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​The 4 Best Sleeping Positions That Minimize Lower Back Pain

Mar 3rd 2020

Do you suffer from any type of lower back pain? You’re not alone.

Approximately 80% of Americans will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Lower back pain mostly impacts office workers who spend the majority of their days stationary at their desks. The problem arises from poor body mechanics and prolonged inactivity, which can ultimately affect sleep cycles. What’s even more interesting is that lower back pain is not related to chronic diseases or disorders; it’s solely linked to poor posture and awkward sleeping positions.

If you’re wondering how to wake up in the morning without feeling stiff or out of whack, here are four of the best sleeping positions to minimize your lower back pain and get a better night’s sleep.

Sleep on your side with a pillow in between your knees.

Lying on your back can be uncomfortable if you have lower back pain, so try sleeping on your side. Choose a side and let that side of your body have complete contact with the mattress. Place a pillow in between your knees and ensure there is no space between your waist and the mattress. If there is, consider placing a small pillow there for added support. This position won’t help if you don’t use the pillow. Sleeping on your side alone isn’t enough to reduce lower back pain. The pillow keeps your hips, pelvis, and spine in line. The key to this position is to switch up the side you sleep on to minimize muscle imbalance and the risk of scoliosis.

Sleep on your side in the fetal position.

If you suffer from spinal issues like herniated discs, you might want to sleep curled on your side in the fetal position. Start by laying on your back and then shift over to one side. Curl your knees toward your chest and move your torso closer to your knees. Switch sides to minimize the chance of imbalance. Discs are the soft cushions between your vertebrae that provide slight mobility in your spine and act as shock absorbers. When these discs become herniated, the disc pushes out of its normal space and causes nerve pain and weakness. This position opens up space between your vertebrae.

Sleep on your stomach with a pillow under your abdomen.

You might have heard that sleeping on your stomach is actually bad for back pain. That’s partly true in that it puts added stress on your neck. However, if you’re a stomach sleeper, you don’t have to abandon your favorite position. You can fix it by placing a pillow between your pelvis and lower abdomen to relieve pressure from your back. You might feel comfortable using just the pillow near your abdomen, and in that case, you might not need to use another pillow under your head. This position helps those with degenerative disc disease by relieving stress on the space between your discs.

Sleep on your back and place a pillow underneath your knees.

For some people, sleeping on their back is the only comfortable position to relieve back pain. If you are a back sleeper, you can enhance the position by sleeping with a pillow underneath your knees. This helps keep your spine neutral and the pillow works to keep the natural curve in your lower back. When you sleep on your back, you provide your body with even weight distribution. You place less strain on your pressure points, and your spine is allowed to receive better alignment.

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