Sleeping positions for people with low back pain

Picture of sleeping positions for people with low back pain

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.
  • Place a pillow under your knees when sleeping on your back. You may also want to try using a towel roll to support your lower 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.
  • Scoot to the edge of the bed and position your feet under your buttocks.
  • Stand up, keeping your back in the neutral position.

Last Updated: February 3, 2010

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

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

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