It is simply amazing to hear just how many people have to deal with chronic back pain. According to the American Chiropractic Association, approximately 31 million people in the U.S. are dealing with pain issues in their backs.
The fact is your body does break down as we age. People start to experience things like degeneration of the discs that provide a cushion between each vertebra. That cushion serves to keep your spine straight and the nerves from being damaged when they come in contact with bone mass.
The good news is most people don’t have to settle for having to deal with chronic back pain issues. There are things that you can do to address such physical health issues. One of those things is taking steps to sleep better. When people get plenty of sleep, and sleep in positions that take the pressure off their necks and spines, chronic pain issues in the back can be diminished.
Here are five positions that you can sleep in to help diminish back pain issues. Keep in mind that every back pain sufferer must determine for themselves which of these positions will offer relief for their specific back pain issues.
1. In The Fetal Position
If you are suffering from back pain associated with a herniated disk, you need to sleep in a position that keeps all of the pressure off your spine. It’s the compression of the vertebra against the damaged disc that is causing your pain. Sleeping in the fetal position can achieve that goal.
The fetal position involves sleeping on your side, while curled up with your knees closer to your chest. That effectively spreads your spine, which helps keep the pressure off the discs between each vertebra. If you think about it, unborn fetuses are going to sleep in a position that gives their body maximum protection as their body grows. Sleeping in a fetal position is about as natural as it gets for humans.
2. On Your Side With a Pillow Placed Between Your Knees
Research indicates that sleeping on your side is a very popular position for sleeping. Unfortunately, sleeping on your side can cause the spine to “sag,” which can lead to back pain.
If you suffer from back pain, sleeping in this position will likely aggravate your pain issues. It’s OK to sleep in this position, but you should place a pillow between your legs. The pillow will serve to prop up your top leg, which will help align your pelvis in a way that keeps your spine straight — and takes the pressure off the regions that are causing your pain issues.
3. On Your Back
If your back pain is coming from the lower portion of your back, sleeping on your back can offer some relief. To enhance the benefits of sleeping on your back, you might want to consider buying a firmer mattress.
When sleeping on your back, you need to be aware that the position of your neck can help — or aggravate — your pain issues. What you need to do is make sure you use your pillow (or pillows) to keep your neck at a level that is comfortable — and keeps the pressure off your spine. The higher your head is while sleeping, the more pressure it puts on the lower back region.
4. On Your Back, Using A Pillow Under Your Knees
When sleeping on your back, you need to focus on the position of your head and neck. You also need to focus on the position of your pelvis. If your pelvis is out of alignment, it is going to naturally affect the alignment of the lower portion of your spine.
The best way to correct pelvis alignment issues is to place a pillow under your knees. You can start with a small pillow and adjust the size of the pillow you use — until you find a knee position that seems to cause little to no strain on your lower back.
5. On Your Stomach While Placing a Pillow Under Your Pelvis
Keep in mind that the pelvis position can dictate how much pressure is being placed on your spine and neck while you sleep. Arguably, sleeping on your stomach is the most uncomfortable position for someone who is suffering from chronic back pain issues. However, it’s something that can be overcome by placing a pillow under the pelvis region. In this position, the pillow will serve to create a small curvature in the spine while sleeping. That slight curvature will often be enough to relieve any undue pressure being placed on the lower back.
The bottom line: You need a good night’s sleep that is as pain-free as possible. Try these positions until you find one that seems to offer the most pain relief.