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Where To Place A Pillow For Lower Back Pain

The Ideal Sleep Position: On Your Back

The Best Pillow For Lower Back Pain

The best position to avoid back pain is lying flat on your back. Even so, many people find it the hardest way to enjoy deep sleep. For optimal spine alignment, place one pillow underneath your head or neck and another underneath your knees. If youre pregnant, however, you should avoid this position because it decreases blood circulation to the heart and baby.

How Do Sleeping Positions Affect Lower Back Pain

Another link between sleep and lower back pain is tied to how sleeping position affects spinal alignment. Although posture is typically associated with sitting and standing, its also critical when lying down.

A sleeping position that involves twisting, contorting, or otherwise putting pressure on the lumbar spine can cause pain and stiffness. This pain is often worse in the morning but may persist throughout the day.

Be Careful Getting In And Out Of Bed

Many back injuries are attributed to making awkward movements when doing routine things. One of the easier ways to prevent new injuries or exacerbating old ones is to be conscious of your movements. Here are a few pointers from WebMD experts on protecting your back when getting in and out of bed:

  • Dont twist your back or make rapid jerking motions.
  • Get in bed by sitting on the edge of the mattress. Supporting yourself with your hands, bend your knees, and lay on your side. Then adjust your position as needed.
  • Get out of bed by rolling on your side and bend in your knees. Supporting yourself with your hands, carefully swing your legs to the floor and stand up straight. Get up from the seated position.

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The Best Sleep Positions For Neck And Back Pain

A wave pillow is beneficial for side sleepers

Lets chat about sleep positions. Firstly, there is no wrong way to sleep. However you rest and find comfort, thats great! If youre having pain, waking often, noticing numbness, or just find its difficult to get comfortable, you may benefit from one of the ideas contained in this article. As always, these are meant to be educational, I have not evaluated your individual needs and its best to speak with a licensed medical professional for personal tailoring.

Sleep is when our body does its best recovery. You remodel cells, transfer memories into long term storage, and get nutrients into joints. The discs in our spines imbibe with fluid overnight which can commonly cause pain or soreness in the morning for those with a disc bulge or stenotic changes. Its also the reason youre taller in the morning! We need these hours of recovery and its important they be as un-interrupted as possible.

When we sleep, its ideal for our spine to be in a neutral- or relatively straight position. This means that we dont want the neck bent too far up or down, and we dont want the rest of the spine super twisted or with exaggerated curves.

Lets isolate out some of the common reasons people have pain in the night, and small changes that may help.

Low Back Pain:

The Stomach Sleeper: This can be a tough position for the spine since often we increase the lordosis of the lumbar spine in this position.

Neck Pain:

Be resilient to the finish.

Find The Right Position

The Lower Back Pain Relieving Pillow System

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.

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Zenesse Luxelift Adjustable Support Therapy Wedge Pillow

Best for: back pain, back injury, GERD, acid reflux, back and leg support, snoring, hot sleepers

Product Highlights

  • 2 Gel-infused memory foam comfort top
  • Natural bamboo pillowcase
  • Multi-purpose split height design
  • Recommended by doctors for neck, shoulder, and back pain, as well as back injuries, and GERD
  • Suitable for back conditions like fibromyalgia
  • Fully adjustable as knee support and leg elevation
  • Suitable for pregnancy relief
  • Keeps you cool, dry, and comfortable

What We Think

If youre experiencing frequent back pain caused by strenuous work or exercise, or you suffer from a back condition, this wedge pillow will surely help you out. The wedge is high enough to provide support for the whole back and neck area, and it allows you to keep a proper posture and sleeping position throughout the night.

The pillow has a bumpy texture on the very surface which serves not only to secure the pillow cover but also has a gentle massage effect for your lower and upper back. If you require more support for your back in the knee area, the pillow can easily serve as knee support and leg elevation for back pain, sciatica, arthritis, lower back, hip pain, etc.

The pillow is excellent for people who experience poor circulation, acid reflux, and heartburn, a herniated disc, or simply need better support during sleep.


  • Orthopedic support
  • Gel-infused memory foam top
  • Removable and washable pillow cover
  • Durability and high-quality materials
  • Exceptional back pain relief and back support

Searching For Fast Pain Relief Try These Alternatives

Heat packs are another way to ease stiffness from a sore back. Heat increases blood flow to the area, which relaxes your muscle fibers and reduces spasms. There are a variety of ways to provide heat to your back while youre awake.

This heat wrap provides up to 8 hours of warm relief to your back and hips. It can be applied directly to the skin, but if youre over 55, you should apply the wrap over a layer of clothing.

Get soothing heat fast by microwaving this therapy pack. If you want to walk around during the treatment, the strap will keep it in position. The 2-in-1 pack can also be used for cold therapy after being chilled in the freezer.

Relax your muscles using a moist heat pad. The moisture helps prevent your skin from becoming dehydrated. This pad is great for a nice heat treatment before bed.

ReferencesDeardorff, W. W., PhD . . Chronic Pain and Insomnia: Breaking the Cycle. Retrieved from Harvard Health Publishing . Hot or cold for back pain? Retrieved from Marcin, A. . The Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain, Alignment Tips, and More. Retrieved from Rodriguez, D. . Can Switching Your Sleep Position Ease Back Pain? Retrieved from

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Pillow Placed Between The Knees:

If you are a side sleeper, a pillow placed between your knees is recommended. When laying on your side, a downward slant naturally occurs from the side of the hip down to the knee. This places stress through your hips, often resulting in pain. Placing a pillow between the knees helps prevent the downward pull on the hip, lining the knee and ankle with the hip. Positioning the pillow this way is also important after hip or knee surgery. If you have to lay on one side versus the other, and are concerned you may roll over, place pillows behind you in this position. When you try to roll over, the pillows will stop you and remind you to stay on that one side.

The Causes Of Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain? – How The ComfiLife Lumbar Support Pillow Can Relieve Lower Back Pain

The most frequent causes of lower back pain are injuries, muscle strain slipped or dislocated disc as well as ligament and joint problems. When it comes to lower back pain, the most common cause is herniated or slipped disc.

People with such conditions often experience pain and numbness in the lower back area, or particularly on one side of the body. The problem with a herniated disc is that it causes extra pressure on the other discs as well as muscles and nerves.

Those who are diagnosed with a slipped disc often dont know what caused the injury in the first place. The possible causes could be heavy lifting, doing work in a bent or slouched position as well as other injuries caused by a car accident, falling, etc.

Other causes of lower back pain can be health conditions, like fibromyalgia , sciatica, and scoliosis.

These conditions are often accompanied by sleep anxiety, general restlessness, and sleep disorders, which can make the pain worse, and harder to find the right sleeping position.

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Can Back Pillows Help

  • With the use of back pillows to help maintain an upright position while sitting, the disc pressure can be reduced as much as 100 lbs. over a slumped forward posture. Additionally, according to the journal, Ergonomics, Volume 52, Issue 7 July 2009 , car driving is associated with the risk of developing low back pain and this may be related to exposure to whole body vibration. The study found that use of a movable back support reduces the transmission of vibration through the trunk and that it reduces low back muscle strain.
  • A study in the 2014 European Spine Journal used MRI to evaluate 90 patients to determine factors influencing lumbar spine disc and endplate degeneration. Of all the factors considered, having a greater lumbar curve was found to be a protective factor for degeneration of the lower back. This indicates that supports that help maintain the normal curve are useful in helping protect the back from pain.
  • A 2021 study in World Neurosurgery found compared to standing postures, slumped sitting was loss of lumbar spine lordosis and loss of disc height. The authors concluded the postural imbalances noted resulted from long standing lower lumbar spine bending forces which over stretch ligaments during slump sitting.

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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Best Budget: Plixio Memory Foam Seat Cushion

  • Designed to reduce tailbone pressure

  • Anti-skid bottom

  • Short depth

  • Harder than other memory foam cushions

If youre looking for a cushion that will help you bid your lower back pain farewell at an affordable price, this high-density memory foam may just do the trick. Its entire design is focused on removing pressure from your lower back by ensuring that the tailbone hovers over the surface of the seat without actually touching it. It does this by factoring in a cut-out that leaves space for the coccyx bone.

It includes a washable cover and an anti-skid bottom that will make sure you feel secure and comfortable all day long. Its also perfect for travel.

Material: High-density memory foam | Washable: Yes

  • Includes a carrying case and pump

  • May need frequent refilling

  • Slippery

This takes the cake for customers looking for something that is wheelchair-approved. Because its inflatable, its super sensitive for people who are at risk of tissue breakdown or for those experiencing pain or are concerned about developing ulcers or sores. This also makes it fairly adjustable and super lightweight. It comes with a little carrying case that is machine-washable, as well as a pump.

Material: Polyvinyl insert, Lycra cover | Washable: Yes

Remember: Alignment Is Key

Tech Bed Wedge Pillow with Memory Foam TopReduce Back ...

No matter what position you choose, keeping proper alignment of your spine is the most important part of the equation. Focus specifically on aligning your ears, shoulders, and hips.

You may notice gaps between your body and the bed that strain your muscles and spine. You can reduce this stress by using pillows to fill the gaps.

Be careful while turning in bed. You can get out of alignment during twisting and turning motions as well. Always move your entire body together, keeping your core tight and pulled in. You may even find it helpful to bring your knees toward your chest as you roll over.

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What To Look For In A Lumbar Pillow

The best lumbar support pillows need to be firm enough to be supportive, but not so firm that theyre providing counterpressure to your back. Memory foam is an ideal material for pain relief from lumbar pillows. Its soft enough to settle into, but you wont completely sink into the pillow. Its the right balance of comfortable and firm to provide your back with much-needed support.

Gel infused memory foam is just a little softer. If youre looking for maximum comfort, you may prefer the additional cushion that gel memory foam provides.

Since your pillow is going to be against your back all day, it might get a little warm. If youve ever sat on a chair or couch made of a material that isnt very breathable, you might notice that sweat builds up on your lower back. This is an uncomfortable situation, and many memory foam lumbar pillows are designed to avoid it.

Pillows with ventilation holes allow air to pass through. Since the pillow is breathable, it wont accumulate trapped body heat and cause your back to sweat. You can sit in your work chair for the whole day without unsightly sweat spots building up or feeling uncomfortably warm.

The Best Sleeping Position For Your Back Pain

When you sleep, you lose conscious control over your body, and you can end up twisting your spine or tucking your pelvis in. An existing back pain can get further aggravated, resulting in a restless night of sleep.1 Using supported sleeping postures can prevent the concentration of stresses on your spine, keep your back relaxed, and create a healing environment.

As a general rule, avoid sleeping on your stomachit disturbs the normal alignment of your spine.1 Also avoid sleeping on the side that hurts more, especially if you have sciatica and follow these guidelines:

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The 7 Best Under Knee Pillow For Sleeping On Back

Knee pillows are invented to enhance ones comfort while sleeping or resting on the back. A well-built knee pillow offers spinal alignment, relieves pressure, and eases pain related to the back, neck, thighs, and post injuries.

Although it is beneficial for everyone, side sleepers and pregnant women need to use these healing remedies regularly. By aligning the spine and hips, it improves side-sleeping position and insomnia issues.

People who are suffering from sciatica, bursitis, Restless Leg Syndrome, back pain, and pregnancy aches should take help from Knee Pillows. As per customers reviews of 2020, knee pillows are the best affordable option to soothe body pain, leading to healthier sleep.

Here in this review article, we will help you to explore more about knee pillows. We detailed a few factors to consider when purchasing the best one as well as review the best under knee pillow for sleeping on the Back.

Constipation Haemorrhoids & Digestion

How To Fix Lower Back Pain From Sleeping on a Budget! Lumbar Pillow Review in 4K!

On your left flank squadron!

Sleeping on your left-hand side is the best sleeping position if you deal with digestion issues that cause pain while sleeping.

Sleeping on the left-hand side helps to have less pull from gravity squishing down on the vital organs that process your food

Place a pillow between your legs, as well as between your upper arm and your neck , if you get any other discomfort.

Sleeping on your stomach can work, especially for haemorrhoids although a hot bath, ice before bed, and side sleeping are better overall.

Extra Tip: Side sleeping can turn you into Einstein! Thats not completely factual, but there has been some evidence to say that sleeping on your side can boost brain power by helping your brain get rid of something called interstitial waste. Less interstitial waste can also help to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and other neurological diseases.


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Lifestyle Factors That Prevent Back Pain

Aside from being conscious of how you sleep and where you sleep, there are a few daytime habits that can help reduce back pain as well. Much of the recommended habits for prevention go hand-in-hand with leading a generally healthy lifestyle. TheMayo ClinicVerified SourceMayo ClinicRanked #1 hospital by U.S. News & World Report and one of the most trusted medical institutions in the world. The staff is committed to integrated patient care, education, and research.View sourcesuggests the following for minimizing back pain risk:

Back pain is not a small or insignificant problem, but for many people the side effects and severity can be minimized with fairly simple changes to habits. Awareness of ideal sleep positions and the relationship between mattresses and backs are essential for keeping pain at bay during the night, and paying attention to posture and movements improves comfort throughout the day.

What do you find helps reduce back pain most for you? Do you notice differences between sleep positions?

About the author

Rosie Osmun regularly contributes to the Amerisleep blog writing about topics including, reducing back pain while sleeping, the best dinners for better sleep, and improving productivity to make the most of your mornings. She finds the science of sleep fascinating and loves researching and writing about beds. Rosie is also passionate about traveling, languages, and history.


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