Sleep isn’t so restful if it exacerbates pain

Sleep might seem like a basic thing–when you’re tired you lie down and sleep.  However, many clients report that they’re spending (hopefully) 8 hours a night sleeping in a position that perpetuates or increases their pain!

So if you wake in pain, try these tips to help you rest in proper positions:

If you’re a side sleeper:  Use a thick pillow to prop your top leg up.  You want to maintain good hip alignment by placing the pillow between your knees to prevent that top leg from crossing the midpoint of your body.

You’ll also want to use a thick pillow under your head, to maintain your neck in good spinal alignment.

Pros:  lessens snoring;  Cons:  may cause shoulder or hip pain

If you sleep on your stomach: You should switch the side you turn your head.  Most people have a side they favor which means many hours rotated in one direction.  Try to at least spend part of the night facing the other direction so you’re stretching out both sides.  If you have lower back pain, placing a pillow under your hips may alleviate some of the pressure from sleeping on your stomach.

Pros:  lessens snoring;  Cons:  may put stress on lower back, may cause neck pain

If you sleep on your back:  This is the best position to sleep in as it keeps your body in the best alignment.  Make sure your pillow isn’t too thick that your neck is tilting forward.  If you have trouble sleeping this way, try placing a small pillow under your knees to help your lower back stay in a neutral position.

Pros:  best for good spinal alignment, less pressure on shoulders and hips, may minimize wrinkles, may minimize acid reflux;  Cons:  may worsen snoring, may have lower back discomfort

For more helpful tips on sleeping, check out this article.

If you have any questions or want an evaluation, call L A R Physical Therapy at 410.381.1574 or email to schedule an appointment.

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