Sleeping positions in back pain

Are u suffering from Back pain? Are u having disrupted sleep at night and taking painkiller to sleep at ease? The cause of a bad back could primarily be connected to your sleeping posture. The stress & strain your body derives the wrong sleeping posture is the most common cause of the back pain. The wrong sleeping positions not only act as a hurdle in the recovery of your existing back pain, but they also tend to increase the pain and discomfort.

Here, we will try to focus on proper sleeping positions for the people who have back pain and for those who want to prevent it. Any sleeping position you are comfortable with whether it is lying on your back i.e. supine, lying on your sides or lying on your stomach i.e. prone has its own effects but one simple thing can make these positions ergonomically better and that is PILLOWS!!

Pillow placement while sleeping is very important as they negate the effect of gravity that is acting on the body whole night thus maintaining the proper alignment of the spine and internal organs that in turn relieves back pain and morning stiffness.

We recommend you to try these sleeping positions to eliminate your bad back pain.

  • Sleeping on your back i.e. supine with a pillow under your knees and your neck.

For some people, sleeping on their back may be the best position to relieve back pain:

  • You have to lie flat on your back with one pillow under your neck, remember shoulders should not be on the pillow maintaining your neck alignment with your body i.e. neck neither too much upwards from the rest of the body nor downwards.
  • Place a pillow underneath your knees that will keep your spine neutral.
  • You may also place a small, rolled up towel under the small of your back for additional support.
  • Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees.

If lying flat on the bed isn’t comfortable, then switch to the sides:

  • Allow your left or right shoulder to make contact with the mattress, along with the remaining side of the body, and place your pillow under your neck. Do not put shoulders on the pillow; maintaining neck alignment with body is important. Your neck should neither be too downward nor too upwards; rather it needs to be in proper alignment with the rest of your body.
  • Placing the pillow between the knees can eliminate pain.
  • Consider using an extra pillow to fill the gap between the mattress and your body.
  • This position is relaxing and comfortable. It the same way you stand when your legs are on a neutral distance. Our aim for this is to achieve the same result to eliminate the pain and provide your body with the right alignment to sleep. Hence, deload your spine.

Keep your pillow under your abdomen, while sleeping on your stomach

Yes, sleeping on your stomach is bad for your back pain as it adds stress on your neck but the statement is partially correct because when you sleep on your stomach, you find it the best sleeping position without adding force to your body from another position.

  • To eliminate some pressure from your back place a pillow under your abdomen and pelvis.
  • Depending on the position, how comfortable it is? You can decide to use a pillow under your head or not.
  • People suffering from degenerative disc disease can take the benefit of sleeping with a pillow under their abdomen as it will alleviate the stress, which is placed between the discs.

Points to remember-

  • Always bring your complete body together when you switch the sides and also keep your core tight. Bringing knees towards the chest can also be helpful as it’ll distribute the body’s weight on the spine. Hence, putting less stress on the back.
  • For pain relief use an ice or a cold gel pack for maximum 15 minutes before sleeping. It may help reduce inflammation in your back and relieve pain.
  • Use a firm or medium-firm mattress made with good-quality innersprings or foam.
  • Pillow should hold your neck and head to provide support to your neck. If you choose to sleep on your back, then your pillow should fill the space between the mattress and neck. If sleeping on the sides, employ a thicker pillow to help you in the support, but remember, it should only support your neck and not your shoulders.


Sciatica (pain along the large sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back down to the foot) is a relatively common form of low back and leg pain. If you are suffering and need Sciatics pain treatment, you need to undertand the cause of the pain and what Sciatica is! Lets first get an insight into Sciatica and understand how Chiropractor in Gurgaon can help you ease this issue. Sciatica is usually caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated or bulging disc. Discs act as cushions or shock absorbers between spinal vertebrae. These discs also create proper spacing for pairs of nerves to exit the spine and connect to different parts of the body. The outer wall of the disc is made up of cartilage, while the centre is jelly-like. Due to trauma or repetitive wear and tear, the inner disc material can leak out, pushing and inflaming the sciatic nerve where it exits the spine. Other factors causing compression of the sciatic nerve include: arthritic bone spurs, muscles, thinning of the discs, or misaligned vertebrae.

For some people, the pain from sciatica can be severe and debilitating. For others, the pain might be infrequent and just irritating. One or more of the following may occur as a result of sciatica: burning, tingling or shooting pain, weakness, and a decrease in sensation in the buttocks, leg, and/or foot.

While sciatica and disc disease can be serious and ultimately require surgery, a great majority of cases can be successfully treated through Chiropractic care. Chiropractors are specially trained to detect and remove spinal nerve irritation by way of spinal adjustments and decompression technologies.  The approach should be: Chiropractic first, risky drugs second, and surgery last. Drugs have side effects, and surgery yields mixed results. Chiropractic is safe, gentle, and highly effective.

Is Your Lifestyle Hurting You?

Parents are always telling their children to sit up straight, and not to slouch.  Good posture evokes a sense of confidence, youth, and beauty.  But did you know that studies show poor posture to be related to an increased incidence of disease and death?  It’s true!


Dr. Henry Winsor was the first to publish this kind of study.  He autopsied 50 cadavers and found 139 diseased organs.  Each of these organs was traced back via its nerve supply to a spinal curve distortion, most of these being minor spinal misalignments (also known as subluxations). 


More recently, Dr. Kado published a study in the Journal of Geriatrics that correlated accentuated mid-back curves with an increased death rate and increased incidence of heart disease.  


Posture is now the number one predictor of early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  90% of the information to the brain every day comes from our posture.  In other words, the sense of where our body is in space called proprioception.  If this information is poor, caused by bad posture, our brain cells start dying at a rate of two square centimeters per year. 


These studies support long-standing chiropractic principles.  Our health is directly related to proper alignment and motion of the spine.  There are three parts of our spine, the neck (cervical), mid-back (thoracic), and low back (lumbar). The neck and low back have a reverse c-shape called a lordosis, while the mid-back has a c-shaped curve called a kyphosis.  These normal spinal curves must be maintained within normal ranges.  Poor posture is one of the things that alter the proper shape of our spine, leading to more strain and pressure on our spinal joints.  The result is irritation and pressure on spinal nerves as they exit the vertebral column, which creates a reduction in nerve flow and blood supply to the various organs where that nerve goes.  This leads to eventual dysfunction and disease.  Not only at the spinal level in the form of spinal decay leading to arthritis, but also at the vital organ level.  Any diseases may be linked to spinal subluxations.  For example, the most common postural faults occur at the upper back and base of the neck.  These areas connect neurologically with the heart and lungs.  Subluxations in these areas can lead to premature cardiopulmonary disease and death.


Poor posture has become an epidemic.  We are constantly sitting in front of our laptops and computers.  Sitting is thought to be the new “smoking”.  And “text neck”, caused by constantly looking down at our cell phones is leading to degenerative changes in our neck in young teens and adults today. 


Chiropractors are specially trained to correct postural distortions and remove nervous system interference before it leads to disease.  They perform computerized and other posture analysis along with x-rays and a thorough spinal examination to evaluate one’s posture.  They then perform specialized treatment, known as spinal adjustments, along with recommending exercises and orthopedic devices that begin to restore one’s natural posture.  As this happens, the amount of stress hormone in the body decreases, muscle tone improves and neurological improvements are noted.  As this happens, our overall health and vitality improve.


Preventative medicine is the best medicine.  Everyone should visit a chiropractor regularly for spinal “tune-ups”.  Maintenance prolongs life.    We do it for a car so why not for ourselves?  And remember, sit up straight, it could save your life!


Dr. Vikas Puri 

B.Sc., D.C, Toronto, Canada

President and Co-Founder of Intelligent Health Group.