7 Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain

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7 best sleeping positions for lower back pain
Author Name: Mia Barnes
Date: Wednesday September 8, 2021

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When your back aches, getting your rest can help you recover. How can you manage, though, when every which way you toss and turn only adds to your pain? It can be challenging to find your comfort zone. These seven best sleeping positions for lower back pain may help you get your much-needed shuteye. 

If You Sleep on Your Back 

Sleeping on your back lets you take advantage of gentle pressure against sore spots, but it can also leave gaps that worsen your ache. If this position is your preferred one, try the following tips when lower back pain strikes. 

1. Elevate Your Knees

One way to keep your lower back supported while you sleep is to elevate your knees. This position pushes your lumbar spine into your mattress, allowing all the complex muscles and connective tissue in this region to relax. 

This posture also benefits those with certain disorders. For example, if you are at risk of deep vein thrombosis, this position can lower your chances of a dangerous clot. Pulmonary embolisms can form if these clots break away and travel to your lungs, possibly causing death — please consider putting some pillows under your legs. 

You’ll also find this position soothing if you have circulation woes or edema. If your job forces you to stay on your feet all day, you might discover propping up your dogs eases multiple pain. 

2. Support Your Lower Back 

Sleeping on your back can exacerbate low back pain by leaving a gap between your lumbar vertebrae and your mattress. One way to mitigate the problem is by placing a pillow there. 

If standard bed pillows don’t work because they are too large, investigate the throw pillow department. You can find specially made ones designed to support this area. 

3. Consider a Reclined Slope 

If your recliner is your favorite napping spot, a reclined slope or wedge pillow might offer your best sleeping position for lower back pain. You can find these at many bed and bath retailers or online. Look for one that’s large enough to elevate your entire torso. 

This position also comes in handy if you are an inveterate back sleeper and your partner complains about your snoring. Back sleeping pushes your tongue against your soft palate, leading to noise. This posture draws your tongue forward, quieting the bear-in-hibernation sound effects. 

If you Sleep on Your Side

Sleeping on your side can ease lower back pain — or add to it. The trick is maintaining your alignment, which may require some props. 

4. Embrace a Body Pillow 

Placing a pillow between your knees creates a neutral alignment between your back and hips, keeping from the dip that can lead to pain. This position may benefit those with sciatica or herniated discs by relieving pressure on the spinal nerves. 

Another perk of using a full-body pillow is that it is comforting to hug. If you have severe PTSD, it might even help to place a second body pillow along your other side, creating a sandwich effect that might make you feel comforted enough to sleep on panic-ridden days. 

5. Curl Up in Fetal Position 

The fetal position likewise comforts many because it is reminiscent of when you were still a baby in utero. If your knees touch when you lie in this position, you may likewise want to use a pillow between your legs to keep your back and hips in better alignment. 

If You Sleep on Your Belly 

Sleeping on your belly might seem like a no-brainer if your back aches. However, it can worsen your pain if it throws you out of alignment. This position is particularly tough on the lower back, as your spine tends to bend inward in a U shape. However, with the right support, you can make it work. 

6. Support Your Hips 

To keep your lower back from dipping into an exaggerated arch, you can place a pillow against your belly where your legs meet your hips. If you have circulation problems, you might want to put another, smaller pillow under your feet. 

7. Think Low Head Pillows 

If you sleep on your belly, elevating your head will place additional pressure on your lower back. Therefore, keep your head pillow somewhat flat. 

For Any Sleep Style 

Regardless of your preferred sleep style, the right bedroom setup will help you sleep more comfortably. Many sleep experts recommend the following items: 

  • Pillows, Lots of Pillows: Pillows allow you to adjust and add support wherever you need it. Feel free to pile them high on your bed. 
  • A Medium-Firm Mattress: You don’t want too soft of a mattress if you have lower back pain. It can sag, leading to uncomfortable positions. Likewise, you don’t want one without any give, as this can hurt your hips if you sleep on your side. A medium-firm version should fit you like Baby Bear’s chair. 

Try These 7 Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain 

Getting your Zzz’s can seem impossible when every direction you toss and turn brings fresh agony. Try these seven best sleeping positions for lower back pain and increase your chances of resting easier. 

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