South Austin Sports Chiropractic Blog

What is the Best Sleep Position for Neck and Back Pain?

by | Dec 15, 2021

What is the best sleep position for neck and back pain? According to the Sleep Foundation, “During sleep, your body works to restore and repair itself. Your sleep position can either help or hinder that process, depending on how effectively it supports the natural curvature of your spine. Unfortunately, it’s also common for people to wake up with brand new aches and pains in the morning, sometimes due to sleep position.”

What is the Best Sleep Position for Neck and Back Pain?

When we spend a third of our lives asleep or resting, choosing a sleep position that assists our body with physical recovery is important. For example, a proper sleep position can relieve stress on your spine, while an unhealthy sleep position can increase pain or stiffness in the back, arms, or shoulders, all while contributing to lower-quality sleep.

Sleeping on Your Side?

However, sleeping on your side or back is considered more beneficial than sleeping on your stomach. In either of these sleep positions, it’s easier to keep your spine supported and balanced, which relieves pressure on the spinal tissues and enables the muscles to relax and recover.

If sleeping on your stomach feels good to you, don’t feel forced to change it. Instead, you can minimize your risk of pain and improve spinal alignment with a supportive mattress and pillow.

Sleeping on Your Back for Neck and Back Pain

The Sleep Foundation shares, “Lying on the back is the second most popular sleep position, with plenty of benefits to rival the side sleeping position. When you’re flat on your back, it’s easy to keep your spine in alignment and evenly distribute your body weight, preventing any potential aches in the neck or back. Sleeping on the back can also relieve the congestion of a stuffy nose or allergies, so long as you prop yourself up into an upright position.

Lying on your back is the best sleep position for neck pain because it prevents the misalignment in the side or stomach positions. To avoid neck pain, use a pillow that supports the neck while letting your head sink into extension. Memory foam pillows or pillows with a divot for the head are good options. Alternately, you can roll a towel underneath your neck and use a flatter pillow for your head.

Back pain is one of the most common health issues in the country, according to the U.S. government’s online resource MedlinePlus. Data suggests that 80 percent of people will have to deal with painful or long-lasting back pain in their life. In addition, according to the National Institutes of Health, twenty-five percent of the population will encounter at least one day of back pain in any given three-month period resulting in back pain. Back pain is the single most significant cause of disability in the world and the second most frequent reason for doctor’s visits.

The importance of chiropractic care is to reduce disabling back/neck pain caused by injuries, even injuries in your sleep. Check out your local sports chiropractor to see if an adjustment designed to reduce the pain of pinched nerves and muscle spasms will help with neck or back pain.