Best Sleeping Positions for Back Pain

When a person has back pain, one of the most common complaints is difficulty in getting comfortable for sleep. If you cannot fall asleep or wake up with back pain, this is the article for you. In my Barrhaven physiotherapy clinic, I found that a lot of my patients with low back pain often see drastic changes in their pain when they lie down by using these simple tricks.

It is hard to change someone’s sleeping position. More often than not, your body will tend to fall into the position you are used to when you are asleep. So in this article, we will talk about what you can do to make the best out of your sleeping position.

Barrhaven: If you are a Back Sleeper

back sleeper

The best way to sleep on your back is to have a pillow underneath your knees so they are slightly bent. This takes pressure off your spine and puts you in a more neutral position. Make sure your mattress is medium to firm and your pillow not too high or too low. You want your neck to be straight as if you are standing up.




Are you a Side Sleeper?


side sleeperFor you side sleepers out there, make sure to have a pillow between the legs. Ideally, the pillow should be thick enough that your legs are parallel to each other. This helps keep better alignment of your spine (so it is not deviated towards one side).




Maybe a Stomach Sleeper?


stomach sleeperSleeping on your stomach is not a great position for your body (neck, back, shoulders). However, it is hard to change someone’s sleeping position. You will most likely roll back unto your stomach in the night even if you make an effort to fall asleep in another position. If you do sleep on you stomach, at least make sure to put a small thin pillow underneath your stomach, and underneath the foot. Make sure that you don’t always turn your head towards one direction. Try to alternate left and right.


Here are some related articles you might be interested in:

Understanding Back Pain

There are many reasons why someone might have back pain. I will be listing below 2 more common scenarios for Low Back Pain and what might be causing them. These 2 presentations of low back issues make up a BIG percentage of low back patients in my physiotherapy practice. If you have back pain, more likely than not, you are in one of these 2 types. Read More…

Tips to Reduce Back Pain

Depending on what type of back pain you have, I have listed some trips to help reduce your back pain. Read More…

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About the Author:

Lily ZhangLily Zhang is a registered physiotherapist with training specializing in the McKenzie Method.  She graduated from McGill University and is currently working in Barrhaven (Ottawa, ON). She has over 10 years of professional training/clinical experience in orthopedic physiotherapy.  You can Follow Her Blog @PhysioVive Facebook Page.

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