Capital City Neurosurgery |3600 Olentangy River Rd 480ColumbusOH43214 | (614) 442-0700
Capital City Neurosurgery
3600 Olentangy River Rd 480
ColumbusOH 43214
 (614) 442-0700
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The Best Sleep Positions to Reduce or Prevent Back Pain

The Best Sleep Positions to Reduce or Prevent Back Pain

The position in which you sleep can have a significant impact on the degree of back pain you experience. If you do not sleep in a way that keeps your spine aligned, you may end up exacerbating existing back pain. Here are some sleep positions you can use to align your spine and reduce or avoid back pain.

Pillow Between Your Knees

Having a pillow between your knees as you sleep on your side can help keep your pelvis, hips, and spine in alignment. If your waist is smaller than your hips and there is space between your mattress and your spine, you may want to tuck a small pillow in that spot to provide extra support.  

Fetal Position

Another side position you may want to consider is the fetal position, in which your knees are angled in the direction of your chest, and your upper body is curved slightly towards your knees. This position is particularly helpful if you suffer from a herniated disk. The way that you curve your torso while in the fetal position makes space between the vertebrae of your spine, alleviating some of the pressure that may be on the displaced disk.   

Reclined Position

Some forms of back pain can be reduced by sleeping in a reclined position with your back elevated at an angle from your hips. For example, if you have isthmic spondylolisthesis, in which one of the vertebras in your spine has slipped over the vertebra directly below it, sleeping while reclining can lessen the pressure on your spine.

Another side position you may want to consider is the fetal position, in which your knees are angled in the direction of your chest, and your upper body is curved slightly towards your knees. This position is particularly helpful if you suffer from a herniated disk.

On Your Back

Lying on your back may be the best position for back pain and is ideal for both your back and neck as it helps keep the spine straight and the neck in the neutral position if no pillow is used under your head. However, using pillows under your knees while on your back can make the position even more effective. It helps to ensure that your internal organs are in alignment and that your weight is distributed adequately along the widest surface of your body.  

Sleep Positions to Avoid

  • Sleeping on Your Stomach. This may be the worst position to sleep in if you have any back pain. This position exerts pressure on the joints of your spine and nearby muscles, forcing your spine out of its natural curve. Sleeping on your stomach also requires that you turn your neck, which can contribute to neck and upper back issues.
  • One Leg Higher than the Other. Sleeping on your side with one leg bent and the other straight forces you to twist your lower back and also strains your spine.

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Would you like to know what can be done to alleviate your back pain? Contact us at Capital City Neurosurgery today! We can help you explore your options, such as minimally invasive spinal surgery.


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