With Back Pain, Should I Sleep on My Side? Stomach? On My Back?

Hey, guys. It’s Stephen from CORE Therapy and Pilates in Austin, Texas.

Today I want to answer the question of, “If I’m having back pain, how should I sleep? Should I sleep on my back? Should I sleep on my side? Should I sleep on my stomach?” So we’re just going to go over that real quick.

To answer that question, in most people, sleeping on your back with back pain is the best scenario for you. However, if you’re tight in your hip flexors, which is what I see most of the time, especially with people who are sitting at their office or whatnot, then you might need a slight pillow or some kind of lift under the knees. What I like to use is this yoga bolster. It’s a pretty firm bolster. It comes from beanproducts.com, I’m a fan of it. Put it right under your knees, Alayna. This is Alayna here, our subject. So as we put that bolster under the knees, we get a relief in the tone or tension in the hip flexors or the psoas and that allows the back to be a little flatter or in a better, what we call neutral spine. So this would be a good position to sleep in.

Another option is using a foam roller instead of the bolster. I think the bolster is way more comfortable, but you may have the foam roller laying around and could try it immediately.

Sleeping on your side is the next best position. Now let’s turn towards me Elena. Now when we’re sleeping on the side. There are a few things to consider, the pelvis, the hips, and knee and the actual lower back. So in this side lying position, because of the angle of the knee coming down to the ankle, it puts a torque on her lower back. So we want to put this bolster between her knees. And this is why I really like this one… for the side. And we don’t want to be like this, where the ankle is not on the bolster. I want you to be there where the ankle and the knee are on the bolster together. So with that, that lifts the whole leg and keeps the pelvis in a good alignment.

Now some people may be very very tight on one side or they may sink in, which she’s doing a little bit of, so we’re going to put a slight towel roll right here under her side. All right. Now that would be a pretty good ideal position for her to be on her side. It’s a little bit of an effort, but that would be a good spot.

And then the stomach would be the least recommended position just because it puts you in a position where you have to turn your neck all night and your lower back will sag. I’m not even going to have her demonstrate that.

– On your back is best. Use a pillow or bolster under the knee, possibly a foam roller

– On your side as second best, the same pillow or bolster under the knee, making sure the knee and the ankle are both supported, and a small towel under the waist.

– Avoid sleeping on your stomach.

And that’s it. That’s the recommended sleeping positions when you’re in pain.

So if you have any questions, please type them in the comments below.

Give us a call at 512-215-4227 if you have any questions or comments.

You can reach us at info@therapyandpilates.com That’s it. I hope all is well. Y’all have a great day.

Take care.