May is Better Sleep Month

Woman waking up with back pain

How Your Sleeping Position Can Lead to Back Problems

It's not always easy to narrow down the cause of early morning back pain, particularly if you don't remember doing anything that could trigger the pain. If you haven't fallen, lifted heavy items, or exercised intensely recently, your sleeping position may be to blame for your pain. Focusing on improving your sleeping position during National Better Sleep Month in May just may help ease your back pain.

The Way You Sleep Can Stress Your Back

Your preferred sleeping may be the same one you used when you were five. Back then, you could easily fall asleep in any position and not experience any consequences. Unfortunately, wear and tear in addition to the natural effects of aging can make your back more susceptible to aches and pains if you continue to sleep in certain sleeping positions.

Positions that fail to keep your head, neck, and back properly aligned and supported are more likely to trigger back pain. Stress on your joints, muscles, and ligaments increases if you don't maintain the natural curvature of your back as you sleep.

Exploring Common Sleeping Positions and Their Effects on Your Back

Do you fall asleep in one of these positions? Here's how they may affect your back:

  • Stomach. Sleeping on your stomach may be comfortable, but it's not very good for your back. Stomach sleeping forces you to arch your lower back, which may cause morning pain. Turning your head in this position may also strain the muscles in your neck and shoulders. If you can't fall asleep unless you lie on your stomach, try placing a pillow under your hips to prevent your lower back from arching too much.
  • Fetal Position. The fetal position is a favorite of many people. In fact, 47 percent of people prefer sleeping curled in the position, according to The Better Sleep Council. Although this position isn't bad for your back, it can lead to aches and pains in other parts of your body as you age. If you wake up with aching knees or hips, try to open up your position a little, if possible. Putting a pillow between your legs may help with knee or hip pain.
  • Side. Sleeping on your side can reduce your risk of back pain, as long as you alternate sides. When you consistently sleep on the same side, muscle imbalances that contribute to back pain can occur. Using a pillow between your legs can also improve your comfort in this position.
  • Back. Lying on your back is the ideal sleeping position if you want to avoid pain. The position helps preserve the natural alignment of your spine and doesn't stress any part of your body. Adding a pillow under your legs can make the position even more comfortable if you're a back sleeper.

How to Improve Your Sleep and Avoid Back Pain

In addition to sleeping on your back or side, these tips may help you wake up refreshed and pain-free:

  • Choose the Right Pillow. Pillows that are too thick or thin can disrupt the alignment of your neck. Your pillow should keep your head in a natural position and not cause it to droop down or tilt upward.
  • Replace Your Mattress. A worn-out mattress may cause or worsen your back pain. Mattresses typically last 10 years or longer, according to Consumer Reports. It's time to replace yours if you regularly wake up in pain or if the mattress sags or appears lumpy.
  • Select the Best Mattress Type for Your Body. Price shouldn't be the only factor you consider when you buy a new mattress. Saving a little money isn't worth it if your new mattress causes you to constantly wake up with back pain. The perfect mattress should support and cushion your body without creating pressure points. The Cleveland Clinic recommends choosing a softer mattress if your hips are wider than your waist and a more rigid mattress if your hips and waist form a straight line.

Do you suffer from nagging back pain? Your chiropractor offers treatments that can help ease your pain. Contact our office to schedule a convenient appointment.

Sources:

The Better Sleep Council: Starfish or Freefall? What Your Sleep Position Can Tell You

Consumer Reports: How Long Does a Mattress Last?

Exclusive Offer

New Patients Receive a Free Consultation

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:45 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Tuesday:

Closed

Closed

Wednesday:

8:45 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Thursday:

Closed

Closed

Friday:

8:45 am- 12:00 pm

2:00 pm- 5:30 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "So Glad I found Synaptic! This is the fastest I've ever bounced back from severe back pain."
    Dani St. Jean Baldwinville, MA
  • "Best chiropractor ever!! These guys are amazing. They have done wonders for me. I recommend them to everyone I know"
    -Robin Potter Hicks
  • "I came to Dr Mexico with severe neuropathy of my feet caused by cancer treatment drugs. I was told I had permanent nerve damage and there was nothing they could do except give me Gabapentin oxycodone and morphine sulfate. I've been in this program for about a month-and-a-half now and I just stopped taking the morphine sulfate. My pain level has gone from a 3 while on drugs to a 2 while now only taking oxycodone and Gabapentin and now totally off the morphine sulfate. And I still have a month and a half to go on his treatment looking forward to coming off more drugs."
    -Richard Joseph Donati
  • "Five Stars on Google"
    Matt Durfee
  • "Great friendly people."
    -Michelle Sirois
  • "Can't recommend this practice highly enough. I wasted years on failed PT treatments, xrays, ultrasound and cortisone shots, relying on unhelpful advice from various doctors. I couldn't even get a consistent diagnosis. I finally have a drug-free, healthy approach for living with chronic SI joint problems. I wish I had met Dr. Mexico earlier. It would have saved me years of pain and frustration. And they always work to get you in immediately if you are having problems. I woke up this morning unable to breathe without discomfort, and they got me in today. And I will sleep tonight comfortably because of Dr. Mexico. Don't wait another day if you are experiencing back or joint pain. You deserve to live pain free. I have found tremendous, life-changing relief with this chiropractor. Thank you Dr. Mexico for your consistent focus and effort in healing others."
    -Cathy Hand Cunningham
  • "I have been dealing with LBP for 3+ years now. I have seen many Dr's and specialist for my issue. No one has listened until I saw Dr. Mexico! He was the first to actually look at my MRI results and listen to me, he explained everything in detail and made sure i understood. Its going to take awhile before I'm "fixed" but I have to say I haven't felt this good in years. Thank you Dr. Mexico"
    -Sarah Frediani
  • "I would recommend Todd Mexico, he is very considerate, respectful as well as informative. Willing to research your individual issues and provide relief if possible. He helped me!"
    -Liz Taylor
  • "I called Monday morning in a lot of pain after being up the last four nights in pain. They got me right in and I am feeling so much better! Dr. Mexico is a Miracle worker!"
    -Jody Winters
  • "There is no better. An amazing team. If it were not for Dr. Mexico and his treatment, I would still have chronic pain in my neck and back. Thank you!"
    -Cheryl Jordan-Bobick

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Sign up for more articles