Back pain is often caused by sleeping positions that keep your head, neck, and spine from aligning properly. The best pillow to relieve this pain depends on your typical sleeping position.
Pillows for Side Sleepers
This position often helps with pain from osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, or a foraminal herniated disc. Avoid always sleeping on the same side to prevent muscle imbalance or even scoliosis. One exception is pregnancy when sleeping on your left side is best. This keeps the baby from putting pressure on your liver.
You should sleep in the fetal position to open the spaces between the vertebrae. This extra space relieves pressure on the spinal discs. Use these pillows to ease your back pain.
One option for a pillow to use between your knees is a Tear Drop Pillow. The supportive pillow is long enough for use as a leg spacer.
It’s important to support your neck when sleeping. Side sleepers can benefit from a pillow with cervical support rolls to fill the space between the neck and the bed.
Consider adding another pillow if there’s a gap between your waist and the mattress.
Pillows for Back Sleepers
The most recommended position for back pain relief is sleeping on your back. When you sleep in this position, your weight is evenly distributed and places less strain on pressure points.
If you’re a back sleeper, a standard pillow should be placed under your knees.This helps your spine keep its natural curve. You should also try these helpful pillows.
A soft pillow roll provides lumbar support to relieve back pain. The ties keep it in place if you move around while sleeping.
The memory foam in this pillow shapes to your head and neck. The foam’s custom fit and the pillow’s contoured design keep your head, neck, and spine aligned.
If you’re looking for a more economical option for cervical support, try this pillow. The pillow’s lobes firmly support your neck while sleeping.
Pillows for Stomach Sleepers
This is the worst position for back pain because it flattens the natural spinal curve, placing a strain on your muscles. Plus your neck is rotated, which can lead to neck and shoulder pain too.
If you want to keep sleeping on your stomach, place a standard pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen. This keeps pressure off your back. This position is best for relieving pain from degenerative disc disease or paracentral disc herniation. The pillow under your head should be very thin or you shouldn’t use one at all.
If you’re ready to switch positions, these pillows can help.
The SnuggleFoam Pillow is made of premium memory foam for exceptional comfort. It provides the same pressure to your stomach while changing positions.
This 10’ long body pillow offers abdominal and back support. Try this pillow when switching from sleeping on your stomach to on your side. The large pillow is also ideal for pregnant women.
Pillows for Reclined Sleepers
If you sleep best in your recliner, you should try sleeping in a reclined position. This position might help you if your back pain feels worse when standing and best when bending forward. An adjustable bed allows you to customize the angle of support, but these can be pricey. For a cheaper solution and to check if this is the best position for you, try a bed wedge.
This bed wedge folds into a block making it easy to transport. If you have isthmic spondylolisthesis, a wedge can help reduce pain.
Great for a reclined position! This pillow can be used as a wedge or for various other positions because of its unique design.
Your sleep position shouldn’t cause back pain. Get some relief by using these pillows for proper alignment.
Searching for fast pain relief? Try these alternatives.
Heat packs are another way to ease stiffness from a sore back. Heat increases blood flow to the area, which relaxes your muscle fibers and reduces spasms. There are a variety of ways to provide heat to your back while you’re awake.
This heat wrap provides up to 8 hours of warm relief to your back and hips. It can be applied directly to the skin, but if you’re over 55, you should apply the wrap over a layer of clothing.
Get soothing heat fast by microwaving this therapy pack. If you want to walk around during the treatment, the strap will keep it in position. The 2-in-1 pack can also be used for cold therapy after being chilled in the freezer.
Relax your muscles using a moist heat pad. The moisture helps prevent your skin from becoming dehydrated. This pad is great for a nice heat treatment before bed.
Deardorff, W. W., PhD . (2016, December 12). Chronic Pain and Insomnia: Breaking the Cycle. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2skqNMJ
Harvard Health Publishing (2013, November). Hot or cold for back pain? Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2yeQaze
Marcin, A. (2017, June 15). The Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain, Alignment Tips, and More. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2S0ySjg
Rodriguez, D. (2016, December 20). Can Switching Your Sleep Position Ease Back Pain? Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2vqTAC2
Medical Disclaimer: The information provided on this site, including text, graphics, images and other material, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.