Sleeping Tight 101: Best Sleeping Position for Lower Back Pain

best sleeping position for lower back pain
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Lower back pain is one of the most prominent health conditions nowadays. In fact, it is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. Although causes for lower back problems may vary, one of the more common ones is a poor sleeping posture. That’s why in this article I will explore what the best sleeping position for lower back pain is.

Connection Between Poor Sleeping Posture and Lower Back Problems

Although posture is almost exclusively associated with sitting and standing, this equation isn’t complete without considering sleeping. You will spend approximately a third of your life sleeping. Therefore, assuming a wrong sleeping posture can impact the health of your spine as well as your overall health.

Sleeping positions that involve tossing, turning, or putting pressure on the spine can cause pain and stiffness in the lower back area. Furthermore, adopting a poor sleeping position can have an adverse effect on your sleeping patterns and your body’s ability to recover. This, in turn, will further aggravate your lower back problems.

That’s why it’s crucial to examine and improve your sleeping habits. Furthermore, those currently experiencing lower back pain are not the only ones who should consider this change. Even those of you who have never had this issue can benefit from developing good sleeping posture. Namely, it can prevent the future lower back pain that will inevitably come without proper care.

The Best Sleeping Position for Lower Back Pain

#1. On your back with a pillow under your knees

Sleeping on your back is a sleeping position that offers the greatest number of health benefits. Those benefits result from the even distribution of your weight, which releases tension from your pressure points. Furthermore, this sleeping position allows for a better alignment of your spine and internal organs.

How to Do It: Lay flat on your back. Place a pillow underneath your knees and keep your spine neutral. You can also put a rolled-up towel under your lower back for added support.

#2. On your stomach with a pillow under your abdomen

Sleeping on your stomach is arguably the worst sleeping position you can adopt, as it may add stress to your neck and pull your spine out of alignment. However, with a simple alteration, you don’t have to sacrifice your sleeping habits. Namely, a pillow under your abdomen prevents your lower back from shrinking into a U-shape, thus retaining a proper spine alignment.

How to Do It: Place a more supportive pillow under your hips and abdomen and a thin pillow under your head. Furthermore, you might consider sleeping without a pillow altogether.

#3. On your side with a pillow between your legs

This position is perhaps the best sleeping position for lower back pain. Adding a firm pillow between your knees raises one leg, reinforcing the natural alignment of the hips, pelvis, and spine.

How to Do It: Allow one shoulder to make contact with the mattress along with the rest of that side of your body. Place a pillow between your knees. Consider using another, smaller pillow for the gap between your waist and the mattress.

#4. On your side in the fetal position

Adopting this position can help alleviate your lower back pain. Furthermore, it’s the best sleeping position for those of you suffering from a herniated disc. Namely, lying on your side while tucking your knees towards your chest reduces the bending of your spine, thus opening up your joints.

How to Do It: Lay on your back and roll gently onto your side. Tuck your knees towards your chest and curl your torso towards your knees. Switch sides occasionally to prevent imbalances.

#5. On your back in a reclined position

Admittedly, this is not the best choice for alleviating back pain. However, it may be beneficial for those suffering from isthmic spondylolisthesis, a spine condition that can cause lower back pain. Sleeping in a reclined position creates an angle between your thighs and torso, reducing the pressure on your spine. Therefore, if this condition inducing your back pain, consider investing in an adjustable bed.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a simple, effective, and free way to reduce nagging lower back pain, be sure to try the sleeping positions listed above. Adopting the personal best sleeping position for lower back pain will not only lessen the pain but also promote better sleep quality and spine health.

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Julie Oney

Julie Oney

Julie Oney holds an award in Creative Writing and a Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan. An optimist, music lover, and full-time writer. Passionate about pets, especially puppies.
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