Back Pain: Does It Matter Which Position You Sleep In?

Back Pain: Does It Matter Which Position You Sleep In?

As many as 31 million Americans deal with back pain at any given time. Here are some facts you may find interesting about back pain:

  • One half of all working Americans say they have back pain symptoms every year.
  • Back pain is at the top of the list for missed days of work. It is the second most common reason for doctor’s visits following upper respiratory infections.
  • According to the Global Burden of Disease 2010, back pain is the single leading cause of disability in the entire world.
  • Americans spend around $50 billion every year on back pain.
  • Most back pain cases are mechanical or non-organic, meaning they are not brought on by a serious condition (arthritis, infections, fractures, or cancer).
  • Experts say that as many as 80 percent of the population will have some kind of back problem during their lifetime.

Causes of Back Pain

We must understand the makeup of the back. It is comprised of muscles, bones, ligaments, and joints. Muscles and ligaments can strain and sprain, discs can rupture, and joints can become irritated — all leading to reasons for back pain. Of course, we recognize that injuries from sports or car accidents can cause pain, but some of the most intense pain can result from picking a pencil up from the floor. Other factors that come into play are having arthritis, being overweight, having poor posture, and enduring psychological stress. These can all be a reason for back pain. Sometimes back pain is felt as part of a disease. For example, kidney infections, blood clots, and bone loss can all cause back pain.

Is Back Pain Linked to Sleeping Position?

The simple answer to this is YES! Below are some of the best sleeping positions you can try in order to get relief from your back pain.

    • Sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees. This is by far the best sleeping position for most people who have back pain. This position helps to evenly distribute your weight and spread it out across the widest area of your body. This results in less stress being put on your pressure points and keeps your spine is in proper alignment.
      • Lie flat on your back.
      • Put a pillow beneath your knees and keep your spine in a neutral position. The pillow under your knees helps to maintain the natural curve of your back.
      • You might want to place a small rolled towel under the small of your back if you feel you need added support.
    • Sleep on your back in a reclined position. Some people feel most comfortable sleeping in a recliner. However, this is not the best idea if you have back pain. If you have isthmic spondylolisthesis, it may be a good sleeping position for you. You may consider investing in an adjustable bed so as to get the proper support and spinal alignment. Isthmic spondylolisthesis is a condition where one of your vertebrae slips over the one below it. Reclining helps because it causes an angle between your thighs and your trunk, reducing pressure on the spine.
    • Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees. If lying on your back is uncomfortable for you, this is the second best sleeping position. Try not to always sleep on the same side as it can eventually lead to muscle imbalances or scoliosis. Keeping a pillow between your knees helps to allow your pelvis, hips, and spine keep in alignment.
      • Allow your shoulder to touch the mattress along with the rest of the side of your body.
      • Put a pillow between your knees.
      • If you notice a space between your waist and the mattress, add a small pillow for support.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and back pain download our complimentary e-book Natural and Drug-Free Ways to End Your Back Pain and Sciatica by clicking the image below.

 

  • Sleep on your side in the fetal position. This is especially helpful if you suffer from a herniated disc. Your discs are sponge-like cushions located between the vertebrae. If one of these discs pushes out of its normal space, you have a herniation causing nerve pain and weakness. By curling in a fetal position, you open the spaces between the vertebrae.

 

    • Lying on your back, gently roll onto your side.
    • Bring your knees toward your chest and gently curl your torso toward your knees.
    • Remember not to sleep on one side all the time, but switch sides to prevent imbalances.
  • Sleep on your stomach with a pillow under your abdomen. This is one of the worst sleeping positions because it adds stress to your neck, causing it to be turned at an odd angle for long periods of time. However, if it is the only way you can be comfortable, at least keeping a pillow under your abdomen will relieve stress on the spaces between your discs. It can be helpful for those with degenerative disc disease.
    • Put a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen.
    • You may choose not to use a pillow under your head.

Relieving Back Pain Naturally

Back pain may actually be due to a problem in your neck. When the top bones of the spine are out of alignment, the entire spine compensates by shifting and twisting. This affects bones, muscles, and soft tissue, leading to pain where the biggest compensation takes place, often the lower back.

Here at Symmetry Health Chiropractic Center in Cedar Park, Texas, we use a gentle method to encourage the bones of the neck to realign. This is accomplished without the need for popping or cracking the spine or neck. It is a natural process that allows the body to heal from the damage done by the misalignment. Often this leads to an improvement in back pain.

To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Cedar Park, TX office at 512-331-7422 You can also click the button below.

2018-05-07T22:06:41+00:00