Accessibility Tools
Best Sleeping Positions for Your Back

Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability all over the world. Often the cause of back pain is bad posture while standing, sitting, or sleeping rather than something serious. Here are some of the best sleeping positions so you can get a good night’s sleep when experiencing back pain.

  • On your side: This is a very popular sleeping position; however, it can pull your spine out of position causing strain in your lower back. To avoid this, pull your knees up slightly and then place a firm pillow between them. This helps properly align the spine with the pelvis and hips.
  • On your back: When lying on your back place a pillow underneath your knees, this will help distribute your weight over a wider area while keeping your spine in neutral position.
  • Fetal position: You lie on your side curling your torso towards the knees. This position provides pain relief for people having a herniated disc as it opens up the space between your vertebrae providing pain relief.
  • On your abdomen: Lying on your stomach is generally not recommended. However, if you are uncomfortable in any other position and you are used to sleeping in this position, try placing a slim pillow underneath your lower abdomen and pelvis region to improve spine alignment. To prevent neck pain due to twisting your neck in this position, consider placing a firm pillow underneath your forehead allowing you to breathe in the facedown position.
  • Reclined position: Patients with isthmic spondylosis (a condition in which one vertebra slips forward over the vertebra below it) may find they are comfortable sleeping in a reclined position and should consider investing in a good recliner or an adjustable bed.

Of note, when getting in and out of bed, make slow and deliberate movements being careful to move the whole body as a unit avoiding too much twisting and turning of the spine which can cause it to go out of alignment. Try a few or all these positions to find the one that works best for you.

NewportCare Medical Group is a comprehensive specialty group located in Newport Beach, California specializing in advanced non-surgical and surgical treatments for a wide range of orthopedic conditions.

  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • National Association of Secretaries of State
  • American Podiatric Medical Association