Chiropractor Sample e-newsletter
Sleep and Back Pain
We spend roughly a third of our lives sleeping. If it’s not restful, we wake with more pain than energy. A supportive, comfortable mattress is a good start, but you can fine tune your sleeping position for added benefit.
Visualize the way your spine looks when you have good posture. This proper alignment is called ‘spinal neutrality’ and it’s the key to waking up without back pain.
There are a few simple practices you can adopt to aid spinal alignment during sleep, regardless of the mattress you’re on. These are especially useful to know when you can’t sleep on your own mattress – while traveling, for example.
Notice sore spots when you wake up – they are signs of insufficient support, improper spinal alignment and good starting points for adjusting your sleeping position.
If you lie on your back, place a pillow under your knees. It may alleviate strain in your hips or lower back. Some people use pillow support all the way down to the ankles.
If you sleep on your side, support your hips with a pillow between the knees. Raising the top leg allows the muscles around the hip to relax. Also, experiment with pillow support in the space between the bed and the waist.
Make sure that your pillow doesn’t cause your neck to tilt up, down or to the side. Visualize how your neck ‘sits’ atop your spine while standing. Try to maintain this position while lying down.
Too many pillows may cause their own pains. Experimentation is the key. Just keep spinal alignment as your goal. Let pain be your guide, then banish it when you’ve found what works for you!