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  • Writer's pictureDr. Susan Knight-Nanni

Eliminating Pain from Sleeping Wrong


Do you wake up with pain from sleeping wrong? One of the most frequent complaints chiropractors hear is, “I think I slept wrong and now (fill in the blank) hurts. How do you sleep? Do you wake up in pain? Does your bed partner complain about you tossing and turning all night long?

One of the best pieces of advice I have is DO NOT, under ANY circumstance sleep on your stomach. Eight straight hours of your neck being turned to one side and your lower back arching all night is going to leave you in pain the next morning. If you have been sleeping that way your entire life, it is going to take a few weeks of sleepless misery to change your habit. It will be worth it in the end, stick with it. I recommend using a body pillow to start turning yourself over. Sleeping with a pillow to hug and put one between your knees puts you in the most ergonomic and most restful positions (women go back to pregnancy position!) Putting a pillow between your knees will help your lower back be better aligned through the night.Your spouse may complain of pillows taking their snuggle partner but they won’t complain if you ask for less back rubs. Also if your low back is inflamed try using a hand towel rolled tucked under your side below your ribs but above your hip bone directly under your waist for additional support.

If you are a side sleeper, make sure you have a nice thick pillow supporting your head so that it is inline with the rest of your spine. Also, make sure you are not choosing to sleep on an extra firm bed or that will create pressure points on your shoulders and hips.

For my back sleepers, thank you, you are the least likely to have pain from your sleeping position. I would recommend getting an orthopedic pillow for your neck that has the lowered area in the middle and roll for your neck to fall over. I would also recommend those of you with lower back pain to put a pillow underneath your knees to provide support for your lower back. Before using a new support product please get an adjustment for perfect alignment in order to reduce irritation and encourage retraining of muscles with the best alignment possible.

If you follow these tips you should enjoy more restful nights and less painful mornings.

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