The Best Way to Sleep with Lower Back Pain

Sleeping Positions and Back Pain: Understand How Your Sleeping Position can Contribute to Back Pain, and Learn Techniques for Sleeping More Comfortably

Back pain is a common problem that affects millions of people around the world. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture, muscle strains, injuries, and medical conditions. One often overlooked factor that can contribute to back pain is the way we sleep. In this blog, we’ll explore how your sleeping position can affect your back and share techniques for sleeping more comfortably.

How sleeping position affects back pain

The position you sleep in can impact your back pain in several ways. For example, sleeping on your stomach can put a strain on your neck and lower back, as it forces your spine out of alignment. Sleeping on your back can also cause problems, as it can increase pressure on the lower back and aggravate existing conditions like sciatica.

The best sleeping position for back pain is on your side, as it allows your spine to remain in a neutral position. However, even when sleeping on your side, it’s important to maintain proper alignment. This means keeping your head and neck in line with your spine and placing a pillow between your knees to help support your hips.

A daily reminder to get some fresh air and take regular breaks from your desk for better focus, and happier backs and necks too courtesy of Maple Health Care & Rehab

The best way to sleep with lower back pain and sciatica. Here are 7 Tips:

If you suffer from back pain, there are several techniques you can try to help you sleep more comfortably. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Invest in a good mattress: A supportive, comfortable mattress is essential for a good night’s sleep. Look for a mattress that conforms to your body’s natural curves and provides adequate support for your spine.
  2. Choose the right pillow: A good pillow can help keep your head and neck in alignment with your spine, which can reduce strain on your back. Look for a pillow that’s the right size for your body and sleeping position.
  3. Try a body pillow: A body pillow can provide extra support for your hips and spine when sleeping on your side. You can place the pillow between your knees or hug it to your chest for added comfort.
  4. Use a heating pad: A heating pad can help relax tense muscles and reduce pain. Place the heating pad on the affected area for 20 minutes before bedtime to help you sleep more comfortably.
  5. Practice relaxation techniques: Stress and tension can contribute to back pain and make it difficult to sleep. Try practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation before bed to help calm your mind and body.
  6. Adjust your sleeping position: Experiment with different sleeping positions to find the one that works best for you. For example, if you prefer to sleep on your back, try placing a pillow under your knees to help relieve pressure on your lower back.
  7. Stretch before bed: Gentle stretching can help loosen tight muscles and reduce pain. Try doing a few simple stretches before bed, such as a hamstring stretch or a cat-cow stretch.

Did you stretch today? Remind yourself to do this daily if you sit or bend a lot courtesy of Maple Health Care & Rehab

Get lasting results with physiotherapy for back pain

Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that specializes in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, including back pain. Physiotherapy can help relieve pain, improve function, and prevent future injury by using a combination of manual therapy, exercise, and education.

When it comes to treating back pain, physiotherapy is often the first line of defense. Here are some ways that physiotherapy can help with back pain:

  1. Pain Relief: One of the primary goals of physiotherapy for back pain is to reduce pain. Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques, such as massage, mobilization, and manipulation, to help relieve pain and stiffness in the affected area.
  2. Improved Range of Motion: Physiotherapy can help improve your range of motion and flexibility by stretching and strengthening the muscles and soft tissues in your back. This can help reduce the risk of future injury and improve overall function.
  3. Increased Strength: Weakness in the back muscles can contribute to back pain. Physiotherapy can help build strength in these muscles through targeted exercises, which can help reduce pain and improve function.
  4. Education and Prevention: Physiotherapy can also help educate you on ways to prevent future back pain. Your physiotherapist can teach you proper posture, lifting techniques, and other strategies to help you reduce the risk of future injury.
  5. Individualized Treatment: Every person’s back pain is unique, and physiotherapy offers an individualized treatment approach. Your physiotherapist will assess your specific needs and develop a customized treatment plan to address your unique situation.
  6. Holistic Approach: Physiotherapy takes a holistic approach to treating back pain, looking at the whole person rather than just the affected area. This means that your physiotherapist will consider factors such as your lifestyle, stress levels, and other health conditions that may be contributing to your back pain.
  7. Non-Invasive: Physiotherapy is a non-invasive treatment approach for back pain, meaning that it does not involve surgery or medication. This makes it a safe and effective option for many people who prefer to avoid these more invasive treatment options.
  8. Long-Term Relief: Unlike medications or other short-term treatments, physiotherapy can provide long-term relief for back pain. By addressing the underlying causes of your pain and improving your overall function, physiotherapy can help reduce the risk of future injury and improve your quality of life.

In conclusion, physiotherapy can be a highly effective treatment option for back pain. By reducing pain, improving function, and preventing future injury, physiotherapy can help you get back to the activities you love and enjoy a better quality of life. If you’re experiencing back pain, consider seeking the help of a physiotherapist to develop a customized treatment plan that works for you.

Check out Dr Mike (Chiropractor) giving Wendy (Physiotherapist) a back & neck tuneup courtesy of Maple Health Care & Rehab


This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, in most cases, back pain can heal itself with rest and self-care. It is important to stay active and avoid activities that cause pain. Over-the-counter medications, physical therapy, and other treatments may also help.

The duration of back pain varies depending on the underlying cause. Acute back pain can last between a few days and a few weeks, while chronic back pain may last for months or years.

It depends on the individual’s sleeping position and comfort level. Generally, sleeping on a higher pillow can help maintain the natural curve of the spine, while sleeping on a lower pillow can help reduce strain on the neck and shoulders. It is best to experiment with different types and heights of pillows to find the most comfortable option.

About Wendy Vandergugten

Maple Health Care Rehab Maple Toronto On Physiotherapy Wendy

Wendy is a Physiotherapist and Clinic Coordinator at Maple Health Care & Rehab located in Vaughan. She graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree, and her Masters of Science in Physiotherapy in 2002. Wendy started her career at York Central Hospital before becoming rehabilitation director at several private multi-disciplinary clinics. Wendy continued taking courses after graduation and successfully completed the Intermediate Manual and Manipulative Therapy exam, and is a Level III manual therapist certified by the Orthopedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. Wendy has also taught several courses for health care workers at Humber College,
given workshops at the Michener Institute in Toronto, Running Room clinics in Vaughan and Richmond Hill, as well as Health and Wellness workshops at Vaughan Community Centers.

Wendy and her therapy team offers many programs at Maple Health Care & Rehab including pre- and post- natal exercise, core stability and postural strength programs, and fit for Life.

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

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