Do you deal with chronic back pain? If so, you’re not alone.
According to the Global Burden of Disease, one of the leading causes of disabilities across the globe is chronic back pain. Interestingly, back pain doesn’t only occur because of medical conditions like arthritis but also because of simple things like your posture, sleeping position, and type of bedding.
In fact, your sleep position and type of pillow are two of the most likely causes of chronic back pain. When you sleep — regardless of the position or pillow you use — spinal alignment is of utmost importance.
When you sleep, your shoulders, neck, spine, and hips should be in perfect alignment. If there are gaps between your body and the mattress underneath, you may experience some stress in those pressure points. The correct sleeping position and back pain pillow can help you overcome that.
In this article, we discuss what are the qualities of the best back pain pillow and we give you an overview of some of the best body pillows for spinal alignment.
Characteristics of the Best Back Pain Pillow
In addition to offering comfort, your pillow should facilitate spinal alignment. It should cradle your head and neck to support your back. There is no one uniform back pain pillow for everyone because different people have different sleeping positions. So the following is an overview of the pillows you need according to your sleeping position.
Sleeping on your Back
Sleeping on your back is a great sleep position because it facilitates weight distribution throughout your body. This places less stress on your pressure points. However, when you’re sleeping on your back, you can place a pillow under the curve of your lower back to further relieve stress from your lower back.
When you’re sleeping on your back, you should go for thinner low-profile or medium-loft pillows. This will prevent your neck from going out of alignment. The pillow should also ideally have padding around the corners to support your neck. The best materials for back pain pillows for back sleepers are memory foam pillows and water pillows.
Sleeping on your Stomach
You should try to avoid sleeping on your stomach. However, if you can’t help but sleep on your stomach, you should either go without a pillow altogether or use the thinnest pillow possible. Go for a low-profile pillow that’s still comfortable. You can also place a pillow beneath your stomach to take the pressure off your back.
Sleeping on your Side
When you sleep on your side, you should generally go for one of two positions.
The most common — and most favorable — side sleeping position is the fetal position. In this position, you sleep on your side with your knees tucked into your chest. It extends your spine and prevents disc herniation.
The second position is one in which you’re lying on your side with your legs straight and a pillow tucked between your knees — the pillow between the knees is important because it facilitates spinal alignment and takes the stress off pressure points.
When you’re sleeping on your side, you should go for a firm pillow with a medium or high loft. This is necessary so the pillow can cover the distance between your mattress and your head, thus supporting your neck. You should also look for a contour or cervical pillow with elevated and rounded corners that can provide a neck support.
Best Back Pain Pillows
Elite Rest Contour Sleeper — Best Neck Support Pillow for Side Sleepers
Elite Rest Contour Sleeper is one of the best pillows for side sleepers. This is a memory foam pillow with a contoured and ergonomic style. The memory foam is ideal for neck support and back pain relief because it conforms to your body, which provides support to pressure points and alleviates pain.
The highest contour on this pillow is 4 inches and the lowest contour is 2.75 inches. The sides are also rounded and ergonomic so you can rest your neck on the rounded curves of the pillow with your head resting in the lower contour. This helps cover the space between your neck and the mattress, thus facilitating spinal alignment.
This neck support pillow for side sleepers is also hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites and mildew. As such, anyone can use it without fear of allergic reactions.
Elite Rest Slim Sleeper — Best Pillow Beneath the Stomach
If you’re a stomach sleeper, then Elite Rest Slim Sleeper is the ideal choice for you. This is an extremely low-profile pillow with a loft height of only 2.75 inches. Despite being so low, it’s still soft and comfortable because it’s made of all-natural hypoallergenic latex foam.
The low height makes this pillow perfect for stomach sleepers. You can place this pillow beneath your head or you can also place this pillow beneath your stomach to take the pressure off your back.
BioPEDIC Premium SofLOFT is one of the best body pillows for back pain and spinal alignment. This is a 20×54 inch body pillow filled with hypoallergenic fibers. You can rest your head on this pillow if you’re sleeping on your back and you can rest this pillow on your sides if you need something to cuddle with.
This pillow is perfect for various positions. If you’re sleeping on your side, you can tuck it between your knees while also resting your head on it. You can also use this pillow as support to ensure that you don’t roll over on your stomach, which is considered to be the worst sleep position. As such, BioPEDIC Premium SofLOFT is also one of the most versatile pillows on the market.
We hope this article has helped you figure out how to sleep if you have chronic back pain and the kind of pillow to use to avoid back pain altogether.