How Sleep Position May Cause Back Pain

If you are among the millions who suffer from back pain, it may feel that nearly anything you do aggravates your discomfort.  Long car rides, busy days on your feet, and even just sleeping become new feats when back pain is involved.  Sleep is supposed to be restorative.  What do you do when you simply can’t get comfortable or wake up in worse pain than you were before?  As you may have heard, position is everything.  From how you hold your body when you sit and walk to how you sleep, it all matters when it comes to pain.  Read on to learn how your own preferred sleeping position may be affecting your back.

Stomach Sleepers and Back Pain

Dear stomach sleepers, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s likely you have heard this before.  Your position is the worst for back pain and is exceptionally notorious for causing lower back pain.  Typically, this position forces the back into an unnatural, upwards arch, misaligns the back and hips, and results in pain due to hyperextension of the spine.  While it’s best to avoid this sleeping position, if you simply cannot fall asleep any other way, try a pillow under your hips and stomach to help restore alignment.

Side Sleepers and Back Pain

Side sleeping has its benefits, such as open airways and reduced snoring.  The position is ideal for those who may suffer from sleep apnea.  It can also be a good position for back pain sufferers but only under certain circumstances.  To make sleeping on your side work for you, try a pillow between your legs and bend them no more than a 45 degree angle.  Make sure the pillow under your head is thick and supportive, and watch for sagging in your mattress as it ages.

Back Sleepers and Back Pain

Great news, back sleepers!  Yours is the best sleeping position for back pain.  You are more likely than your stomach or side-sleeping counterparts to keep your spine in alignment.  Furthermore, back sleeping evenly distributes your weight, alleviating pressure on the spine.  Despite the benefits, however, back sleepers are not totally immune to pain while sleeping.  If you find that you’re uncomfortable when lying down, make sure your pillow is providing adequate support for your neck, and try another under your knees or lower back to help maintain proper alignment of your spine.

The benefits of a restful night’s sleep cannot be overstated.  When you sleep better, your body functions better.  You awake alert, rested, and ready to take on whatever your day may bring.  Don’t let back pain come between you and great sleep.  No matter what position you prefer, there are some steps you can take to help protect your back and ensure a higher level of comfort both at night and in the morning.

Of course, back pain is affected by more than sleep.  If you truly want to overcome pain and get to the root of the problem, consider visiting a chiropractor.  For those in the Greater Charlotte area, Southeast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers offers two convenient locations and highly-trained physicians and staff to help you overcome your pain.