Sleeping positions that protect your back

Picture of sleeping position that protects the back (on your back)

Sleeping on your back

Picture of sleeping position that protects the back (on your side)

Sleeping on your side

General guidelines for sleeping:

  • Sleep so that your back is in a neutral position. The neutral position keeps the back in its natural three front-to-back curves that give the spine an "S" shape.
  • Use a rolled towel to support your lower back or place a pillow under your knees when sleeping on your back.
  • Place a pillow between your knees when sleeping on your side.

To rise from bed:

  • Roll onto your side and bend both knees.
  • Drop your feet over the side of the bed as you push with both arms to sit up.
  • Slide to the edge of the bed and position your feet under your buttocks.
  • Stand up, keeping your back in the neutral position.

Last Updated: July 21, 2008

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics

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