Lower back pain: Best sleeping positions to help you get a good night’s sleep

Lower back back can be debilitating and the easiest remedy may seem like laying down and doing nothing. But resting for more than a couple of days after low back pain starts to hurt is not advised. The spine needs movement to start getting better, so being active is key. If your back pain isn’t caused by an injury and is of concern, your first port of call should be to see your GP, who can check you over and advise on the best possible treatment.

Sleep can prove difficult and uncomfortable because you’re laying down and not being active.

But there are three comfortable sleep positions recommended by the NHS, which involve positioning your pillows slightly differently.

  • The first position it recommends is laying on your back with a pillow or two under your knees.
  • The second is laying flat on your front. It advises: “If this is too painful try again with one or two pillows under you hips. As your pain eases, remove the pillows so that you are completely flat.”
  • The third is laying on your side with a pillow between your knees. It adds: “Sometimes a rolled up towel around your waist also helps.”

Go keep active with lower back pain there are some simple exercises and stretches recommended for you to do at home.

Joint experts, Arthritis Research UK, recommends five exercises, which it says you should start gently and increase gradually. You should also not try to push hard to get rid of pain.

Hugging knees to chest

It explains: “Lying on your back with bent knees, lift one leg and hold on to it with one hand and then lift and hold the other leg.

“Pull both knees gently closer to your chest, hold for a count of five, then relax your arms but don’t let go completely. Repeat the hug and relax.

“Some people prefer to hug one knee at a time.”

Leg stretches

It says: “Lying on your back with your knees bent, lift one knee and hold your thigh with both hands behind the knee.

“Gently straighten the knee that you are holding and hold for a count of five. Repeat with the opposite leg.”

Half push-ups

It instructs: “Lie on your front on a firm surface, with your hands under your shoulders, palms down. Look up and push up, lifting your head and shoulders up with your arms.

“Keep your hips on the floor. Hold for a count of five and then gently lower yourself back down. To start with, you may not be able to lift your shoulders far.

“As you become more flexible, work towards trying to straighten your arms, still keeping your hips on the floor.”

Knee rolls

It says: “Lying on your back with bent knees, let your knees roll to one side, keeping your knees and feet together.

“Stay to one side for a count of five and then roll to the other side.”

Arching and hollowing

It explains: “Start on all fours, hands under shoulders, knees under hips.

“Arch your back upwards, letting your head drop, and hold for a count of five.

“Then reverse this posture: lifting your head and looking up, relax your tummy and stick your behind out, holding for a count of five.”

“Stay to one side for a count of five and then roll to the other side.”

But the research charity recommends: “Try each exercise in turn and find out how many times you can repeat it without feeling extra discomfort the following day.

“If you are not sure, try each one five to 10 times to start with. As your back gets used to the new exercise, you should gradually increase the number of times you do the exercise.

“If you are lucky, you may find a particular exercise eases your pain. If so, you should do more of this exercise and can use it as ‘first aid’.”

If your back pain changes or if you experience symptoms in other parts of the body you may require immediate medical attention

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