Suffering from Back or Joint Pain? Best Sleeping Positions for Pain Relief

Optimizing Sleep Positions for Back Health

If you’ve ever suffered from back pain, you’d know what all the fuss is about. 8 out of every 10 Americans will have back problems at some point in their life. Unfortunately though, one third of women are affected by this issue as compared to the quarter of men who suffer from back pain. With these statistics, at least one thing becomes clear. This is a genuine issue and needs all the help you can get.

The startlingly high numbers make you wonder about the cause of all this trouble. Surprisingly, back or joint pain is not necessarily the by-product of a chronic disease. In fact, it can be caused by simple issues such as stress or strain from bad posture. In case your back or joint pain is caused by one of these reasons, there’s a great chance you can help yourself. Your lifestyle habits also have a significant impact on your back and joints. So, when you want to break the cycle of pain and get some relief, make sure you adopt a healthier lifestyle.

One of the changes you may need to incorporate for pain relief is your sleeping position. Surprisingly, the way you sleep can either elevate the pain or decrease it significantly.

Ever awoken with a tweaked back? Most people experience the feeling at least once in their lives. A night of partying resulted in a surprise sleepover at a friend’s house. You crashed on the couch, hoping to find solace in a restful slumber but all your hopes were crushed. The couch felt more like a bed of nails and when you woke up the next day, the back pain was worse than the hangover. Now that’s something you’re better off not ever experiencing.

Tips for Pain Relief

Knowing the right sleeping position for pain relief helps you not only in getting rid of the pain but it also enables you to enjoy a better night’s rest. Before we move to the best sleeping position for pain relief, here are a few tips to make sleeping easier.

1.    Buy a Comfortable Mattress

For some people, soft mattresses are the best option. That’s not always the case though. Soft mattresses work best for people with wider hips. This way, their spine is supported and stays straight while they sleep. Hard mattresses are a better option if your waist and hips are at the same level. Both kinds of mattresses have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. The key is to get one that better suits your body. The purpose of a good mattress is alignment. Why is alignment important? Let’s find out.

2.    Make sure your Body is aligned

Even if you sleep on a couch, you can have refreshing sleep, without any back or joint pains. As long as your spine is aligned, the chances of having back pain are lessened. Joint pain can result when sleeping on couches but only if you sleep in an awkward position.

The trick is to align your ears, hips and shoulders. When they are in a straight line, the stress imposed on your spine is diminished. And with no pressure on the spine, back pain problems tend to fade.

Pain Relief – Best Sleeping Positions

Now that you know the key elements to ease joint and back pain, let’s review optimal positions for better sleep.

Sleeping on Your Back

For the neutral alignment of spine, sleeping on the back is the best remedy. Unfortunately, only about 8% people sleep in that position. By adding a few strategically placed pillows, you can decrease strain on the spine.

Place a pillow under your head and neck. Make sure your shoulders are not on the pillow. To maintain the natural curve of your spine, add a pillow under the knees. Pregnant women and people who tend to snore should avoid this position.

Sleeping on Your Side  

Sleeping on your side comes with many variations. One of the most comfortable one is the fetal position. People who suffer from herniated disk will benefit from this simple yet effective position. Simply lie on your left or right hand side and tuck your knees to your chest. Try and mimic the position of a baby in a mothers’ womb.

Another variation involves adding a pillow to the mix. Lie on your side and place a pillow between your knees. For additional support, add a pillow between your waist and the mattress.  

Sleeping on Stomach

Everyone from doctors to grandmothers discourage sleeping on the stomach. And their concerns are justified. The position adds stress to the neck and shoulder area, causing pain in neck, shoulders, lower back, hips and even heels.

According to Santhosh Thomas, DO, MBA, a spine specialist with the Cleveland Clinic and associate medical director of the Richard E. Jacobs Medical Center in Avon, Ohio, sleeping on your stomach puts some additional strain on your back muscles, as well as flattens the curve of the spine, thereby leading to pain.

The good news is that it can be countered by a few strategically placed pillows. A pillow under the lower abdomen and pelvis eases the strain on your spine. Stay in that position for a few minutes and if it feels uncomfortable, remove the pillow from under your head. This is a great option for people who suffer from degenerative disk disease.

“Any sleeping position has the potential to amplify back pain if you maintain it for too long,” Thomas says. The key to avoiding back and joint pain is to keep changing position throughout the night. The moment you feel a position is causing strain on the body, change sides or adjust the pillows.

Try the above simple sleep position tips – it’s a good start to optimize back health. If your back pain condition doesn’t get any better, it might be time to get professional help. Browse chiropractic providers near you for a rejuvenating session and a pain-free life. Or you can Request Price Quotes for a chiropractic exam and adjustment.


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