As a London chiropractor, I often see patients suffering from back pain, shoulder pain or neck pain who work in offices, and a part of my treatment is advising these patients on good ergonomics and seated posture.
Something we tend to neglect and perhaps spend even more time doing is sleeping… It would be remiss of me not to advise patients on their sleeping position for this very reason. Our spines are subjected to a lot of stress and strain every day and it makes sense to give them a rest as well when sleeping. The goals are to get the spine in the most neutral position which eliminates shear or torsion forces and this will in turn improve blood flow and boost healing.
The two best sleeping positions in my opinion are…
1. Lying on your side with a pillow for your head and a pillow between your knees. Your head should be in as neutral a position as possible and not tilted significantly down or up. Both knees should be bent to about 30° and the pillow in between them will prevent any twisting of the pelvis or lower back.
2. Lying on your back with a pillow underneath your head and a pillow underneath your knees. again the head should be in a fairly neutral position and the pillow underneath the knees this time will prevent overextension of your lower back and take the pressure off this area.
These changes can take some time to be accepted if you’ve been used to sleeping in a different position. I’ve had patients tell me that the knee pillow finds its way on to the floor, at least in the beginning. Stick with it though and these changes can only help.
I hope this helps you understand the ideal sleeping position and how important it is in the chiropractic treatment of back pain.