8 out of 10 people suffer from back pain at some point during their life.
The muscles and ligaments of your lower back heal themselves while you sleep.
So to enhance this process it is vital to know about the good sleeping positions for lower back pain .
The majorly accepted Good Sleeping position for lower back pain is to sleep on your side. With your knees bent and pulled slightly towards your chest. Keep a pillow between your knees to avoid your upper leg pulling the spine out of alignment and reduce strain on your lower back.
Keep your spine straight and supported. If your spine is twisted due to the wrong sleeping position, you will open up your disc spaces or compress the joints, stretching the muscles.
Researchers have found out that there is a clear two-way relationship between sleep quality and pain. In comparison, back pain can cause a lack of sleep. Lack of sleep can be the reason that causes low back pain while sleeping.
So how can you break this cycle? How can we get sound sleep while suffering from lower back pain? Which is a Good sleeping positions for lower back pain.
Let’s dive in to know the answer.
- Best sleeping position for lower back pain
- Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain
- Best Pillow for Lower Back Pain
- Conclusion on Good sleeping Positions for lower back pain.
Best sleeping position for lower back pain
The sleeping position for lower back pain depends upon a variety of factors.
As we have already mentioned, sleeping on the side with a pillow under your knees is the best position for lower back pain.
But there can not be one fit for all solutions to this question.
No one can sleep in one position all night; we change position while sleeping.
Also, sleeping in one position may lead to stiffness in joints and muscles.
If you like to sleep on your back, it will be difficult for you to adjust to sleeping on the side position.
According to Dr. R.J.Burr “Sleep in Whatever Position that gives you the best opportunity to rest”
While this statement is correct, we need to make a few adjustments to support our lower back to get the most relief.
Let’s discuss these adjustments concerning the sleeping type
Sleeping on your Side
This position helps in taking the strain out of your back. What helps here is keeping a pillow between your knees. This will keep your hips, pelvis, and spine in better alignment.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes, “Sleeping on one side with knees drawn up in the fetal position can help open up the joints in the spine and relieve pressure by reducing the curvature of the spine.
Sleeping on Your Back
If you like to sleep on your back, you will likely have fewer problems than people who prefer stomach sleeping. But this position is not immune to lower back pain.
But you can place a pillow under your knees to maintain the normal curve of your lower back. And this will help in reducing the pain, and you can have a good night’s sleep
Sleeping on Your Stomach
Suppose you are suffering from lower back pain. Should avoid this position.
Sleeping in this position put more pressure on your back and push the spine into an unnatural curve, which may increase the back pain at night while sleeping.
But if you love to sleep on your stomach, then you should place a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen. It will help you retain the natural curve of the spine and reduce pressure from joints around it.
You should also check the need for a pillow under your head. If it causes strain, try sleeping without it.
Apart from the position in which you sleep. The choice of your mattress and pillow also determines the quality of sleep.
So we need to consider which type of mattress and pillow is best for lower back pain.
Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain
Whenever did I ask someone which is the best mattress for lower back pain sufferers? The most common answer is a firm, Mattress.
Is this correct? Or proven by any research.
The answer is NO!
There is no supporting research on this topic. And one type of mattress can not be good for everyone.
So, How to Choose the Best mattress for a bad back?
It Needs to Keep your Spine Straight and Supported
The posture during sleep determines the quality of recovery from back pain. If you are using a firm mattress, it may not support your spine.
People with wide hips. A soft mattress will be good, while a firm mattress will be better for people with narrow hips.
Try Out Different Mattress Types
The best way to select the most suitable mattress for yourself is by trying out different types of mattresses.
You can do so by sleeping at a relative or friend’s place or staying at a hotel. If you could get a pain-free sleep in any of these locations, buy the same model for yourself.
Another way can be buying a mattress with a money-back or replacement facility. That way, you can try out a different type of mattress and return or replace it if you are not happy.
Change your old Mattress
If you are using the same mattress for the last 9-10 years. Its time to change your mattress.
According to a study published in ScienceDirect. The sleep quality may be dependent upon the timely replacement of the bedding system.
One more major finding in this study was. That lower back pain is more significant while sleeping on a lower category of beds than the medium or higher category.
Personal preference should be the deciding factor
A study conducted on 268 people with lower back pain found that people who sleep on a hard mattress had poor sleep quality.
A soft mattress can also be problematic even though it helps in favorable alignment of joints but can also cause a twist in your joints.
If I have to suggest any, I will suggest a Medium Firm mattress to get proper and pain-free sleep.
A General Guideline for People with Back Pain
- Use a soft mattress if you are a side sleeper
- Use a Firm mattress if you are a back or stomach sleeper.
- Your weight can be a big factor while choosing a mattress. People under 130 lbs need a soft mattress; between 130-230 need a medium-firm mattress and need a firm mattress above.
But as I have mentioned earlier, you should try out different types of mattresses. And choose the best that can help you in relieving the lower back pain.
Best Pillow for Lower Back Pain
Does the pillow have anything to do with lower back pain? If yes, then how to choose a pillow for lower back pain when sleeping?
Like a mattress, the primary thing that a pillow should do is to keep your body in proper alignment.
By proper alignment, we mean keeping your head, neck, and spine in a straight line. so a big no to keeping more than one pillow or a pillow with a high loft under your head.
The firmness is one more thing to consider while selecting a pillow.
This depends upon your choice of sleeping position.
Medium to the firm is the best pillow for back sleepers and also for side sleepers.
While the stomach sleepers( please avoid this position if possible) should opt for a soft pillow.
While sleeping on your side, you can use a normal pillow to keep under your knees. But you can also use a body pillow, which will help you keep your spine in the right alignment.
The body pillow comes in three shapes. C shape, J shape, and U shape.
Out of these, U shape is great for the people suffering from lower back pain. And J shape in good for side sleepers.
Conclusion on Good sleeping Positions for lower back pain.
We spend 1/3rd of our life sleeping. And most of us are not sleeping correctly or in the right postural position.
Good night sleep is imperative to treat your lower back.
Because Sleep enhances your muscle recovery through protein synthesis and human growth hormone release.
And to achieve a sound sleep that too while you are suffering from lower back pain. You need to know how to sleep and which is a good sleeping position for lower back pain.
Sleeping is not only dependent upon the position. Your choice of mattress and pillow also affects your ability to have a better sleep.
Let us know in the comments which sleeping position do you prefer?
Are you planning to put in place the tips we have given above to enhance your sleeping experience?
How Should You Sleep if You Have Lower Back Pain
There are three positions in which we human beings sleep
1.Sleeping on our back
2.Sleeping on side
3.Sleeping on your stomach.
Out of these three sleeping on the side with a pillow under your knees is the best way to keep your hips, pelvis, and spine in better alignment.
If you like to sleep on your back, keep a pillow under your knees to maintain your back’s normal curve.
And if possible, please avoid stomach sleeping because this will disturb the alignment of your spine.
And if you love stomach sleeping, then put a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen to bring your back to normal position.
What is the best exercise for lower back pain
The Best Exercise for lower back pain are
Half Camel pose( Ardha Ushtrasana)
Half wheel bend pose( Ardha Chakrasana)
The Raised leg Position( Uttana Padasana)
The Bridge Pose (Setubandhasana)
The locust Pose( Salabhasana)
The Child Pose ( Balasana)
The Cobra Pose(Bhujangasana)
Downward Facing Dog ( Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Extended Puppy Pose( Uttana Shishosana)
Spinal Twist( Markatasana)
All these are yoga poses and are particularly good for providing relief to your lower back.
Should I sleep on the floor with lower back pain
Sleeping on the floor with lower back pain helps, but it is not essential. But it is better than sleeping on a soft mattress.
Sleeping on the floor is beneficial if you like to sleep on your back. This way, your spine will be in line, and everything will be in a neutral position.
But avoid sleeping directly on a hard surface. It can be uncomfortable to your bones. Instead, use a Yoga mat or a carpet.
Also, keep a pillow under your knees, which will make the back a little more falter, which will allow the lower back, neck, and shoulder blades to be in proper alignment.
Some people may feel body aches initially, but the pain will go away in a few days, and then you will be able to wake up more refreshed and pain-free.