Best Sleeping Position for Lower Back Pain Relief

Most people who suffer from lower back pain report difficulty sleeping. Likely because there are several factors contributing to their discomfort, which can make falling asleep difficult. Here are some tips for better sleeping positions when you have lower back pain.

Pillow and Body Placement

To help find lower back pain relief, place pillows under your knees or feet. If you experience discomfort with this position, try putting pillows between your legs instead. If the knee is uncomfortable, try putting another pillow between your thighs. Make sure that the pillow between your knees isn’t too high or too low (too low will put strain on your hip and knee joints).

Another pillow strategy is to try sleeping on your back with a pillow placed behind you, so that you’re not resting directly on the mattress. If sleeping on your back is uncomfortable, try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs or beneath your stomach.

You may want to place a pillow under your head as well but be cautious of keeping the spine in its natural curve too much–flat pillows can cause you to “cradle” your head and bend the spine out of shape. A pillow should support both your head and neck in a position which doesn’t cause any strain. If resting on your back, choose a firm pillow which can act as a cushion for your spine; don’t use two pillows unless they are of equal height (one under your head and one under your knees, for example). If you’re sleeping on your stomach, choose a very thin pillow.

Best Sleeping Position for Lower Back Pain According to the Experts

The best sleeping position to reduce pain and avoid injury is on your side, according to research. If you sleep on your back or stomach the risk of developing back pain increases by 23 percent. Side sleeping positions can be made more comfortable with a thin pillow between the knees.

People who suffer from acute or chronic lower back pain may find that sleeping propped up slightly with pillows brings relief.

Both sleeping positions are considered ‘neutral’. Other positions–including lying flat on one’s back, lying flat on one’s front (stomach), and having legs elevated (semi-fowlers/lazy cow) have been studied, but found to worsen symptoms of lower back pain.

Other Tips and Positions for Sleeping With Lower Back Pain

A good night’s sleep is important for everyone, but if you suffer from lower back pain when you go to bed it can be difficult to get the rest that your body needs. Here are some additional tips to help you sleep soundly when you’re experiencing low back pain.

Try Sleeping on Your Right Side Instead of Your Left

Sleeping on the right side may be helpful for those suffering from sciatica pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve which can occur when compressed in the lower back while lying in bed.

Use a Tennis Ball

If you find yourself tossing and turning frequently during sleep, try using an old shirt or sock filled with tennis balls to help you maintain a consistent position.

Use Rolled Towels

Place rolled towels or small pillows under areas which see most strain when sleeping on your back. The more support these areas have at night, the less pain you will feel in the morning.

Check Your Mattress

If you sleep with lower back pain, an uncomfortable mattress will only make things worse. If it’s time to replace yours, look at what’s currently available and check out if there are any special offers or promotions available before making your purchase. Sleeping with lower back pain can be difficult but with the right positioning and pillows, it doesn’t have to be impossible! Greater Maryland Pain Management is here to help you find lower back pain relief using effective pain relieving tools. Contact us today to learn how you can benefit from our healthy back strategies and methods.