Fix bad posture while you sleep to relieve neck or back pain

Some people experiencing posture-related neck or back pain may be under the assumption that keeping their spine properly aligned while sitting and standing should be the primary focus of a posture improvement plan. However, good posture encompasses the full range of activities you do throughout the day and night, including sleep. Since we spend about a third of a 24-hour day in bed sleeping, practicing good posture while we sleep is an extremely important part of promoting spine health to potentially relieve neck or back pain.

Tips for proper sleeping posture

Supportive pillows can be essential tools in easing neck or back pain. Since individuals can assume a number of positions while sleeping, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for maintaining a properly aligned spine in bed. To promote proper posture, pillows may be used in the following ways:

  • Side sleepers. A pillow should be placed between the knees in order to keep the hips adequately spaced.
  • Back sleepers. Keeping a pillow under the knees can prevent the back from arching and reduce the stress placed on the lumbar spine.
  • Stomach sleepers. Those who assume this position should sleep with no pillow at their neck but should place one under the hips to remove stress from the lower back.

It is also critical to have a supportive mattress that keeps your spine aligned at night. Speak with your doctor about finding a mattress that has the right balance of support for your spine while meeting your preferences for comfort. A medium firm mattress is often recommended because it provides both of these qualities.

Further treatment for neck or back pain

If measures to improve posture while sitting, standing and sleeping are unable to provide relief from posture-related neck or back pain, it may be necessary to visit your primary care doctor or a spine specialist for more involved care. A thorough examination, including diagnostic tests such as an MRI or CT scan, can often determine whether an underlying spinal condition, such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, bone spurs or a herniated disc, is the source of a symptoms. Conservative treatments, including posture improvement, can often be effective in relieving pain and other symptoms, but surgery may become an option if weeks or months go by and pain is still debilitating. For those considering surgery, Laser Spine Institute provides minimally invasive outpatient procedures that are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.^ Contact us today to learn more.

To help you find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures, our team can help you receive a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan.*