A staggering 540 million people in the world suffer from low back pain. The worst part is that most people affected with back pain employ the wrong treatment techniques, which worsens the situation. While there are various reasons for lower back pain, most individuals experience back pain because they don’t sleep correctly.
Neck and back pain can vary from mild discomfort to excruciating and debilitating pain. Regardless of the pain level, adopting the best sleeping positions for back and neck pain can help reduce the pain. Doing so does a much better job of relieving back pain than applying thick swabs of ointment on your back every night.
The best part is that embracing better sleeping positions for a better back won’t cost you a dime unless you don't own a bed.
In this piece, we’ll be looking at some of the best and worst sleeping positions you can try out for your neck and back pain.
What Causes Back Pain?
Few things are as annoying as incessant back pain, especially when trying to get a good night’s sleep. The first step to treating your back pain is figuring out what causes the back pain. There are plenty of reasons for back pain, but here are some of the most common ones.
Accidents and Injuries: Car accidents and sports injuries are common causes of back pain. A forceful impact to the spine or limbs mostly results in back pain.
Degenerative spine diseases: Diseases like spinal stenosis can lead to excruciating lower back pain. Most of these diseases require comprehensive treatment and sometimes surgery to treat.
Improper sleeping positions: Improper sleeping positions really do a number on your back. The worst part is that most people can’t help it unless they put their hearts and minds to it.
These are just a few of the most common reasons for back pain. Regardless of the cause of your back pain, there’s nothing that improved sleeping positions won’t tackle. Let’s now look at some of the best sleeping positions for back pain.
The Best Sleeping Positions for Back and Neck Pain
Getting enough sleep is crucial because it sets the tone for your entire day. However, doing so can be almost impossible if you’re plagued with unending back pain at night. Here are a couple of sleeping positions you can adopt to reduce back pain and get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep Facing the Ceiling With a Pillow Under Your Knees
The most straightforward sleeping position to reduce back pain is sleeping on your back. However, sleeping on your back alone doesn’t cut it. You’ll need a pillow to help maintain your spinal curve.
First, lay flat on your back, then places an ordinary pillow under your knees. You can also place a small rolled-up towel under your back for added support. The pillow and towel help keep the spine in a neutral position.
Sleep Facing Down With a Pillow Beneath Your Abdomen
If the first position doesn’t work for you, you can try sleeping on your stomach. This time instead of placing a pillow under your knee, place one under your abdomen, near your groin. While it’s true that sleeping on your stomach may stress your neck, the pillow under your abdomen will relieve most of the stress on your neck and back.
All you have to do is lay flat on your stomach, then place a pillow under your abdomen slightly below your tummy. First, have a feel of the position to tell whether you can handle it. If it’s too uncomfortable, try putting a pillow beneath your head.
Sleep on Your Back, But Reclined
If you want a super comfortable sleeping position that does wonders for your back, try sleeping on your back but while reclined. Of course, to achieve this sleeping position, you'll have to sleep on a recliner or get a bespoke reclining bed.
Sleeping on a recliner is incredibly beneficial for people who suffer from spondylolisthesis. This is a condition where a vertebra slips over the disc beneath. Sleeping while reclined helps reduce the pressure on your spine.
The Fetal Position
Sleeping on your side in the fetal position is a comfortable and natural way to reduce your back problems. It’s especially useful for individuals with a herniated disk.
You only have to lay on your side, then bring your knees closer to your chest. Lastly, curl your upper body closer to your knees. It’s also a good idea to turn from side-to-side occasionally to maintain proper balance.
The Worst Sleeping Positions for Back Problems
The root cause of your nagging back pains could be how you sleep. Here is the worst sleeping position for your back.
Sleeping on your stomach: As we mentioned earlier, sleeping on your stomach is terrible for your neck and back. That’s why you need to prop your abdomen with a pillow to align your spine if you do so. Doing so also relieves the tension in your neck and spine.
You worsen the problem when you turn your head to the side, yet this is the most natural position for sleeping on your stomach. That’s because doing so rests the cervical spine in an unnatural position. That explains the cause of your morning neck stiffness and the back pain you feel in the morning.
Good Sleeping Positions Equal a Long and Healthy Life
If you want to permanently eliminate your back problems, you need to start adopting the best sleeping positions for back and neck issues ASAP. It might take a while before your body adjusts to the new sleeping positions, but they’ll become natural in a few weeks. You can try these positions during your daytime naps for even better progress.