Everyone has their own favorite sleep positions. You may be most comfortable on your side, or you may want to face plant directly into your pillow after a long day. In any case, practically any sleep position can cause back problems if you do not make modifications to keep your spine in a neutral position.
Can Sleep Position Cause Back Problems
What Is a Neutral Spine Position?
Your spine isn’t perfectly straight. Unless you have a specific medical condition, your spine should have three natural curves. In the neutral spine position, these curves are slight. In this position, your spine is less likely to cause the discomfort we associate with back problems.
Each of the three natural curves exists in one of the major spinal regions. There’s one at the neck, one in the middle of your back, and one in your lower back. It is easy to overextend these curves in ways that lead to strain. For example, slouching overextends the curve at the middle of your back, putting excess weight on your neck and straining the middle of your spine.
Modifying Your Sleeping Position
Most people do not sleep in a position that maintains the natural position of their spine, which is one of the reasons back problems are common. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to fix with the help of a few well-placed pillows.
Sleeping on your back:
Sleeping on your back is generally considered one of the best positions for spinal health because it requires very few modifications. Your head pillow should be placed so that it just supports your neck. It should not push up into the neck.
If you’re still struggling with back pain despite sleeping on your back, you will want to grab two more pillows. Place one pillow underneath the inward curve of your lower back. Place the second pillow underneath your knees. These additional pillows will provide additional support where your mattress or back muscles may be lacking.
Sleeping on your side:
Sleeping on your side is a great option as long as you tuck a second pillow between your knees. This second pillow helps to keep your hips aligned as you sleep, preventing serious lower-back pain. In this position, you may want to pull your head pillow down slightly to support the side of your neck.
Sleeping on your front:
Sleeping on your front is generally considered the worst position for back pain. This position inverts the cervical spine and requires that you keep your head turned to one side. It is also problematic because it can exaggerate the curve of your lower back.
While the turn of your head can’t really be helped, you can mollify the issue by using a thinner head pillow. When it comes to your lower back, all you need is a second pillow. Placing this pillow underneath your abdomen will return your spine to a more neutral position.
If these modifications do not work to alleviate some of your back pain, then meet with your spine surgeon in Beverly Hills to find a better solution.
The Results of Long Term Back Pain
Spinal injuries do occur as a result of traumatic events, but they can also be the results of years of wear and tear. If there is physical damage to your spine or your spinal discs, then a few pillows will not address your pain. You will need a professional diagnosis and treatment to get lasting relief.
Your spine surgeon offers disc protrusion treatment in Beverly Hills as well as many other comprehensive treatment options to ensure that you get the help you need to enjoy your life pain-free. Contact your spine surgeon today if you have lasting back pain.