• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Five Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is one of the most discomforting things that anyone can experience. It, apart from greatly hindering your daily functioning, also affects your ability to rest. We all know how good quality sleep is essential to our overall health. But when you’re suffering from such kinds of pain, it can be challenging to get adequate rest.

Lower back and neck pain are common symptoms of degenerative disc disease. The pain can become chronic as the discs continue to degenerate. Naturally, a common question that people suffering from this condition ask is ‘how should you sleep when you have degenerative disc disease?’ contrary to what you believe, there are some ways by which you can manage the pain, particularly at night.

What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

degenerative disc disease neck

Diagram representing the spinal cord, Credit: Pixabay


33 vertebrae make up your spine. Each vertebra is separated by a disc made of cartilage. These discs consist of 88% water. They are continuously losing and gaining fluid throughout the day.

As these discs shrink with age, their ability to replace water at night time decreases. With age, they lose more water and become dry. Sometimes, they begin to crack and tear. Through these cracks, their inner material spills out, thus irritating the surrounding nerves. Its immediate effect is pain felt in various parts of your body. Degenerative disc disease neck or cervical degenerative disc disease comes about as a result of this process.

Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain

  1. First, Sleeping in a fetal position

  2. Sleeping on your side

  3. And, Sleeping in a reclined position

  4. Sleeping on your stomach

  5. Finally, Sleeping with a pillow supporting your knees

Sleeping in a Fetal Position

cervical degenerative disc disease

Woman sleeping in fetal position, Credit: Pixabay


A curled posture is called a fetal position. Press your knees against your chest to prevent your spine from bending. A pillow should be placed underneath your head and neck region. It will prevent these parts from hurting.

Sleeping on Your Side

what is the best treatment for degenerative disc disease

Man sleeping on his side, Credit: Pixabay


When you sleep on your side, it makes your spine stretch. It also relaxes your muscles and removes any chances of them being strained. Place a pillow between your knees when you’re sleeping on your side. It will correct the alignment of spine and hips.

Sleeping in a Reclined Position

how should you sleep when you have degenerative disc disease

Woman sleeping in a reclined posture, Credit: Pixabay


You can get relief from upper and lower backaches while resting in a reclined position. Reclined position causes the creation of space between your back and thighs. Thus, it eliminates all the strain from your spine.

Sleeping on Your Stomach

degenrative disc disease treatment

Woman sleeping on stomach, Credit: Pixabay


It is one of the extremely comfortable position that people find when they’re dealing with back pain. You can put a pillow under you’re lower ab and pelvis area to eliminate the pressure on your back. It will give you immediate relief from pain.

Sleeping with a Pillow Supporting Your Knees

degenerative disc disease neck

Woman sleeping with pillow support, Credit: Pixabay


Lie on your back and place a pillow under your knees. Lying on your back evenly distributes the weight throughout your body. It improves the structure and alignment of your entire back, thus reducing the chances of you experiencing any muscle aches and pains.

Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

degenrative disc disease treatment

A disc x-ray from various angles, Credit: Pixabay


Patients suffering from this condition want to know what is the best treatment for degenerative disc disease. But there is no single treatment that can benefit everyone equally. Procedures like occupational therapies, physical therapies, exercises, and medications are used to help people manage this condition. Non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen also help alleviate the pain.

A doctor can prescribe some other intensive treatments if you find it increasingly difficult to deal with the pain. At the same time, try experimenting with the sleeping positions mentioned above. Choose the one that suits and gives you the most relief. Alternatively, you can choose to wear a corset or a back support brace that will help you to combat the pain.

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