Have you ever considered changing your sleep habits to relieve lower back pain, neck pain, or other general aches and pains? If not, it’s time you did. Your sleep position and pillow choice could be the very culprits of your daily discomfort. If you follow these four tips, you could put an end to your lower back pain overnight.
1. Sleep on your back. Sleeping on your back helps maintain a neutral spine position, thus easing any pressure on your lower back and neck. By keeping a straight spine, you are not forcing any extra curves in your body. When sleeping on your back, you should choose a puffy pillow, one that supports your head and neck without propping you up too much.
2. Become a side-sleeper. Sleeping on your side is the next best position, if you simply can’t sleep on your back. Side-sleeping also keeps your spine elongated and free from curves. In addition to relieving lower back and neck pain, it also is great for reducing acid reflux and decreasing snoring. If you choose to sleep on your side, it is best to choose a pillow that will fill the space above your shoulder, so your head and neck are supported in a neutral position
3. Sleeping in a fetal position is not ideal. If you are prone to sleeping in the fetal position with your knees pulled up tight and your chin tucked, you may be setting yourself up for chronic back and neck pain. An easy alteration to this sleep position is to simply straighten yourself out and sleep more in the side position. Again, choose the same pillow as you would for side-sleeping.
4. Do NOT sleep on your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach is the absolute worst sleep position. Maintaining a neutral spine is near impossible when on your stomach, and even worse is the pressure it imposes on your nerves and joints. Irritated nerves can lead to pain, numbness and tingling. Think if you kept your neck turned to one side for even 30 minutes during the day; it would cause extreme discomfort and pain. Now think what sleeping on your stomach with your neck turned to one side for seven to eight hours would do, not to mention the discomfort to the lower back and hips.
As you can see, the way you sleep has a lot to do with how you feel. Although training yourself to sleep in a proper position may take some time, it will be well worth it. If a simple alteration can help relieve lower back pain and neck pain, it is definitely worth your time and effort.
Ask our therapists how you can change a bad sleeping habit. They will be able to help you.
-Source: www.cdapress.com; Dr. Wayne Fichter; February 26, 2014