good news is there’s an easy fix. All you have to do is put a pillow between your knees so you can raise your upper leg and restore your natural alignment.

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    Top 5 Correct Sleeping Positions To Reduce Back Pain

    It is unfortunately all too common for adults to experience chronic back pain. The source and cause of each individuals back problems might vary, but there are several sleep-related tweaks that can be made to reduce overall back pain in most cases, regardless of the underlying cause.

    An Atlanta orthopedic specialist would suggest that there are elements of your sleep routine that are having a negative effect on the back issues you suffer from. Thats why we recommend the following sleep positions to reduce the severity or even presence of the back pain.

    Simple Tips To Sleep With Lower Back Pain And Sciatica

    How To Sleep Tight With A Lower Back Pain

    The most prominent problem with this condition is that patients cant sleep with sciatica. Certain sleeping positions trigger the condition and make it worse, so people often try to find the optimum solution.

    1- Find The Best Position to Sleep In

    It takes a little bit of effort to find the best sleep position with sciatica. The consensus states that you should try to sleep on your back because that will keep the sciatic nerve furthest from irritation.

    However, the pain is relieved differently for everyone.

    You can also try sleeping on your side. Hold a pillow beneath you or use a tennis ball on the side to prevent yourself from rolling over to the painful side.

    2- Find The Best Surface to Sleep In

    It is suggested that the best surface to sleep with lower back pain is a firm surface, like a firm, orthopedically friendly mattress.

    In case you need to be sure about investing in a firm mattress, try lying down on the firmest mattresses in your house and see if they help with the pain.

    You can try the mattresses in your guest room or even flip your current mattress to get to the hard side.

    You can also try sleeping on the floor since it is the hardest surface you can sleep on. However, try to put a large towel, a sheet, or a mat underneath you to be away from germs.

    3- Keep Your Knees Elevated

    When you lift your knees, you minimize the pressure on the roots of the sciatic nerve.

    Lie on your back, raise your knees, and prop them up on a pillow.

    6- Take a Warm Bath

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    Add A Few Pillows For An Easy Fix

    Another easy and customizable way to improve your sleeping situation is to use pillows for additional support while sleeping.

    For back sleepers, place a pillow under your knees to bring your body back into natural alignment. If you sleep in the fetal position, WikiHow suggests using a pillow in between your knees to relieve lower back pain. Their illustration of this is below. Side sleepers should also make sure to alternate sides during the night.

    Reduce Back Pain By Sleeping Position

    2 Minute Read

    Theres nothing quite like a good nights sleep to leave you feeling refreshed in the morning. Unless, of course, you deal with back pain so uncomfortable it disrupts your sleep schedule.

    The average adult will spend approximately one-third of their life sleeping. Most people take this normal activity for granted, but for those with back pain, sleeping can often cause significant discomfort. Pain can keep you awake for hours at a time and can worsen other chronic conditions. However, it is possible to get a good nights rest and help relieve back pain with proper sleeping strategies.

    Its all about where and how you sleep. Finding the most supportive and comfortable sleeping position is vital when fighting back pain. Starting with the three most common sleeping positions, the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UPMC offers specific suggestions to reduce back pain and get you well-rested.

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    Dont Sleep On Your Stomach

    Sleeping on the stomach is really the worst sleep position because it puts too much strain on the muscles of your back.

    However, if you must sleep in that position, you can support the position more by sleeping with a pillow beneath your pelvis and lower abdomen. And always make sure the pillow is underneath your head and neck, never under your shoulders.

    Best Sleeping Position For Lower Back Pain

    How to Sleep with Lower Back Pain

    Lower back pain afflicts most adults in industrialized countries at some point in their lives. It has been estimated that, in the United States alone, nearly 150 million work days per year are lost due to back pain.1

    Anyone that has experienced lower back pain might not be surprised by these numbers. However, there is hope: the way you position your body at night can decrease your lower back pain. That is why it is important to learn the best sleeping position for lower back pain.

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    Why Your Mattress Matters For Back Pain

    If youre waking up with back pain, you may be sleeping on the wrong mattress. However, your bed is typically not the cause of back pain. In any case, a good mattress can help relieve issues that cause back pain.

    A good mattress that is well suited to your needs will help to align your spine. This alignment can alleviate aches and pains. People who suffer from lower back pain should look for a mattress that doesnt put pressure on pain points, particularly the shoulders and sacrum. These beds are typically firm enough that your shoulders dont sink, but soft enough to feel comfortable. Look for a 5-7 rating on the mattress firmness scale .

    Sleep On The Front With Your Head Down

    If you sleep on the front with your head facing one side, you may twist your spine and put unnecessary stress on your back, neck, and shoulders. You can prevent this by simply lying with your face down. It’s also a good idea to use a small pillow under your stomach and another one to lift up your forehead.

    If you’re unsure of which position is right for you, try several of them. Eventually, you’ll find one that brings you the most comfort and pain relief.

    All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

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    Therapy For Chronic Insomnia

    If depression and anxiety are affecting your sleep, speaking with a mental health professional can help. Together, you can discuss behavior-oriented solutions, in addition to any medications, to help address any worry or rumination interfering with sleep. For example, you may decide to try writing in a worry journal before bed to let go of any persistent thoughts or stressors preventing you from sound slumber.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy for Insomnia may also be recommended. A course of CBT-I includes education about sleep and the factors affecting it, components that aim to improve behaviors around sleep and bedtime, and cognitive components that aim to reduce unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, worries and anxiety about sleep, says Dr. Whibley.

    Acute Lower Back Pain

    The Best Sleep Positions to Fix Your Lower Back Pain

    Acute lower back refers to short-term back pain in which the symptoms only last for a few days or a few weeks. This type of back pain is usually connected to an event or injury that caused trauma to your back.

    There isnt a lasting effect on your mobility, and the pain tends to fade without much intervention. For example, this type of pain may require a mild prescription, but you wont require surgery or intense pain killers. These injuries are often treated at home.

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    On Sleeping And Back Pain

    Back pain when lying in bed or when getting up the next morning is not normal. All back pain has a cause. The key to the successful management of back pain is to understand the cause and remove it. Then the task is to restore a robust back that thrives on a variety of activity. Here are some thoughts that are founded in science and clinically proven.

    The second common mechanism for night pain is from spinal joints that have experienced a loss of height. The height loss allows micro-movements to occur between vertebra as you roll over or change position. Specifically the height loss reduces the structural stability of the joint allowing sharp pain triggers with each joint micro movement. For those who have sharp pain when rolling over will benefit from stabilization exercises performed during the day together with sitting with a lumbar back support.

    The second part of the solution is to create an exercise program that encourages the body to adapt to handle the specific stressors of a personâs life in a pain-free way. The skeleton is really a linkage formed by links with joints. This linkage functions best when some joints have appropriate mobility and other joints have appropriate stiffness and stability. These specific exercises create movement patterns to optimize both stability and mobility. Then the exercises are programmed to encode these pain free patterns into the personâs muscle memory to make them their movement habits.

    Special Cautions For Moms

    When youre sleeping for two, you need as much quality rest as you can get. The very notion of sleeping on your stomach is laughable late into your pregnancy, but youll want to avoid it early on, too. That extra weight around the middle will increase the pull on your spine.

    Also, your baby will have more room if he or she isnt forced to squeeze in between your spine and the mattress. A

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    Spine Experts Explain What Causes Back Pain When You Sleep And What You Can Do To Wake Up With A Healthy Spine

    Save this to read later.

    Back pain is one of the most common types of pain reported in the United States. Most people up to eight out of 10 will have at least one episode of back pain during their lives. While various factors contribute to back pain, how you sleep from your sleep position to the pillow or mattress you choose can be a cause.

    Pain and sleep are interconnected. Back pain can make it harder to get a good nights sleep, while some research shows that insufficient sleep can exacerbate pain in addition to causing other health problems, from impaired focus to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has only made matters worse. Disrupted daily routines and anxiety about the pandemic have fueled insomnia, while working from home without proper office equipment has caused more people to experience back and neck aches and pains.

    Health Matters spoke to Dr. Clark Smith, a neck and back pain medicine specialist with NewYork-Presbyterian Och Spine, and Dr. Kelly Grimes, a physical therapist with Columbia University Irving Medical Center, about what causes sleep-related back pain and what you can do to prevent it.


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