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The Only 2 Healthy Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain

Sleep is supposed to be rejuvenating—so why do you wake up so stiff all the time? Simple: it’s because you’ve just spent eight hours in one position, says Andrew Gitkind, MD, medical director of the Montefiore Spine Center. That’s why it’s so important to sleep in a position that won’t aggravate any existing aches, especially if you struggle with lower back pain, says Jennifer L. Solomon, MD, board certified physiatrist in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Hospital for Special Surgery. (And if you haven’t already dealt with a sore back, there’s a good chance it’ll hit you at some point: 80% of adults will deal with back pain in their lifetimes, according to the National Institutes of Health.)

Here’s exactly how you should sleep—and how you shouldn’t—to wake up refreshed and back pain-free.

The best ways to sleep with lower back pain

Your main goal is to keep your spine in a neutral position, which includes your back in relation to your hips and pelvis, Dr. Gitkin says. You can achieve this either on your back or your side with a pillow to assist in keeping your spine straight. “The ideal positions are on your back with a pillow underneath your knees or on your side with a pillow in between your knees,” Dr. Solomon explains.

1. On your side with a pillow between your legs

2. On your back with a pillow under your knees

The worst sleep position for back pain

Stomach snoozers, listen up: The way you’re sleeping is absolutely terrible for your lower back. Resting your head to the side puts major stress on your cervical spine, or the area at the base of the neck, Dr. Gitkin says, and can mess with the alignment of the rest of your spine as well.

If you keep waking up on your belly, Dr. Solomon suggests taping tennis balls to your chest. Sounds weird, but it works. “It will be so uncomfortable, that you’ll be forced to flip over,” she explains. It should also help you get used to the new, back-protecting position.

Is it time to replace your mattress?

If you’re already sleeping with good posture and are still waking up with lower back pain, your bed may be to blame. A high-quality mattress should last around 10 years, but the National Sleep Foundation recommends replacing yours after five if you’re not sleeping well. “Firmer mattresses tend to be better for chronic pain because they provide adequate support,” Michael Grandner, PhD, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, told Prevention in a previous interview. Sleeping on a bed for a week or two is the best way to know whether a mattress is right for you, so he recommends buying one with a generous return policy.

SOURCE: https://www.prevention.com/health/sleep-energy/a22091441/best-sleeping-positions-lower-back-pain/


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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