Best Sleeping Position for Lower Back Pain – Do you wake up in the morning stiff in your low back area, hard to put your socks on, hard to get moving, takes 15 to 20 minutes to start to feel like yourself? Maybe you suffer from low back pain, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, a disc bulge, sciatica? “Providing you with pain relief strategies and wellness solutions for modern day living.” We’ve all been there. We roll over in bed in the middle of the night and Uh, the low back hits us!
It’s like a shearing pain, wakes us up out of our sleep. In this blogpost, I’m going to tell you what you can do to minimize your discomfort and get your day started on a better foot. As well, I’m going to tell you the proper way to get in and out of your bed to keep your low back pain happy. One of the most common complaints I hear from patients is they do not sleep properly due to their pain in their lower back, their sciatica they’re stiff, or they wake up feeling really, really stiff or sore in the morning. One of the main reasons why is they’re not sleeping in the right position.
The biggest thing you need to take into consideration when you are sleeping is trying to keep your spine and pelvis in neutral posture. If you can keep your pelvis and lower back in a normal alignment or as close to normal alignment as you can get, then you will minimize the stress through the tissue that’s causing your problem. There are many tissues that cause pain in your lower back. One of the most common ones is the facet joints or the joints at the very, very back of the spine. There are ligaments around these.
There are joint capsules. The disc can put pressure on nerves. There can be stretched to the ligaments. The muscles can get inflamed. All that can be minimized if you take into consideration what you can do to keep your spine in the most favorable, neutral position as possible.
In this blogpost, I’m going to tell you how to minimize the stress that goes through your low back, your pelvis, your sacroiliac joints, and even your hips. These tips will allow you to start your day feeling better, more energy and less stiff. So there are a couple of considerations you want to take into account when trying to figure out the best sleeping posture for you. For those with disc issues, sciatica, disc bulges, disc herniations – the best position is likely on your back. The reason being is it’s much easier to keep the alignment in the spine, normal and straight with little stress being put through those discs.
It allows the curve to maintain its natural alignment while on your back. Another position is sleeping on your side. This will allow you to, again, minimize the stress that goes through these joints and through the pelvis and hips, if done properly. What we don’t want is we do not want to allow a rotation that happens on your side and your leg pulls down on your pelvis. We do not want to allow that to happen over the course of a night.
What it will do it will create inflammation here in your posterior joints, in your SI (sacroiliac) joints, and even cause bursitis and hip issues. Before I demonstrate how to use your pillows to keep your pelvis and low back in the proper alignment I want to just mention this. Your mattress is important. It’s one of the things that we get questioned in the office on a day to day basis is how long does your mattress last? If you’re lucky your mattress will serve you and your spine seven to nine years before it needs to be changed Your mattress should be very firm, but not so firm that you can’t sleep.
That would defeat the purpose, but you want a mattress that will be as firm, as you can get a comfortable night’s sleep on in order to support the correct sleeping posture on your side or your back. Everybody has extra pillows. It doesn’t matter what type of pillow it is. It just needs to be sufficient enough to be able to support under your knees and between your knees. If you’re a side sleeper, it’s very simple.
What we want to do is we want to place the pillow, again It doesn’t matter what pillow, want to place it between our knees and what that does it supports our hip alignment and our pelvis alignment. And it does not allow us to rotate over creating that stress in our lower back and pelvis area. So you want a pillow that’s going to support your knees, keeping them in the right alignment, taking pressure off both hips, your SI joints, and your lower back. If you prefer sleeping on your back, the same is true. The important thing is that it supports you under your knees.
Very simply like this. So what you want to make sure is that your knees are bent over top, that will take pressure off your hips. It will take pressure off your lower back and your pelvis area. The pendulum method is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get in and out of bed without causing discomfort in your lower back. What you want to visualize is a straight spine without any rotation or twist of the spine when you get in and out of the bed.
You sit on the edge of the bed and you use your elbow. As you come down, your legs are coming up at the same time, keeping that alignment from your upper and lower body together in unison. And it’s very simple down and up. And then you can scooch over. Again, when you get off/up in the morning we’re going to scooch to the edge of the bed.
We’re going to start with our lower hand and we’re going to come down and we come up at the same time. Keeping that spine in line, we want a very controlled movement to try to minimize any stress to the discs. Another way to get in and out of the bed is what I call the slide method. So what we do is we come up to the bed and again, we want to keep our spine neutral and not have any twists or forward flexion or extension. So we want to come in – we want to slide on our bed very slowly and then bring the other leg up.
And we’re gonna scootch over and then if we want to roll to our side, we’re going to roll up or to our back. Same thing is when we’re getting out of the bed, we want to come to the edge. We’re going to drop one leg down as we come up and then we’re going to walk herself up off our knee and bring that out very, very slowly. Minimizing the stress and twisting in your lower back will help you get a better night’s sleep and wake up feeling way more refreshed. I hope you enjoyed this blogpost and you can use some of the tips to give yourself a better night’s sleep and feel better in the morning.