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What Is The Best Sleeping Position For Lower Back Pain?

Jun 24, 2022

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Do you know the best sleeping position for lower back pain? How you sleep is simultaneously the cause and cure for your pain.

Let’s talk about the different sleep positions to help you deal with the pain and which one most scientists recommend.

RELATED: Which Mattress To Choose When You Have Chronic Back Pain?

What Is the Best Sleeping Position for Those Dealing with Lower Back Pain?

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Best Overall Sleeping Position for Lower Back Pain

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Overall, most experts agree that sleeping on your side is the best way to ease the pressure and alleviate the pain in your back.

Sleeping on your side is the best neutral sleeping position that can greatly relieve pressure off of your spine. However, the extra curves and pressure points that come with sleeping on your side might make your pain worse.

So when you sleep on your side, make sure to support the neck, shoulders, hips, and lumbar area.

Here’s how to sleep on your side with lower back pain:

  1. Lie on your side.
  2. Choose a lofty head pillow that’s high enough to support the neck and keep your spine straight and in a neutral position.
  3. Avoid tilting your head down.
  4. Slightly bend your knees until it feels comfortable and stable, and ease the pressure off your spine.
  5. Grab a smaller pillow and place it between your knees. This helps keep your spine and hips in a natural and neutral position.
  6. Switch sides to avoid straining pressure points like your hips and shoulders.

In addition, other health benefits of sleeping on your side include:

  • lowers instances of snoring
  • reduces the risk of heartburn
  • supports gut health
  • may promote brain health

The side sleeping position is also ideal for pregnant women because it avoids compressing their internal organs.

If you’re not accustomed to this sleeping position, experiment with a C-shaped or U-shaped body pillow. These pillows can help stabilize your position and relieve pressure off of your pressure points.

How to Sleep on Your Back for Back Pain

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Ironically, sleeping on your back is the second best sleeping position for those dealing with a sore back.

Here’s how to sleep on your back when you have lower back pain:

  1. Use a medium-loft pillow under your neck and shoulder.
  2. Place a low pillow underneath your knees to help maintain the natural curve of your lumbar area.
  3. You can also try using a small pillow under your back if your hips are an especially prominent pressure point.

The trick to dealing with a bad back is providing the muscles and joints around the area with adequate support. This includes using the right mattress paired with the best bolster pillows.

Just like choosing your favorite Serta mattress, it’s not a one-size-fits-all case. Experiment with different positions. The goal is to keep your spine aligned and pressure points properly cushioned.

Whichever sleep position and setup you can remain consistent with and promotes the natural curve of your spine is the best sleeping position for you.

How to Sleep on Your Stomach for Back Pain

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Most doctors would discourage you from sleeping on your stomach.

It misaligns your spine, forces you to crane your neck, and puts a lot of pressure on your back—all the culprits for neck and back pain.

However, if this is the most comfortable position for you, make sure to:

  1. Use a low-loft pillow or you may opt not to use a pillow if it’s more comfortable for you. Be sure that your pillow doesn’t tilt you so high up that it bends your back.
  2. Place a flat pillow underneath your stomach.

Some sleepers may find this comfortable as it helps them quite literally and physically take the pressure off their back. Some are used to this position and find it the coziest. Naturally, this is their default sleep position and one they always fall back to.

RELATED: Learn How To Sleep Peacefully Even With Shoulder Pain

Other Things to Consider for Lower Back Pain

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The trick to sleeping with back pain is to keep pressure off of your lumbar spine. Stress and tension in this area are typically what causes lower back pain.

So in addition to tweaking your sleeping position, here are some other things you need to keep in mind:

1. Choose the Right Mattress

A poor, saggy mattress might be the root cause of your back pain. Until change it, it may be more difficult to treat your lower back pain. Opt for a pressure-relieving mattress that promotes proper spinal alignment.

2. Invest in Bolster Pillows

Bolster pillows come in many different shapes and sizes. They’re versatile, dense, and designed to stabilize your sleeping position and support your pressure points.

3. Prepare the Optimal Sleeping Environment

Pain makes it tough to sleep. And sleep loss can worsen your lower back pain.

But preparing the optimal sleeping environment ensures your sleep is uninterrupted and your body has ample time to recover and heal while you sleep.

This includes keeping your room cool, dark, and quiet. And make sure your bed stays cool too, especially if you run hot at night.

Most experts recommend sleeping on your side for back pain. However, this may not be realistic or the most natural or comfortable sleep position for everyone. If you must sleep on your back, be sure to use bolster pillows to help prop up your knees and/or lumbar area. This might keep the pressure off of your sore spot and help nurse your injury.

Use only a bolster pillow with a cooling system and one that promotes airflow. It will help you stay cool and refreshed, granting you undisturbed sleep.

With a great mattress and a versatile arsenal of bolster pillows, chronic pain will get off your back.

What do you think is the best sleeping position for lower back pain? Which works best for you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!