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3 Sleeping Positions for Back Pain Correction and Prevention

Updated on December 29, 2020
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Fredda Branyon has dedicated her life to the advancement of complementary medicine.


Got back pain? Here is a quick guide to the three best sleeping positions for back pain, as well as when you should see a doctor.

Do you experience lower back pain? If yes, the uncomfortable feeling may not only affect your everyday life, but it can also cause sleep deprivation. Making matters more complicated, having poor bed posture has a tendency to worsen back pain, or cause it in people who do not endure backache in general. That being so, which sleeping position is best for preventing back pain? Let us discuss the three best sleeping positions.

1. Sleeping on your back and supporting your knees

Lying on your back is one of the best sleeping positions for maintaining a healthy back, but only 10 percent of peoplee do so, according to a National Sleep Survey. The position allocates weight evenly throughout your body, reduces pressure points, and promotes good body alignment. In addition, supporting your knees by placing a small pillow underneath them can help preserve the healthy and natural curvature of your spinal column.

2. Sleeping on your side with a pillow tucked between your legs

About 63 percent of Americans sleep on their side, and for a very good reason. According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), this particular sleeping position is most beneficial to those who are struggling with persistent back pain. However, some doctors say that lying on the side may pull the spinal column out of alignment. Placing a firm pillow between your legs should correct or prevent this issue. Doing so raises your upper leg, which can help restore the natural placement of your spine, pelvis, and hips.

3. Sleeping on your back in a reclined position

Going off to dreamland in a reclined position may benefit you if you experience lower back pain, and especially if you have a lumbar spinal condition called isthmic spondylolisthesis.

If you experience relief from a reclined sleeping position, investing in an adjustable bed that you can situate in the most comfortable position possible may be worth the money, as it eliminates the need for constantly arranging your pillows during bedtime.

Should You See a Doctor for Back Pain?

If you experience severe or recurrent back pain, especially following an accident or injury, please do not hesitate to consult a doctor. Moreover, you should seek immediate medical assistance if the discomfort worsens when you lie down to sleep at night.

To be specific, aside from backaches, you should see a doctor is these symptoms accompany your back pain:

  • Chest pains

  • A fever that persists or worsens

  • Unexplainable numbness in certain body parts, which may affect the legs, arms, groin area, and buttocks

  • Being unable to pass urine easily

  • Loss of bowel and/or bladder control

  • Unintended weight loss

Keep in mind that these symptoms may signal a hidden chronic disease. Therefore, it is best to have yourself checked in order to rule out any serious health problems.

Lastly, if the back pain you are experiencing is causing long-term sleep deprivation, you need to see a healthcare professional and discuss the treatment options available to you, as well as any lifestyle changes that may help eliminate your symptoms and promote quality sleep.


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