Do you deal with lower back pain? You’re not alone.
The Global Burden of Disease study named lower back pain the leading cause of disability across the globe.
What’s even more interesting is that most back pain isn’t caused by serious medical conditions, like cancer or arthritis. Instead, it’s 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 night’s rest.
If lying flat on your back feels uncomfortable, try shifting over to your side:
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 won’t make you feel better. It’s using the pillow between your knees that’s 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:
How does this position help? Your discs are soft cushions between the vertebrae in your spine. Herniation happens when part of a disc pushes out of its normal space, causing nerve pain, weakness, and more. Curling your torso into a fetal position opens the space between vertebrae.
You may have heard that sleeping on your stomach is actually bad for back pain. This is partly true because it may add stress to your neck.
But if you find yourself resting on your stomach, you don’t have to force another position. Instead:
How does this position help? People who have degenerative disc disease may benefit most from stomach sleeping with a pillow. It can relieve any stress that is placed on the space between your discs.
For some people, sleeping on their back may be the best position to relieve back pain:
How does this position help? When you sleep on your back, your weight is evenly distributed and spread across the widest area of your body. As a result, you place less strain on your pressure points. You’re also able to get better alignment of your spine and your internal organs.
Do you feel most comfortable snoozing in a recliner? Although sleeping in a chair may not be the best choice for back pain, this position can be beneficial if you have isthmic spondylolisthesis.
Consider investing in an adjustable bed so you can sleep this way with the best alignment and support.
How does this position help? Isthmic spondylolisthesis is a condition where a vertebra slips over the one below it. Reclining may be beneficial for your back because it creates an angle between your thighs and trunk. This angle helps to reduce the pressure on your spine.
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.