How to Switch Your Sleep Position to End Back Pain
End Back Pain
If you suffer from back pain, you know how it can impact your sleep and life. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, you can take steps to eliminate pain that might be preventing you from getting the rest your body needs.
Choosing the right sleep position for your needs is a great way to alleviate back pain. The key is finding a job that matches your spine’s natural contours, which minimizes stress on pressure points along the back that may contribute to hurt when you wake up.
1. Keep Your Head Up
It’s no secret that sleep is a vital ingredient in the healing process. The best way to ensure a restful night’s sleep is to keep your back straight and the aches and pains at bay. This requires a little planning, but the right combination of restorative sleep and a healthy diet is all you need to kick your back pain to the curb. The key to achieving this optimal state of mind is to learn how to position yourself for good sleep and what type of bed is most appropriate for you. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but you can do your research in the comfort of your own home by using a free online tool such as our Sleep Index or by scheduling a personalized consultation with one of our sleep experts at your local clinic.
2. Your Neck Straight
Sleeping with a neck that is twisted or curved is not good for your body and can exacerbate neck pain. Instead, try sleeping in a position that aligns your head and neck so you don’t strain or aggravate any muscles or nerves.
Getting a good night’s sleep is key to healing back and neck pain. Often, people with these conditions find it difficult to switch their sleep position because they are used to the work they have been in since childhood.
You can practice proper posture and body mechanics before bed to avoid this. This includes keeping your chin neutral when you sleep and using pillows that are the right height for your neck, advises physical therapist Brett Sears.
A cervical roll is a simple solution to help keep your neck straight while sleeping. A rolled towel about the length of your pillow can fit into your pillowcase and support your channel while you sleep.
You can also make your cervical roll out of a bath or beach towel. Start on one side and roll it until it resembles a small roll, then slide it into your pillowcase along the lower edge.
If you’re a back or side sleeper, put a pillow between your knees or on the sides to align your spine. Alternatively, you can use a small pad under your arms to prevent your shoulders from sliding out of position while you sleep.
While these sleep positions may be a bit awkward for some people, they are less stressful on your neck than sleeping on your stomach, which can cause the spine to jut out and twist. If you need to sleep on your stomach, consider placing a thin pillow between your legs to align your spine, advises Dr. Bang, who specializes in helping people with spinal disorders.
If you can’t change your sleeping position, try practicing relaxation techniques, such as meditation and massage. These will relax your neck muscles, reducing the stress that can aggravate pain or other symptoms in the morning.
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3. Stay Your Hips Straight
Sleeping on your side puts a lot of pressure on your hip joint. It can also strain the tendons that join the gluteal muscles to your hip and compress the labrum, a thick membrane that separates the tendons from the bone. This can cause pain in the gluteal and hip muscles if the tendons become tight.
That’s why if you have pain in your hip while sleeping, it’s important to find the right position for your specific body and needs. This will help reduce the pain and improve your overall sleep quality.
Orthopedists recommend that the optimal body position is where your head is up, shoulders low, back straight and knees relaxed. This keeps the spine in a neutral place and helps prevent any lumbar rotation that can cause pain in your lower back.
If you are a side sleeper, try sleeping with your head on a pillow under your knees to keep your spine and hips aligned. Invest in a comfortable mattress for side sleepers, as the extra support can be very helpful.
Avoid sleeping on your back with a pillow under your head, as this can cause your neck to flex or stay stiff, making your cervical spine more vulnerable to pain. Instead, try using a pillow under your knees or chest, which forces your knees and hips up a little bit, making it less likely that your back can overextend and cause pain in your hips and lower back.
To minimize pain, Cleveland Clinic experts recommend that you try to rest on your side with a pillow between your knees. This helps to align your hips and back in the naturally curved position supporting the spine, keeping pressure off the joints, and relieving stress on your lower back and legs.
Changing your sleep position isn’t easy, especially for people with chronic pain. However, switching to a different place can make a big difference if you have been experiencing hip pain, making it hard to get enough sleep.
4. Your Back Straight
As we all know, posture plays a huge role in our health. Standing and sitting posture are both essential, but we tend to forget about another type of posture that can have a major impact on our health: the posture we hold while sleeping.
A few lapses in posture in the middle of the night can lead to pins and needles, leg cramps, and even back pain. These problems are not caused by a simple change in posture, though, and could be due to how we are positioned while sleeping.
We can do something about this by changing our sleep position so that we are always in a healthy place. The best part for avoiding back and neck pain is to lie flat on your back with your head and legs supported by pillows.
This position distributes weight evenly throughout the body, which helps minimize pressure on the spine and keep it aligned. Placing a pillow under the knees can also help alleviate lower back pain.
The second-best position to avoid back and neck pain is to sleep on your side with your legs stretched out straight. This comfortable and supportive position can help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed.
In either of these positions, you should focus on keeping your ears, shoulders, and hips in line. Any twisting that moves one of these spots out of alignment will cause strain on the spine.
You can also use your visualization skills to help you ensure that these areas stay in line while adjusting your sleep position or getting out of bed in the morning. Think about visualizing your body as a tree trunk that runs down the length of your spine.
The key to keeping your spine aligned while you sleep is to stay consistent with these three principles. By following these tips, you can finally switch your sleep position to end your back pain for good! And remember, it can take some time to change to a new sleeping position. but you will soon start feeling better and getting more restful sleep.