Sleep Positions for Back & Neck Pain13th July 2022
Waking up with a tingling arm or achy neck is a sure sign that you are sleeping in the wrong position.
For back sleepers, this position is considered the best sleeping position for lower back and neck pain. Sleeping on your back distributes the weight along the entire spine. To maintain the natural curve of the spine you can also place another pillow under your knees. Pregnant women in particular should avoid this position as it decreases blood circulation to the heart and baby.
The next best sleeping position would be on your side with your legs straight. Placing a pillow between your knees will help keep your spine in a neutral alignment. The fetal position is not recommended as it promotes an uneven distribution of weight that can cause back pain and sore joints.
Try and keep your body in a straight and relaxed position, untuck your chin and adjust your knees. This position is ideal for pregnant women as it takes the weight off their backs.
Sleeping on your stomach is considered the worst position for back pain. This position flattens the natural curve of your spine and as a result, put pressure on your spine’s muscles and joints.
Stomach sleepers are forced to turn their neck, which in turn can cause neck and upper back pain. If you find it difficult to change your sleeping positions, try and place a thin pillow underneath your hips and stomach to improve your spine’s alignment.
This position flattens the natural curve of your spine, therefore putting pressure on your spine’s muscles and joints. By sleeping on your stomach also forces you to turn your neck, which can in turn cause neck and upper back pain.
A lot of people seem to find relief for both back and neck pain by sleeping in an upright position or in a recliner. If you find this the most comfortable position invest in a horseshoe-shaped pillow to support the neck. This is also a common position for pregnant women to assist with back pain.
For any sleep position, use a decent pillow under your neck that will provide support and alleviate neck pain. You can even use a rolled towel or cervical pillow.
The bottom line is, that no matter what, you should always sleep in whatever position gives you the best rest. The key to a good sleep posture is alignment, always try and keep your hips, ears, and shoulders in a straight line.
There will always be natural gaps between the spaces on your body and the mattress. These open spaces can put a strain on your back and neck muscles. Use pillows to fill in the gaps to reduce the stress on your body. Making the necessary changes will allow for a great pain-free night’s sleep.