Whether you suffer from back pain, leg pain, joint pain or chronic pain, sleep position can have profound affect on both worsening and alleviating medical conditions. Have you ever stopped to think about how you sleep at night? A good night’s sleep allows your body to repair and rejuvenate as it prepares for another day. If you are waking up tired or with aches and back pain, consider consulting your pain specialist to discuss sleep position and how to alter it to effectively get much-needed zzz’s.
Advanced Pain Management’s Dr. Kim Litwack answers 5 important questions related to modifying sleep position to reduce and prevent pain.
Q: What should I consider if I sleep on my back?
A: If you choose to sleep on your back, your lower back can arch too much and increase pressure on your spine. To combat this, bend your knees slightly upwards. Try using a few pillows underneath your knees to help maintain this position throughout the night.
Q: Should I consider sleeping on my side?
A: This is usually the most desired sleeping position because it keeps the spine in the best alignment. Try not to curl up in a ball, however; the spine should stay in a neutral spine alignment from the neck all the way down.
Q: Why is it important to have a pillow between your knees?
A: A pillow between the knees in a side-sleeping position helps keep the spine and pelvis in the best alignment and can also be more comfortable for the knees.
Q: Which sleep position is best for shoulder pain?
A: If it is difficult for someone to lie directly on their shoulder, they can try rotating their shoulder slightly forward or backward. I would also suggest using extra pillows for support to help maintain a comfortable position throughout the night.
Q: Which sleep position is best for neck pain?
A: For neck pain, it is helpful to use a small rolled up hand towel right under the neck for added support. The towel can be placed inside the pillowcase to help it stay in place.