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How To Stop Back Pain When Sleeping

Pillow Use For Stomach Sleepers

Back Pain – Sleeping Position – STOP THIS â?

Stomach sleeping, also known as prone sleeping, is a very problematic sleep posture. Stomach sleepers put too much pressure and unnecessary tension on their rotator cuff tendons, facet joints, stomach, neck, spinal cord, and back muscles. Medical professionals advise patients to avoid it altogether. The sleeping posture also requires the neck to be rotated to one side for breathing purposes, further increasing your risks of getting a stiff neck.

Pillows do not do a good job of support with this position. However, you can try putting a flat pillow under your stomach to increase the length of your lower back curve. This further relaxes the muscles and rotator cuff tendons. You can try propping your head with a pillow to retain your bodys natural alignment during your sleep.

Correct positioning is essential to ease back pain. Although pillows may be effective, they often fall out of place during sleep. The best way to eliminate, or at least curb, upper back pain is to ensure a good nights sleep. That is best achieved by using an adjustable bed frame that can put the spine in a neutral position that does not strain the vertebrae, muscles, or joints. A good mattress is also essential. It should cushion the bodys joints. The best way to avoid upper back pain after sleeping is by ensuring you get a good restorative sleep every night.

Find The Right Position

Certain sleeping positions can help ease your back pain, so find one that is most comfortable for you. Try sleeping with a pillow between or underneath your legs for extra support.

If you sleep on your side, put the pillow between your knees and draw them up slightly toward your chest. If you like to sleep on your back, try the pillow under your knees, or roll up a small towel and place it under the small of your back.

Avoid sleeping on your stomach because it puts a lot of strain on your back. If itâs the only position you can fall asleep in, put a pillow under your stomach to take some of the pressure off your back. Or, to break the habit, wear a sleep shirt with a pocket in front and put a tennis ball in it.

The Best And Worst Sleeping Positions Depend On Your Pain

The first thing to know is that the best sleeping position to ward off pain varies from person to person. Itll take some experimenting to find out what works best for you, but you can narrow down positions to avoid based on the body part thats giving you trouble.

Generally, if you have neck pain, the worst position would be sleeping on your stomach, because when youre sleeping on your stomach, you have a preferential side where youre rotated, Pham explains. Spending the entire night with your head turned to that same side can lead to neck issues over time, even if it feels comfortable as youre falling asleep.

If your back is the issue, particularly your lower back, sleeping on your back can often make it worse, especially if you have a softer mattress.

Most peoples center of mass is more around their hip area. That makes the mattress crease down, Pham says. So essentially, when you sleep on your back, youd be sleeping in a low-angled V. If you already have back pain, that angle could exacerbate it because it puts your lower spine in a flexed position.

Whether you have low-back or neck pain, the position where many of Phams patients find the most success is on their side. But, of course, theres a catch: This strategy tends to work best when you rotate the side you sleep on regularly.

If you consistently sleep on one side, you may find that one side of your body is tighter over timeits an issue you can get ahead of, but more on that later.

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Massage Chair For Sciatica

Its estimated 30 million people with sciatica pain seek alternative treatments like a massage to relieve back pain. This astounding figure has led to the introduction of massage chairs. They have built-in robotics that provides deep tissue massage. A massage chair is designed to give a smooth relaxation by performing vigorous massage techniques. Other than that, it stimulates blood flow to the problem area and revitalizes the massage area. But the most beneficial aspect of a massage chair is to increase the endorphin levels. These are the good feel hormones that reduce anxiety and increase pain.

There are two questions you should ask yourself when choosing a massage chair for sciatica: why do I want one? How much do I want to spend? Obviously, you should buy a chair that allows you to customize your massage. No matter the kind of chair youre looking for, be sure to compare the top-rated products. Try it out and evaluate whether it will meet and exceed your expectations.

Find The Best Mattress For Lower Back Pain For You

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If its in the cards financially for you to buy a better mattress, follow these suggestions:

  • The best mattress for lower back pain is the one that feels best for you people may debate over hard mattresses, soft mattresses, or the perfect sleep number, but the truth is that whatever feels good is the best option for you, as long as it encourages proper alignment
  • Make sure the mattress you select allows the spine to rest in its natural alignment, as if you were standing straight
  • Overall, most suggest a medium-firm mattress for reducing lower back pain but side sleepers tend to prefer softer mattresses and back sleepers tend to prefer firmer mattresses
  • Try different types of cushioning and support, from solid foam mattresses to memory foam to those that use steel coils

Try out several mattress options out at the store and see which one you like. Consider ones that you dont think youd like. Be adventurous. And dont be shy: take your shoes off and hop on for a few minutes while relaxing in your usual sleeping position. Considering most people sleep for one-third of their lives, investing in a good, comfortable mattress is critical to not only improving quality of sleep, but also helping to reduce back pain.

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Other Sleep Hygiene Tips

Here are some other ideas for how you can get better rest at night and reduce your back pain:

Put yourself on a sleep schedule. It may be hard to resist sleeping in if you toss and turn all night. Still, setting regular bedtimes and wake times can help your body fall into a more natural sleeping pattern. Aim to get around eight hours of sleep per night.

Having trouble with a sleep schedule? Try following a nightly routine. Start this routine about 30 to 60 minutes before your set bedtime. Choose two soothing activities that help put your mind into a relaxing space.

Ideas include taking a bath, doing some gentle yoga, and engaging in quiet hobbies like reading or knitting.

Skip caffeinated drinks like coffee and other stimulants. If you just have to drink a cup, finish your last one before noon.

Save hard exercise for the morning or early afternoon hours. Doing anything too rigorous before bed may raise your adrenaline levels and even your body temperature. These two factors make it even harder to sleep.

If you dont already have a primary care doctor, the Healthline FindCare tool can help you find a physician in your area.

For pain relief

Use an ice or a cold gel pack before hopping into bed. It may help reduce inflammation in your back and relieve pain. Apply the cold pack to your back for 15 to 20 minutes before sleep.

Prevent Back Pain During The Day

Ultimately, its not just about how you sleep. Your posture and activity during the day has a significant effect on muscles that may wind up feeling sore no matter what position you sleep in.

During the day, focus on maintaining good posture at work and taking frequent breaks to get up and stretch.

This might mean the difference between waking up feeling like you need a visit to a massage therapist and getting out of bed ready to take on the day.

Do you have any tips or tricks for avoiding back pain due to sleep? Share them with us in the comments section!

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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.
  • How To Sleep With Lower Back Pain And Sciatica

    How To Sleep To Avoid Back And Neck Pain

    Lets be honest: its the sleeping posture that introduces back pain and not the sleeping position. The secret to relieving sciatica pain is to keep your spine relaxed. Regardless of the sleeping position you choose, you should ensure the spine is aligned to the hips. This maintains the natural curve of the spine. Its all about the geometry in our body.

    One way to sleep with sciatica pain is to lie on your side in the fetal position. Simply tuck your knees close to the chest and curl your torso. Make sure you switch sides to prevent imbalance. Another way is to sleep on your back in a reclined position. In most cases, back sleepers are unable to maintain the natural curve of the spine. To keep your back straight, you should use proper support pillows. When you recline your back, an angle is created between your thighs and the trunk to reduce pressure on the spine. If youre a stomach sleeper you should place a small pillow below your belly to relieve pressure on the lower back. That way, your spine will maintain the natural curve which is beneficial to patients with back pain.

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    Suffering From Lower Back Pain In The Morning After Sleeping

    If you are suffering from lower back pain in the morning after sleeping, it is better to preserve the natural curve of your spine. The middle part between the shoulders should be higher than the upper part between the head and neck. This is important to remember.

    Even though there is no substitution for a firm mattress, it still needs to be softer on one side than the other so you can easily turn yourself from one side to another during sleep time. For people who suffer from chronic lower back pain due to sleeping in the same position every night, it is a good practice to change the sleeping position on different sides of the bed every night.

    Not everyone can afford a new mattress, so make sure that you recognize, as side sleepers, that you need to change positions often. A good nights sleep isnt easy when your sleep quality is low.

    For patients who are suffering from chronic pain, it is necessary to keep their spine in a natural position while sleeping. Hence, it is a good idea for them to have a suitable mattress that helps their lower back pain after waking up. A memory foam mattress is an excellent choice when dealing with chronic conditions.

    It has the highest level of viscosity, which is different from traditional viscoelastic materials. In addition to offering a comfortable sleeping environment, a memory foam mattress can help lower back pain in the morning after sleeping and increase the quality of your sleep AND your quality of life. It really is a good mattress.

    Surround Yourself With Pillows

    If you are an active sleeper and are worried about rolling from your back onto your side or stomach soon after you fall asleep, there are measures you can take to help prevent this. Try placing pillows around your midsection and hips. These pillows can help prevent you from rolling over during the night. However, this might not be a viable option for those who share the bed, as it can take up a significant amount of bed space.

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    Why Sleep Issues Cause Back Pain

    Sleeping on your stomach may be comfortable for some, but it is generally considered one of the worst sleeping positions. Sleeping on your stomach compresses your organs and soft tissues against the weight of your back, hindering your breathing. Your lower back is also pulled down in an uncomfortable arch, putting strain on the low back muscles. Sleeping with a pillow under your pelvis may help keep your spine from overarching and causing unnecessary discomfort.

    Side sleeping is the preferred position for most people, but it also comes with a few caveats. While this position may be better at keeping your spine aligned, your sleep can still be interrupted by neck or back pain without proper support. To help ward off back problems while sleeping on your side, make sure you have a supportive pillow for your neck. You can also place a second pillow between your knees to help keep your hips aligned with your spine.

    Back sleeping is considered one of the best ways to sleep, but even back sleepers may have issues keeping their spine in proper alignment, especially if theyre sleeping on an old unsupportive mattress. When sleeping on your back, place a pillow under the knees to help keep the natural curve of your spine and avoid late night low back pain.

    Learning how to address and manage your stress levels throughout the day can make a huge difference in both pain levels and quality of sleep.

    Other factors that may trigger your late night back pain include:

    • Poor Posture

    How To Prevent Back Pain In Bed

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    Back pain can keep you up at night, it prevents you from enjoying a good nights sleep and saps your days energy. But youre in luck, not only are there solutions, but weve spoken to Hashim Saifuddin, Director and Osteopath at Atlas Osteopathy, to get the best and most thorough information to help you on your way to understanding back pain in bed, and how to combat it.

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    On The Back With Knee Support

    Lying on the back evenly distributes the bodys weight, helping to minimize pressure and ensure a good alignment of the head, neck, and spine.

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

    To get comfortable in this position:

  • Lie flat on the back facing the ceiling. Avoid tilting the head sideways.
  • Position a pillow to support the head and neck.
  • Place a small pillow under the knees.
  • For extra support, fill any other gaps between the body and mattress with additional pillows. Try placing one beneath the lower back.
  • Get The Right Amount Of Sleep

    Letting your body restore itself is important in managing any type of pain. Schedule at least eight hours of rest every night. A consistent schedule with a sufficient amount of sleep will wipe out sleep debt and let your body restore itself to your full potential.

    If you find yourself sleeping more on the weekends or have an extremely hard time getting up in the morning, schedule your bedtime earlier to allow yourself to find a comfortable position and get to sleep.

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    Pick A Side If You Cant Lie On The Back

    If you cant manage to sleep on your back, the next best thing is to lie on your side. Unfortunately, just 15 percent of all people sleep this way. Here, too, your spine is elongated, with the legs and torso more or less straight. And that means you are again lining up the spine, so there is minimal pressure on it and less scope for developing neck or back pain.4

    If You Have Hip Pain When Sleeping On Your Back

    Stop Sleeping On Your Stomach, Start Sleeping On Your Back! Neck & Back Pain Relief!

    If you have hip pain when sleeping on your back, it can make almost any other sleeping position uncomfortable. This pain is often caused by tension in the hip flexors which then tug on your lower back, hips, and legs.

    For alleviating your hip pain when sleeping on your back, try placing a pillow or rolled-up blanket under your knees. Depending on the degree of muscular tension, you may need two pillows positioned under your knees. This places your hip flexors in a relaxed state, easing tension on your lower back and hips.

    If you feel a pinch on your groin while laying in this position, allow your legs to spread and rotate outward. You can even use pillows on the outside of your knees to keep them comfortable and supported in this position.

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    Where Does It Come From

    Back pain, of course, originates in the back. There are a wide variety of potential causes from temporary muscle strain to spinal abnormalities. Medical News Today explains causes of back pain can stem from different types of strain, structural problems, internal infections and cancer, as well as sleep and mattress issues. The more common causes of back pain are:

    • Strain: Strained muscles or ligaments due to improper or too heavy lifting, awkward movements
    • Skeletal problems: Ruptured or bulging discs, sciatica, scoliosis, arthritis, osteoporosis
    • Infections: of the spine, pelvis, or nerves
    • Sleep disorders: people with sleep disorders are more likely to have back pain
    • Bad mattress: poor support can cause or worsen pain
    • Lifestyle: poor posture, standing, hunching and bending for long periods and extended driving


    Strain is the most common reason for back pain, affecting muscles and ligaments. Improperly lifting or pulling things and lifting or carrying heavy objects are common ways muscles become strained. Sudden movements, such as getting out of bed or cars awkwardly or falling, can trigger pain. Bending, standing, hunching over a desk or driving for extended periods of time also causes muscle tension and strain.

    Structural Problems

    Other Causes


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