The Link Between Your Sleeping Position and Pain

The Link Between Your Sleeping Position and Pain

Sleeping is supposed to bring relaxation and restoration, but when people sleep in incorrect positions, it can result in pain instead. The good news is learning proper sleep form can lead to more restful nights and energetic mornings.

Dr. Jeremy Woodson and our highly skilled staff at our private practice in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, can assist with a wide variety of orthopedic aches, pains, and injuries. We care for people of all ages and activity levels, using proven cutting-edge treatments and preventive care to help them lead active and pain-free lives.

During sleep, the body is supposed to rest and recover from the challenges of the day. However, if your sleeping position is incorrect and the body maintains tension, you can experience discomfort upon waking.

Back and neck pain

Back pain is a common complaint upon waking in the morning. To avoid this discomfort, lay in a position that supports the curves in the back and neck and aligns the head, shoulders, and hips.

Side sleepers should be sure to use a pillow thick enough to support the head and neck and avoid tucking in the chin. A pillow between the legs can help keep the upper leg from moving forward and the torso from twisting. Avoid the fetal position and instead align the thighs with the torso, bending the knees back slightly to decrease lower back pressure. Be sure to sleep on both sides to avoid an imbalance.

Back sleepers should find a pillow that keeps the head in a neutral position, with the jaw pointing neither to the ceiling nor the chest. A small pillow tucked under the knees can help relieve excess pressure on the back.

Stomach sleeping should be avoided as much as possible, as the position is awkward and puts pressure on the neck and lower back.

Shoulder pain

Shoulder pain can be caused by gravity. Sleeping on the back or sides can result in the shoulder sagging, which can strain the joint. To prevent this, back sleepers can rest their arm on a low pillow or folded blanket to improve alignment. Side sleepers should use one or more pillows to keep the arm in a straight and neutral position.

Pain can also result from the shoulder taking much of the weight from the torso. If your shoulder is already sore or injured, that can make it even worse. Avoid sleeping on the problem side and vary sleeping positions throughout the night.

Sometimes your sleeping form can cause pain, and adjustments can aid in bringing relief. In other cases, an underlying issue or injury may be to blame, and addressing the problem is the best course of action. If you're experiencing joint pain, call our office today at 405-233-3602 to find out how we can help.

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