Pain Relieving Sleep Positions

neck_pain_wakeWhen you are in pain, it can be exhausting. But when it comes time to go to bed, many can’t escape the pain. It keeps you up, or wakes you during the night. Sleep is when the body heals itself at the fastest rate, so if you are not getting appropriate sleep, you aren’t getting better as fast as you could.

I’m going to share with you some tips based on your condition, and your preferred sleep position. Let’s start with THE NECK:

If you prefer to sleep on your back avoid the thick or multiple pillow approach. Try a “core” pillow that the middle is hollow, and the neck is supported. If you have a very hunched posture, don’t give up. You may have to start with a thicker pillow and work down to a core pillow over time.

If you are a side sleeper try a medium density poly-filled pillow. Assess your head position. Try to find a position that you’re not tipping your head toward the pillow, or the pillow is pushing you up and out of neutral.

If you are a stomach sleeper.. stop it. Try one of the other positions, or shop for a prone pillow. They look like what you use at a massage therapist table, but when all else fails…


If you are a back sleeper, You’re in luck. You may only have to prop a small pillow behind your arm, or sleep slightly inclined.

If you are a side sleeper, lie on the non-painful side. You may have to use several pillows to prevent the shoulder from falling forward into pain. If both shoulders are problematic, you may find relief in the back sleeper positions.

Stomach sleepers should avoid putting their arms under the pillow.


When you have back pain there are many tricks you can try to get relief.

For the back sleeper, if you are having pain lying flat, try various sized pillows behind the knees. this can take some pressure off your back, allowing some space for your nerves to calm down enough to let you sleep. This is not a recommended sleep position for the long-term. If after your problem resolves, you still can’t lie flat, you need to contact us.

If you are a side sleeper and your pain is more one-sided, and your mattress is soft, sleep on the more painful side. Sinking into the mattress will allow the side you are lying on to open up to crease space for your nerves. If you have a firmer mattress, try lying on the non-painful side with either a pillow between your knees, just above your hip bone, or both.

For the stomach sleeper, try putting a pillow under your naval. You may like one under your ankles as well.

These are the most common issues we advise our patients in. If you have an issue that we have not addressed, get in touch with us using your preferred method at

Call Us Today