When you are experiencing back pain, improper positioning of the spine can lead to reduced healing and increased discomfort. Sleeping with back pain can be difficult as well. While rest is vital to healing the body and overall wellness, back pain can keep you up at night. While you are trying to relax, what are some ways to keep back pain at bay? We’ll take a look into the best sitting and sleeping positions for back pain.
Keeping a Neutral Spine
Having a neutral spine means your spine is in it’s healthy position. This consists of 3 natural curves at the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (upper back), and lumbar spine (low back.) This neutral position helps the spine best carry weight and respond to external forces. Although a neutral spine position might vary slightly from person to person, the following is typical:
- spine is “tall”
- shoulders back
- chin tucked
- hips sit above your knee and ankle
- small curve in lower back
While keeping your spine in neutral in standing might be easy, sitting and sleeping in a proper position for your back can be more challenging.
Best Sitting Positions for Back Pain
The two most important factors when it comes to a good sitting position is 1) the knees and hips are parallel or the knees are lower than the hips and 2) the lower back is supported. You can achieve this by making sure the seat is low or high enough to bring the hips and knees to this angle and place a pillow or other lumbar support behind the back if needed. Other key guidelines when sitting with back pain include:
- Head and neck in alignment with torso
- relaxed shoulders
- Use a footrest if your feet cannot touch the floor
Best Sleeping Positions for Back Pain
Sleeping can be more difficult for those with back pain because when you sleep you are often in one position for a long period of time. Using a pillow for support can be very beneficial with proper sleep positioning. Typically people either sleep on their side, back, or belly. If you sleep on your side, placing the pillow between your knees can help support your spine. For back sleepers, the pillow can be positioned behind the knees to keep the spine in alignment. If you sleep on your belly, a pillow can be placed under the pelvis to prevent too much curve in the lumbar spine.
Just like pillows can help relieve low back pain, the right pillow can also help support your neck and shoulders to keep your spine in a neutral position. Make sure the pillow sits under your head and neck and not the shoulders, as well as not producing excessive curve in the cervical spine.
If you have been suffering from back pain, chiropractic care can help. Contact Silver Chiropractic and Wellness today to live better days through better health.