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What’s The Best Way To Sleep With Lower Back Pain

Stomach Sleeping With Hip Support

Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain Recovery

Stomach sleeping is hard on the back and not recommended for people who suffer from lower back pain. However, if you struggle to sleep on your back or side, start by placing a pillow under your hips. The extra cushion prevents your back from curving unnaturally and reduces the pressure on your lumbar spine. Also, use a thin pillow under your head or no pillow at all so your head doesnt curve backward and result in further pain.

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.

What Sleep Position Is Best For Spine Health

The National Sleep Foundation has ranked sleep positions based on whats best for your overall health and wellness. This ranking takes into account both your orthopedic fitness and your general health .

Their ranking is consistent with what orthopedists recommend. When youre sleeping, you should strive to keep your spine as neutral as possible including your head position. Your legs should be elongated if possible, but not overly straight. Keep a natural bend in the knee.

A neutral spine keeps your muscles long and loose, not flexed, which reduces the risk of soreness or tightness anywhere in the body. For example, by keeping your legs straight, not bent at ninety degree angles, you eliminate the risk of your knee ligaments becoming tight and stiff in a bent position.

Neutral spine posture is also symmetrical, which keeps your body in balance the muscles on one side of your body wont be working harder than the other.

Keeping this in mind, the best sleep positions for back and neck health are, in order:

If youre experiencing back or neck pain, take a look at your mattress and pillows too. And old mattress with weakening inner springs may not be supporting your spine enough, or some of the springs may be pressing into pressure points, triggering pain. You may need a firmer mattress or a softer one. Or your pillow may be to blame it could be too flat or too high.

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How To Sleep With Lower Back Pain

The lower back features an interwoven series of structures. It includes the five vertebrae of the lumbar spine, each of which is bolstered by shock-absorbing discs and held in place by ligaments. Surrounding muscles offer support and are connected to the spine by tendons. Nerves run through the spinal column to deliver signals throughout the body.

The lower back supports most of the bodys weight and is integral to all kinds of movements. Whether standing, sitting, walking, or lying down, the lower back plays a role in mobility and comfort.

Given the complexity of the lower back and how much we depend on it, it comes as no surprise that it is a leading hotspot for pain. Eight out of 10 people have back pain at some point during their life, and lower back pain is one of the top reasons why people see a doctor.

Back pain can range from mild to severe, and it may be short-lived or long-lasting. When serious, it can be debilitating and interfere with nearly all aspects of daily life, including sleep.

Pain and sleep have a complex relationship. Pain can disrupt sleep, and poor sleep can make it more likely that a person will experience pain. In addition, a sleeping position or mattress that doesnt support the lumbar spine can induce or exacerbate lower back pain.

Tips To Sleep Better With Low Back Pain

Whats the best sleeping position?

Not getting enough sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, generally makes you more sensitive to body pain. Quality sleep helps reduce lower back pain, and having a good mattress, adopting stretches, as well as knowing which sleeping positions to be in can help you cope with lower back pain. Bear in mind that these tips might be more temporary fixes that will help you manage your lower back pain before you eliminate the true root cause.

Recommended Reading: Exercise For Lower Back Pain Mayo Clinic

How To Sleep Better With Lower Back Pain

Getting quality sleep is an important part of recovering from lower back pain, but sleeping well may seem like a tall task when your back hurts. While theres no guaranteed way to get better sleep, certain practical tips can help:

  • Find a supportive sleeping position. Ideally, you can sleep on your side, but regardless of the position, make sure your spine is well-aligned. If needed, use extra pillows for body support.
  • Be careful with alcohol and caffeine. Though alcohol may help you doze off, it can throw off the quality of your sleep. As a stimulant, caffeine can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Try relaxation methods. Finding techniques to wind down can put you in the right state of mind for sleep with less focus on pain.
  • Reduce potential sleep disruptions. If you inadvertently wake up at night, pain may make it harder to get back to sleep. For that reason, try to eliminate excess noise and light from your bedroom or block them out with a sleep mask or earplugs. Set your bedroom to a temperature that will be comfortable throughout the night.

Focusing on sleep hygiene can improve your sleep habits so that you can sleep better both during and after episodes of lower back pain.

Dont Think About Lower Back Pain While Sleeping Only

Its not just about lower back pain while sleeping only. As DailyHealthPost points out:

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.

Lower back pain is a condition that affects up to 80% of people in the United States. Its a widespread issue, and only tackling it when it comes up at night likely wont fix your pain entirely. In addition to modifying your bedtime routine, look towards things you can do during the day to reduce back pain. These include:

Also, make sure to follow along with the PainDoctor.com blog as we often discuss lifestyle changes you can make every day to reduce lower back pain.

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Most Customizable Adjustable Mattress For Back Pain

Selectabed Air-Pedic 1000

  • Type: Airbed with foam comfort layers
  • Height: 14.5 inches

This mattress is made with a 1-inch pillow top that rests on top of three layers of foam designed for a plush, body-contouring feel.

Its dual air chamber system allows you and your partner to adjust the comfort level of each side of the bed from 10 to 99 using the handheld remote or directly from your smartphone through their app.

This mattress also allows for customized firmness in three zones: feet, lumbar region, and head. This makes for an ultra-personalized feel to help you find the perfect firmness for your ideal spinal alignment. For even more pain relief potential, you can purchase their .

While customers rave about the comfort, they also praise the companys exceptional customer service, which is always important when making a big purchase.

Roll Over The Right Way

The best sleeping position for back pain, neck pain, and sciatica – Tips from a physical therapist

It happens: Youve got yourself perfectly positioned and have just drifted off only to be awoken by a jolt of sharp pain in your back when you roll over. Changing positions quickly or with bad form can cause or exacerbate nighttime back pain, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. They advise: When turning in bed, remember not to twist or bend at the waist but to move your entire body as one unit. Keep your belly pulled in and tightened, and bend your knees toward the chest when you roll.

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How To Fall Asleep When Your Back Hurts

Here are a few more extremely helpful ways to avoid lower back pain when sleeping :

1. An Infrared Heating Pad

One of the best ways to fall asleep fast and without pain is to place an infrared heating pad under your lower back, with a timer set for 30 45 minutes.

The infrared heating pad is a science-backed and drug-free pain relieving tool, that I wish everyone had in their home.

Infrared heat, invisible red light, penetrates deep into your skin, all the way to your muscles, nerves, and bones without feeling too hot in the process.

It boosts your blood circulation in your back, bringing pain-relieving and healing agents to the area and quickly relieves back pain for up to 6 hours .

Rolling your back on a trigger point foam rollerfor a few minutes before bed, or using an electric percussion back massager can be a huge help and a wonderful preventative for lower back pain.

Plus, it speeds up healing from muscle and nerve injuries, through boosting blood circulation.

3. Low Back Home Traction

Back traction is considered one of the best natural treatments for back pain, especially if nerves and discs are involved.

Home spinal decompression is easy and relatively low-cost while providing almost instant relief for lumbar pain.

See my post about how to do low back traction at home and possibly curing your back pain for good.

4. Lifestyle Changes

To fall asleep fast and pain-free, follow these simple guidelines before you go to sleep:

Tuck A Pillow Between Your Knees

When it comes to back pain at night, your sleeping position can make all the difference, Snyder says. One way to keep your hips and spine in proper alignment and make you more comfortable is to tuck a firm pillow between your knees if you sleep on your side or under your knees if you sleep on your back, he says.

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What Can I Do

Do you deal with lower back pain? Youre not alone.

The Global Burden of Disease study named lower back pain the leading cause of disability across the globe.

Whats even more interesting is that most back pain isnt caused by serious medical conditions, like cancer or arthritis. Instead, its often brought on by stress or strain from bad posture, awkward sleeping positions, and other lifestyle habits.

Here are the best sleeping positions to try if you have lower back pain, as well as some other things you can do to get a better nights rest.

If lying flat on your back feels uncomfortable, try shifting over to your side:

  • Allow your right or left shoulder to make contact with the mattress, along with the rest of that side of your body.
  • Place a pillow between your knees.
  • If theres a gap between your waist and the mattress, consider using a small pillow there for added support.
  • Whether you use one pillow or opt for two, you should resist the urge to always sleep on the same side. Doing so many cause issues like muscle imbalance and even scoliosis.

    How does this position help? Sleeping on your side alone wont make you feel better. Its using the pillow between your knees thats the trick. The pillow will keep your hips, pelvis, and spine in better alignment.

    If you have a herniated disc, you may want to try sleeping on your side curled in a fetal position:

  • Lay on your back and then roll over gently onto your side.
  • Lay flat on your back.
  • Support Your Back For Better Sleep

    How to Avoid Neck Pain from Sleeping Wrong?  Toronto High Rises

    Once youve found the best sleeping position for back pain and have incorporated exercises into your nighttime routine, you should start to notice a difference in your sleep health and overall health and well-being. However, you may also need to assess your mattress and pillows to ensure theyre giving you adequate support for your neck, spine, and lower back. A mattress thats too firm or too soft may cause additional problems during the night and an overly firm pillow or one thats lost its cushion can cause strain.

    The conditions of your sleeping environment can also disrupt your sleep and cause you to toss and turn. Lower the temperature in the room by a few degrees and make sure theres enough air movement. A dark, cool , quiet room is best for a full nights rest.

    When you wake up in the morning, give yourself a few extra minutes to stretch. Do a full body stretch with your hands overhead and toes pointed. After youve been moving for a few minutes, try a few of your nighttime stretches or simply twist your spine gently from side to side.

    es to find the right combination of pillows, positions, and exercises that work best for you. Once you find the regimen that gives you the best nights sleep, commit to sticking with that routine. Taking a few extra moments to take care of your spine and your space will make a difference in how well you sleep.

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    Choose A Mattress With The Right Support

    These are all great things to do when struggling with lower back pain, but a quality night’s rest can also come down to your foundationyour mattress, that is.

    In general, I advise people to consider a firm mattress, though in the end it is a personal decision,” Tauberg says. As long as your body feels supported by the mattress, then that is acceptable.”

    He adds that if possible, it might be a good idea to test out a mattress through a trial before making a purchase. The best way to determine if a mattress is right for you is to see how you feel after a night of sleeping on the mattress,” he says. If you wake up feeling stiff or sore, you may want to explore other options.”

    Do Use Hot Or Cold Therapy Before Bed

    Use hot or cold elements on your back can help sooth your pain before bed. This could include ice or a cold gel pack wrapped in cloth applied to your back, taking a warm shower or hot bath, or using a heating pad or hot water bottle on the affected area for 15-20 minutes before bed.

    Hot or cold therapy can help reduce inflammation caused by lower back pain and promote relief before you go to sleep. Generally, heat is better for longer chronic back pain while ice is better in the first 72 hours.

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    Lower Back Pain Treatment From A Chiropractor

    Will lower back pain go away on its own with just changing your sleeping position? Visit your chiropractor to learn more about lower back pain treatment and how your sleep style may be helping you or making your pain worse. Your chiropractor can also walk you through all-natural and effective ways to manage your lower back pain and even experience lasting pain relief. If you live in Atlanta, then visit AICA Orthopedics with several locations across the metro area. Meet with our team of chiropractors and find out how you can stop struggling with lower back pain.

    Make Sure Your Main Pillow Isnt Causing Pain

    Body Reflex Hacking: Best way to sleep for lower back pain

    Just like there is no one-size-fits-all option for mattresses, the type of pillow a person uses is mostly personal preference as long as it supports the spine in a healthy way. Typically, side sleepers gravitate towards thicker pillows while back sleepers often like thinner pillows.

    When picking a pillow, try to make sure it keeps the spine in proper alignment. For back sleepers, that means there should be a straight line from the ear through the shoulders and hips. For side sleepers, the head and neck should remain level with the mid and lower spine.

    If you feel like a pillow is propping your head up too much, causing the cervical spine in the neck to lie at an angle, the pillow is too high and may lead to neck and back pain later. Check out our post 21 Of The Best Pillows For Neck Pain for our suggestions on finding the best pillow for reducing pain.

    It can be difficult picking out a pillow in the store. Its often hard to tell what it will feel like at home. Consider buying several options and trying them at home, returning the ones that you dont like. Its worth the hassle to find a supportive, comfortable pillow because they make a big difference in overall sleep quality.

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    How Adjustable Air Beds Can Help Relieve Back Pain

    Here are four reasons why an adjustable air bed can help alleviate back pain.

    They provide critical lumbar support

    Finding a comfortable sleeping position can be challenging when youâre experiencing back pain. âWith a traditional mattress, you have a more difficult time finding a comfortable position because you canât change the firmness of the mattress. Being able to make small changes can provide increased support to the lumbar spine and help to decrease back stiffness first thing in the morning,â says Tim Fraticelli, a physical therapist and founder of PTProgress.

    Learn more about lumbar support in a mattress.

    They accommodate all sleeping positions

    When it comes to keeping back pain at bay, the key is matching mattress firmness to your preferred sleeping positionsomething an adjustable bed can do whether you slumber on your back, side, stomach, or some combination. One study of sleepers with back pain found that when subjects switched to mattresses designed to accommodate their sleeping position, they noticed immediate improvements in pain and stiffness.

    For maintaining neutral spinal alignment, back sleepers tend to do best with a medium-firm mattress the idea that firmer is better âis an old wiveâs tale,â Cralle says. Side sleepers can go a little softer to relieve pressure on shoulders and hips, and stomach sleeperswell, a firm mattress is best if you must, but overall itâs the least back-healthy sleeping position.

    They have comfort layer options

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