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Ask the Chiropractor: What is the Best Sleep Position to Avoid Back Pain?

by Oasis Wellness Partners on August 30, 2020       Oasis Wellness Partners - Ask the Chiropractor

Sleep. How so many of us long to get the perfect amount of sleep, but most people don’t get nearly enough of it. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 45 percent of adults in the United States report that over the course of any given week, lack of sleep affected many aspects of their daily lives—their moods, their energy, and their job performance.

Surprisingly, sleep quantity is not the main problem—the issue is really sleep quality. About 35 percent of people who reported that they slept for 7 or 8 hours a night still claimed that their sleep quality was “only fair” or “poor”! And another 20 percent said that they did not feel refreshed upon waking, even if they got the “ideal” number of hours of sleep. So what gives? Well, when a person is dealing with pain, such as lower back pain, it can make it even more difficult to get a truly good night’s sleep. Waking up constantly through the night due to pain can be the cause for feeling exhausted in the morning.

The Importance of Good Sleep

Insufficient sleep is a contributing factor to many health conditions including obesity, diabetes, depression, and cardiovascular disease. It is also a significant contributing factor in many machinery related crashed, worksite accidents, and automobile accidents, leading to injury, disability, and even death.

Sleep is crucial to leading a healthy, positive life. Good quality sleep allows your body to heal and the spine to rejuvenate. It helps you handle stress better and manage pain more effectively. It is an important part of good health so making sure that you get good quality sleep. Here are the sleep positions to get your best sleep when you have lower back pain.

Stomach Position

While sleeping on your stomach is usually the worst sleep position for back pain, some people can’t sleep any other way. Take the strain off of your back by supporting it with a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis. Using a pillow may put too much stress on your back, so you might need to try to sleep without one. Another alternative is to use a flatter, less fluffy pillow. Try different positions, such as drawing one leg up or splaying your legs more until you find on that is right for you. Meanwhile, see if you can begin training your body to sleep on your side—a better position to prevent back pain.

Back Position

Try different positions such as placing a rolled towel under your knees or the small of your back to provide added support. Use a good, quality pillow to support your neck. There are pillows that are made specifically for people who sleep on their backs; we have some great ones at Chiropractic Family Wellness Center in Scarborough, Maine. Come in and check them out!

Side Position

Many people with lower back pain find sleeping on their side to offer the most relief. If you sleep on your side, pull your knees up slightly so that they are almost perpendicular from your body. You may have to make some adjustments to how bent your legs are before you find a position that takes the pressure off of your back. Place a pillow between your thighs and knees. You may want to use a body pillow to provide even more support all along your legs.

Pillows can get worn and no longer deliver the support they once did, therefore you should change your pillow regularly or come and check out the water-filled pillows we have at Chiropractic Family Wellness Center in Southern Maine. If you are waking up with neck or back pain or headaches it could be your pillow. Additionally, studies show that making your bed every day improves your quality of sleep. Make sure that the temperature is comfortable and avoid electronic devices for about an hour before bedtime. Be good to your body; make sleep a priority, and come and get adjusted at Chiropractic Family Wellness Center in Scarborough, Maine! Make an appointment by calling (207)883-5549.

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