Sleeping With Back Pain: Training Yourself To Sleep Properly

Posted on: 16 June 2016

If you're currently seeing a chiropractor for back pain, you're not alone. It's estimated that approximately one half of all working people in the United States experience back pain each year. Fortunately, consistent treatment from a licensed chiropractor is a fantastic way to avoid this fate--and it'll help you deal with any issues that still come about.

However, if you're not currently sleeping on your back, you could be undoing a lot of the work that your chiropractor puts into your health and wellness. That's because sleeping on your back is the most effective way to alleviate back pain and avoid placing unwanted pressure on your spine and hips. If you can train yourself to sleep this way, your back pain could be much more manageable.

Training yourself to sleep this way is actually a lot easier than it sounds. Despite being unaware of your body position throughout the night, there's two simple ideas that will promote back sleep. After a while, sleeping on your back can feel as natural as your current position of choice.

Idea #1--Use Pillows Effectively

One of the easiest ways to train yourself for back sleep is to make it impossible to sleep any other way. The most comfortable way to achieve this is to surround yourself with pillows. By making it physically difficult to move to your side in the middle of the night, your body will naturally remain in the desired prone position. 

Use body pillows or thick blankets to create a barrier on both of your sides. If you sleep with a partner, this could seem awkward and uncomfortable. That said, once you find that you're going through the night without much movement, you can remove the pillows and attempt to sleep without them. Typically, a few weeks is all it will take.

Another major tip for pillow use is to place a pillow behind your knees when you're on your back. This will ensure proper spinal alignment, and could have a positive impact on your back pain as well. It also carries the benefit of making side sleeping positions much more difficult and awkward to maintain.

The final thing to consider with pillows is your head pillow. If you typically use multiple pillows--or no pillows--your head can move freely and easily. This is bad. Instead, purchase a single, thick pillow that allows your head to rest deep inside of it. That position will keep your head stationary, making a switch to your side even more difficult.

Idea #2--Promote Easy Breathing

One of the inherent issues with back sleep is proper breathing. If you're a person who deals with sinus problems or seasonal allergies, post-nasal drip makes a back sleeping position very uncomfortable. If you hope to get a good night's sleep on your back, you'll have to deal with this issue.

Nasal strips that hold your nasal passages open are a great first step. Sleeping with these on will help ensure that you can breathe normally while in the proper sleeping position. They'll also have a positive impact on any snoring--something your partner will surely appreciate!

Dry bedrooms are another problem that make breathing difficult. Since hot air tends to collect in upstairs bedrooms, your bedroom could be extremely dry--making breathing uncomfortable. A portable humidifier is a great choice under these circumstances. You'll find it much easier to breathe when the humidity in your bedroom is appropriate.

Above all, stick with it. It might seem like all of this work isn't worth the effort. Even though you won't see results right away, shifting your sleep position to your back is one of the most important things you can do to help alleviate your back pain--aside from regular visits to a chiropractor like Dr. Jason B Kaster DC, that is!