If you wake up with morning stiffness or pain in the neck or back, you may want to examine your sleeping posture. How you sleep will decide the amount of stress that is placed on your spine (back/neck) and joints. A poor sleeping posture can aggravate your existing pain or it can lead to pain and discomfort. When we sleep in a good posture all our joints and muscles should be in a neutral position to prevent any stresses from building up on them during the night so we can wake up refreshed and pain free. In this blog lets discuss the 3 Sleep Postures to avoid if you want to prevent Spinal (Back/Neck) Pain.
Firstly, avoid sleeping on your stomach. When you sleep on your stomach the curve in your lower back or your lumbar lordosis is exaggerated to its maximum capacity. So the curve sits at a maximum angle and there are additional stress on the muscles, ligaments and joints in the lumbar spine. This can aggravate your existing back pain whether it is due to stress on the back, disc bulge, stenosis, arthritis or simply degeneration, etc or it could be the cause of your back pain. Also when you sleep on your stomach you need to turn your neck to one side or the other. This can cause a lot of tension on one side of the neck while creating compression on the other side of the neck, leading to neck pain and headaches in the long Thus it is advisable to avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Secondly, avoid sleeping with your arm under the head or pillow. This tends to put the neck, shoulder, shoulder blade, lower cervical spine and upper thoracic spine and mid back into a stressful position, thereby predisposing these areas to pain or nerve pains. This is not needed when using a pillow that gives adequate support to the neck and shoulder area. HERE are the pillows I use and recommend. You can place your lower hand on top of your pillow in side lying and on your stomach or besides the body when sleeping on your back.
Thirdly, if you are a side sleeper, keep the upper arm on a stack of pillows in front of your body, such that the shoulder is not rounded and neck is also relaxed on the upper side.
Watch this video to learn more about using a pillow when sleeping and how to customise it to your body type:
HERE is a free guide on "How can you maintain a Good Posture While Sleeping". It gives you the details of sleeping posture in side lying, back sleeping, 3 postures to avoid when sleeping and how to change to a better sleeping posture and much more.
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