It’s a question we get asked a lot. People always ask us, when I’m lying down, I get more pain. And when I wake up in the morning, I’m often more sore.
So the hard and fast rule is that there is no best position for people to be sleeping in, apart from lying on the front. Lying on your front causes you to turn the neck to the left or the right, that’s going to put more rotation through the spine, and can cause more pain.
So the best position to be sleeping in is lying on the side. Now, this is for anybody with a neck issue or a low back issue that’s not specific to one side. Maybe you have that horizontal bar of pain across the low back, or you have mid spine pain or neck issues. So lying on the side, legs at 45 degrees, hands out in front, and a pillow tucked underneath the shoulder, to make sure that head is not tipping up or dipping down.
Usually, with feather pillows, you find that you can’t get the right position every single time. So there’s no consistent amount of support from night to night for your neck, which is why it’s a different position every night, and your body can’t get used to it.
I find that using a hard pillow, like a memory foam pillow or an orthopedic pillow gives you that feedback and consistency every single night, so your body can get used to it.
If you have sciatica, for example, pain in the left hand side and on the left leg, you will always lie on the opposite side. So lie on the right hand side. If you share a bed with a partner, making sure you’re lying facing out of the bed. So don’t face in towards the bed.
For example, if you had a left sciatica, lie on the right side on the left hand side of the bed (if that makes any sense-diagram needed). That’ll give you the most relief from that sciatica pain.
If at night, you’re still finding that you’re tossing around, it will cause a lot more rotation to the spine, and if you suffer from knee pain then this could also start to flare up, because you roll over the knee.
A lot of times we hear people saying, ‘I keep rolling, it wakes me up at night, I’m waking up five to seven times each evening, and never getting any sleep’. So in this case, there are special pillows, you can get to put in your knees that will help to reduce the rotation. You can also get just a normal pillow, as you put between your legs to stop your body turning over.
It helps as a buoyancy aid to really reduce the pressure. If you’re still struggling with sleeping after these tips, please let me know. I can offer some more detailed specific advice to help you. You can find us at info@WestChiropractic.co.uk.