Did you know that back pain is the fifth most common reason people visit their doctor?
If you’ve experienced anything from sharp pains in your spine to dull aches in the lumbar region, you’re not alone.
The good news is that most causes of back pain aren’t serious and can be eased by something as simple as adjusting the way you sleep.
If you’ve been waking up with back pain more often than not, it might be time to adjust your sleeping position. Unfortunately, some sleeping positions are more likely to give you back pain than others and we’re afraid it’s particularly bad news for stomach sleepers. Sleeping on your front flattens out the spine at the lower back, one of the areas most prone to aches and pains. The best position you can sleep in is on your side, with your knees drawn up towards your chest. This helps maintain the natural curve of the spine and should stave off a painful wakeup.
If you just can’t get to sleep on your side, there’s no need to worry though. Pillows can provide ample support for the spine to make front and back-sleeping less painful. If you sleep on your front, place a pillow underneath your hips to help keep the spine curved. If you prefer to sleep on your back, a pillow under lower back and the knees can have the same effect.
The type of pillow you use is also pretty important when it comes to neck support and avoiding pain across the top of your back. Try not to sleep on a big pile of cushions as this leaves the neck at an unnatural angle. Instead, opt for a supportive memory foam pillow or even a v-shape pillow to give extra comfort.
Of course your bed, and more specifically your mattress, can make a huge difference to avoiding back pain when you sleep. While memory foam and orthopaedic mattresses are specifically designed to tackle most causes of back pain, doctors say that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution and recommend finding the best option to suit your body and the way you sleep. For example, while support is key, some people might only be able to get comfortable on a softer mattress while others might find that a firmer mattress gives them the alignment they need.
To find out more, check out our blog on choosing the best mattress for back pain. Happy sleeping!