Back pain is one of the most common complaints of the modern world. Most of us will experience it at one point or another, and some live with it on a day-to-day basis. There are many possible causes of back pain, from injuries to poor posture, and sleep posture in particular can be both a cause of and a cure.
Poor sleep posture hurts you
Is your sleep posture hurting your back? It may be, if you sleep on your belly. This position flattens the natural curve of your spine, putting a strain on muscles, bones, and connective tissue. In addition, you’re forced to turn your head to the side, putting your neck in an unnatural position and further stressing muscles and joints. Most people tend to favor one side over the other, which can lead to a chronic muscular imbalance. If you simply can’t sleep in any other position, put a pillow under your hips to reduce back strain, and don’t use one under your head.
Side-sleeping: good or bad for your back?
It actually depends. Sleeping curled up into a ball with no support distorts the curve of your spine and, like belly-sleeping, puts undue stress on various parts of your back. However, side-sleeping done properly can be very good for your back. If this is your preferred sleep position, bend your knees slightly and put a pillow between them, and make sure the pillow under your head properly supports your neck. If you have a deep curve at your hip, or your mattress is too firm, you may also want to put a rolled-up towel in the space between your hip and lower ribs for support.
What’s the best position for avoiding back pain?
Sleeping on your back is the most spine-friendly option to help you avoid back pain. Putting a pillow under your knees further reduces pressure. If you choose to sleep on your back, forsaking the traditional pillow under your head may also be appropriate; the goal is to keep your spine straight, and most pillows force your neck into an unnatural angle.
While sleeping on your back is the best position for avoiding pain, don’t despair if you can’t fall asleep this way. Proper support can make a significant difference, even in the other positions.