Many of us suffer from lower back pain, yet there is minimal awareness about its causes, consequences, and remedies. In fact, back pain is one of the leading disabilities worldwide, which proves how common it is. So, it’s important to tackle these issues at the right moment. That’s why we’ve asked many doctors and chiropractors about the best sleeping position for lower back pain.
Contrary to popular expectations, lower back pain is caused by mental stress, a sedentary lifestyle, wrong sleeping postures, etc. Many people often have this misguided notion that it’s caused by cancer or arthritis, which are quite severe and life-threatening illnesses. However, it is essential to note that regardless of what causes back pain, you can search for remedies (clinical or do-it-yourself).
Also, we have noted down some tips on how to relieve back pain. One of these is changing your sleeping positions to make it less stressful for your body, particularly your lower back. Improving sleeping postures can help target other sleep concerns like sleep apnea, and insomnia, and increase sleep satisfaction.
Best Sleeping Position for Lower Back Pain
Sleep on your back with a pillow underneath your knees
This position, for a lot of people, is the best sleeping position for lower back pain. There are a lot of people who are uncomfortable sleeping on their sides. Sleeping with a pillow under the knees is beneficial for back pain as well as for the relaxation of strained muscles.
To sleep in this position, you have to lay flat on your back. Keeping a straight spine, place a pillow of medium height under your knees. The pad is crucial as it helps elevate the curve in your back. You may also use a folded towel for the curve in your back for added support.
This is the best sleeping position for men with experience in professions where body strain is ordinary. Ex-army officials, athletes, etc., are more prone to back pain, and this position is one of the best sleeping positions. This is the best sleeping position at night as it evenly distributes your weight all over your flat body. As the weight is distributed among the flat layers, there is less stress on your spine.
Laying on your back also properly aligns your spine with your internal organs. This is beneficial for the healthy functioning of your organs. Your pressure points are not stressed, hence enabling them to relax. This elevates pressure from your lower back and shoulders. This itself makes this the best sleeping position for lower back pain.
It is also ideal for people with restless leg syndrome (RLS). This is because the elevation caused by the pillow relaxes your legs. This, in turn, enables you to sleep well.
The position is comfortable to lay on, essentially inexpensive, and can be carried out by anyone. Hence, due to this myriad of reasons, this position is indeed the best sleeping position.
2. Sleep on one side with a pillow tucked between your knees
This sleeping position is one of the best sleeping positions to alleviate pain. There are a lot of people who are incredibly uncomfortable with merely lying flat on their backs. This position is one of the ideal positions for them. It is the best sleeping position for lower back pain.
You have to lie on one side, making sure your body comes in contact with your mattress that is—Tuck a pillow in between your knees. The pillow must be of medial height, not too tall or short. This is important as extremes may only be uncomfortable.
It is important to note that you should habitually change the sides you lie on. Lying only on one side frequently can cause muscle imbalance. You can also place a small pillow or folded towel between the mattress and your waist. The wait here refers to the one on the side of your body touching the mattress. It is important to note that it is how you use the pillow that helps in alleviating the pain. Hence pillow size and material matter.
This is the best sleeping position for men and women who have been dealing with muscle strains. It is also one of the best sleeping positions for those suffering from restless leg syndrome (RLS). This is so because the pillows help provides balance and relaxation.
The pillow helps you balance. It helps keep your pelvis, spine, and your legs appropriately aligned. The alignment is vital in helping you reach a relaxed enough state to help you sleep.
You can always control the way the pillow is placed or the size and height of the pillow. Hence, it is an ideal and the best sleeping position at night.
3. Sleeping in the fetal position on either side of your body
Sleeping in the fetal position may be one of the best sleeping positions at night. It is ideal for you if you are uncomfortable laying flatly on your back. It is also a perfect position for those who are uncomfortable with a pillow between the legs or back.
This sleeping position is also ideal for you if you have a herniated disc. This is so because there is no unnecessary stress on your pressure points or spine. The curled fetal position helps you sleep better and relax.
To sleep in this position, you have to lie gently on your back. After this, gently roll over on one side, tucking in your knees. It is important to note to tuck both your knees in snugly towards your chest. Curl your trunk or torso towards your folded knees. Do note that it is essential to switch your sides from time to time. This is important because it helps prevent muscular imbalance on either side.
This position is also the best sleeping position according to yoga. Therefore if you have experience in yoga, this position is comfortable and ideal for you. It is the best sleeping position for lower back pain. This is especially so as the space between the vertebrae gets opened up in this position. It is also the best sleeping position for gas as it helps relax your organs. It aligns your internal organs along with your spine, making it ideal for people with gastrointestinal problems.
As per the factors mentioned above, the fetal position is the best sleeping position for lower back pain. It is beneficial for people who seek healthy sleeping positions. It eases pain and helps you have a good night’s rest.
4. Sleep with your stomach down with a pillow underneath your body.
Sleeping on your stomach or with your stomach underneath is a comfortable position for a lot of people. It is especially so for people who are uncomfortable on their backs or their sides. It can be quite tiring to sleep on your side as you have to switch sides every so often. It is one of the best, if not the best sleeping position for lower back pain.
It is true that a lot of people say that laying on your stomach is bad for back pain. Rightly so, as sleeping on your stomach may put a lot of pressure on your neck. This, in turn, puts a lot of pressure on your back. This is why you need a pillow underneath to support and evenly distribute your weight.
This is done so by putting a pillow of average size and height under your pelvis. You can also put it in between your pelvis and your lower abdomen as support. This serves as a support and even distributor of your weight and prevents the stress on your back. This is why it is easily the best sleeping position for lower back pain.
You can also choose to lay on a pillow to rest your head. However, it solely depends on how comfortable you feel with or without a pillow. You have a choice of pillows underneath your pelvis and head.
This position is most helpful for people with dysfunctional discs. This is because it alleviates pressure from your discs and back. This position is also the best sleeping position for weight loss as you lay on your stomach. It may be recommended for people who have experience in yoga as it is the best sleeping position according to yoga.
This position has a lot of benefits and helps you destress your pressured points and spine. It also helps relieve pressure from your neck and back. Hence, it is the best sleeping position for lower back pain.
Tips on How To Relieve Lower Back Pain
All of us have suffered from lower back pain at least once in our lives. That’s precisely why we know how debilitating and stressful it can make our whole day. So, often, we want to get relief from this pain in an instant. Fortunately, some remedies can give you some instant relief from discomfort.
As changing sleeping postures takes quite a long time, you have to bear the discomfort of lower back pain the entire day. Therefore, it’s important for you to practice some remedies the instant you feel pain in your lower back.
Given below are some home remedies that are popular among many sufferers of lower back pain.
- Lots of Exercises
As obvious, exercising daily can reap lots of benefits for your health. If you don’t exercise regularly, you become more vulnerable to suffering from various illnesses. Therefore, it becomes absolutely critical for you to start a consistent exercise routine to follow daily.
Many sufferers often have this misguided notion that exercising while having lower back pain can be incredibly painful. However, many exercises can give your muscles enough strength and resilience against back pain. Also, they can offer fast relief from the mind-numbing pain that is characteristic of lower back pain.
At the same time, not all exercises are great for back pain. In fact, some exercises can prolong back pain and in some cases, worsen them. Some exercises like leg lifts and sit-ups add more burden to your back. So, it’s best that you visit your doctor for a personal in-depth consultation.
Exercising regularly is important as even the best sleeping position doesn’t guarantee the absence of lower back pain. Some exercises you can practice regularly are partial crunches, pelvic tilts, and swimming. Some easier exercises include simple stretching exercises or Yoga poses like the “Child’s pose”. You can do these exercises without worrying about any bad consequences.
- Have a positive outlook
If you’re constantly stressed and worried about something you can’t control, even your body bears the burden. That’s precisely why it’s necessary for you to live a life free from worries and negative thoughts. When you think positively and live with your head held high, your body becomes healthier and stronger.
Then comes the question: how to live a positive life? You can live positively by spending quality time with loved ones and displaying love and affection. You can also do the things you love like reading your favorite book or writing down your feelings in a journal. Taking the time to do these small changes instead of watching Netflix shows the entire day can be rewarding.
- Applying Hot/Cold Treatment
Hot/cold therapy can be insanely relieving for your pain. Also, this treatment is easier in many ways and is much more accessible due to its cheapness. However, not all types of aches and pain can be relieved by this treatment. There are only a select few aches for which this treatment works well.
Also, hot and cold treatments should be used on different injuries. It’s best that you use hot treatment for chronic discomfort and lower back pain. But it’s better to use cold treatments for sports injuries or soreness after intense exercises.
You can craft your own treatment at home at no extra cost.