Sleeping Comfortably with Lower Back Pain

As anyone with lower back pain will know, it can take time to find the best sleeping position. But is the one you found comfortable and beneficial?

Not every sleep position can help relieve back pain, even if it’s the best way for you to fall asleep. A poor sleeping position can aggravate, or even cause lower back pain. The position you choose should maintain the natural curvature of your spine without pressure on your neck, hips, or back.

One of the best ways to sleep is on your back, as this distributes your body weight evenly; and ensures alignment of your head, neck and spine. However, not everyone finds this position comfortable; for additional support place a small pillow under your knees, and fill the gaps between your body and mattress with thin pillows.

If you’re a side sleeper, take care, as sleeping on your side can strain your lower back. To minimise strain and keep your head, shoulders and hips correctly aligned, try sleeping with a firm pillow between your knees, and one to support your head and neck.

If you have a herniated disc, then a curled foetal position may provide relief. Lie on your side with your knees tucked into your chest and your back straight. Support your head and neck with a pillow, and place a firm pillow between your knees.

Sleeping on your front is one of the worst positions, but may benefit people with degenerative disc disease or a herniated disc. Place a thin pillow under your stomach and hips to raise your mid-section and help spinal alignment. You can sleep with your head on a flat pillow, or none at all, but make sure your head isn’t turned to the side, as this can twist the spine.

Your sleeping position, mattress, and pillows all need to work in harmony so that you can sleep comfortably with lower back pain. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort and need advice, speak with your local chiropractor.

This article first appeared in the November/December edition of ‘Your Chiropractor’. Come in to Jowett and Moulton Chiropractors in the Melbourne CBD to pick up your copy today.