Millions of adults in the world deal with back pain due to bad sleeping posture. Frequently shifting to adjust position or to fluff pillows leads to compromised sleep quality. This is why many of us wake up feeling tired and having backaches.
Back pain is not always caused by a disease or medical condition. Sometimes it’s caused by stress and other environmental factors. One of the reasons for poor sleep quality is your pillow. This sleeping aid’s main purpose is to keep the neck and spine muscles aligned. However, the wrong kind of pillow can prove to be unsupportive. There are also sleeping positions that can cause back pain even if you’re using the right kind of pillow.
The good news is that there are pillows that can help alleviate back pain and other body aches. There are pillow types and sleeping positions that keep the neck and spine aligned so that you can sleep soundly.
If you’re having back pain due to poor sleep quality, we have some suggestions on how to prevent it.
Sleep on Your Side with a Pillow Tucked Between Your Knees
Some stomach sleepers experience back pain due to pressure on their backs when they sleep. One way to avoid this is to lie on your side. Sleeping on your side keeps the neck and spine aligned. However, this won’t get rid of the back pain unless you sleep with a pillow between your knees. This technique pulls up the spine to alleviate pressure on the lower back, giving you better sleep.
It is also good to note that you should sleep with only one pillow under your head. Too many pillows will misalign the neck and spine and cause headaches in the morning. Sleeping on one side only can also cause spine problems, so remember to shift from one side to the other too.
Sleep in the Foetal Position
People with herniated discs can benefit from sleeping in the foetal position. This is where you sleep on your side and your knees are pulled up to your torso.
Your discs are the soft cushions between your vertebrae. A disc is herniated when it is pushed out of its normal position, thereby causing nerve pain or damage. This can be painful, so sleeping in the foetal position opens up the spaces between vertebrae which in turn alleviates the pain.
Sleep on Your Stomach with a Pillow Under Your Tummy
Medical experts believe that sleeping on your stomach is bad for you because it puts pressure on your back. This is actually true because it also puts pressure on your neck.
However, there is a way to relieve stress in both areas. One of the best ways to do so is to sleep with a pillow under your lower stomach or pelvic area. Depending on how it feels, you may or may not sleep with a pillow under your head.
This is a good sleeping position for people with degenerative disc condition because it relieves pain from the damaged discs. Stomach sleepers can also use this technique to prevent pressure on their necks and backs and help them achieve better sleep quality.
Sleeping with Pillows Under the Knees
Sleeping on your back with a pillow under the knees is one of the best positions to alleviate back pain. The pillow is important because it lets you keep the curve of the lower back and the spine in a neutral position.
Sleeping on the back distributes your weight to the widest areas of your body. The back and hip area are the widest, so they receive a lot of pressure. However, the pillow underneath the knees helps to align the spine better, leading to better sleep quality and less back pain.
Sleeping in a Reclined Position
Not many people find it restful to sleep in a recliner, but it is a good choice for people with isthmic spondylolisthesis. It’s a lumbar spinal condition where one vertebra slips forward on top of the vertebra below it.
Recliners can be uncomfortable to sleep in, so people with this condition should consider buying an adjustable bed for better spinal support. Reclining is good for the back because it creates an angle between the thighs and trunk which reduces pressure on the spine.
Best Support Pillows for Back Pain
A good pillow cradles the head and neck while supporting the upper portion of your spine. It also keeps the spine aligned to prevent back pain and other injuries.
If you’re a back sleeper, the pillow you choose should fill the space between your neck and the mattress. Side sleepers should pick a pillow with good loft so that your head is kept in line with the rest of your body.
Both types of sleepers can choose materials such as memory foam. Most memory foam pillows are neither too thin nor too firm and give just the right kind of support. They are usually made with Visco elastic memory foam that moulds specifically to your neck. Another alternative is a water pillow because it gives firm support with good loft.
Stomach sleepers should sleep with a thin pillow under their heads. They can also try sleeping without a pillow underneath their head. This will help prevent pain in their necks. However, don’t forget the pillow under the tummy to prevent pressure on the lower back.
Always remember that alignment is key. No matter what sleeping position or pillow you choose, neck and spinal alignment is a big factor in preventing back pain while sleeping.
If you notice gaps between your body and the mattress that puts a strain on your muscles and spine, you can prevent pain in this area by placing a small pillow or a rolled-up towel.
Tossing and turning can also cause misalignment. To prevent this, move your whole body together or try to stay in one position for as long as possible. Being conscious of how you sleep can impact sleep quality and prevent back pain.