Most people spend approximately one-third of their life sleeping, so it is no surprise one’s favorite sleeping position can affect the alignment of the spine. Spending several hours sleeping with a twisted spine can result in a wide range of discomfort from sore muscles to persistent back pain. Fortunately, anyone suffering from stiff and sore back muscles in the morning may be able to find relief by adjusting their sleeping position.
The best sleeping position for avoiding back pain is by sleeping on one’s side, with legs together. For many, this also happens to be the most comfortable and they have already formed a habit of sleeping on the right or left side. This position places little stress on the body and the pelvis is situated naturally. Some people find that placing a pillow between their lower legs creates an additional level of comfort.
Sleeping on the back is also a healthy option when certain adjustments are made. Back sleepers should not use a pillow that will force their head into an unnatural position. A pillow that supports the neck without elevating the head enough to bend the spine upward is ideal. The legs should also be kept straight without one knee or the other bending outward.
While the above two positions can help to minimize or reduce back pain from sleeping, experts agree that the absolute worst sleeping position is on the stomach because the lower back vertebrae are compressed for hours at a time. In addition, an individual’s head ends up twisted to the side so the upper spine is also stressed. Some stomach sleepers find it very difficult to change this life-long habit, but they will find the effort worthwhile if it proves to reduce their back pain.
Everyone needs to be comfortable while sleeping, but the correct sleeping position can help prevent a sore back and offer more comfort while awake! If you suffer from chronic back pain that you believe is caused from sleeping, it might be time to talk with a spinal specialist. These professionals can offer a wide range of conservative spine therapies and options to help minimize back pain.
For those who have tried conservative methods but still find that debilitating back pain is part of daily life, talking to a spinal surgeon is another option. Trained and experienced in the field of spinal care, they’ll be able to identify the cause of your pain and recommend specific procedures. To learn more about options for spinal surgery in Santa Monica and the Greater Los Angeles area, contact The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration at (310) 828-7757 and schedule a consultation today.