The Best Sleeping Positions to Ease Pain

By Rachel Long, PT, DPT

Night is a regenerative time when healing and recovery occur.  Your sleep position can affect that process depending on how effectively the spine is supported.  Proper positioning can relieve stress on the spine and provide quality sleep which benefits overall health.

Below are two recommendations of optimal sleeping positions.

On Your Side

This is the preferred position to alleviate stress on the back but can be symptomatic in individuals with shoulder pathology.  Placing a pillow in between your legs maintains a neutral alignment in your spine.

On Your Back

Sleeping on your back evenly distributes weight throughout your body.  Use a small pillow under your head and neck or a small cylindrical pillow or roll in the crook of your neck.  Place pillows under your knees to take stress off the back.

Restorative sleep is essential for managing pain and to prevent future occurrences.  As a general rule, avoid sleeping on your stomach.  If this is a position that you find comfortable, you can place a small pillow under the pelvis to provide support.  Remember that the goal of any sleeping position is to maintain a neutral alignment of the spine.  Contact Lifeline Therapy for a personalized and detailed analysis and recommendations on the sleeping position that would work best for you.

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