How to sleep with lower back pain

UC neurosurgeon featured in Prevention article

A majority of people have had or will have lower back pain in their life. The University of Cincinnati's Owoicho Adogwa, MD, spoke with Prevention on ways to sleep when you have lower back pain.

Adogwa said lack of sleep impairs the body's ability to heal and recover, so poor sleep can aggravate existing lower back problems. 

“Sleeping on your back with a pillow under the knees helps maintain the natural curve of the spine, reducing stress on the lower back,” said Adogwa, a UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute physician researcher and assistant professor of neurosurgery in UC's College of Medicine. “Side sleeping with a pillow between the knees keeps the hips, pelvis, and spine in better alignment, minimizing strain on the lumbar region.”

Folks dealing with poor sleep may also want to take a look at their mattress, Adogwa said.

“A mattress that is too soft may cause the spine to sag, leading to poor spinal alignment and increased pressure on the lower back,” he explained. “Conversely, a mattress that is too firm may fail to support the natural curves of the spine, causing discomfort and stiffness.”

Stretches and/or yoga before bed can also "alleviate muscle tension," according to Adogwa.

Read the Prevention article.

Featured photo at top of Dr. Adogwa in surgery. Photo/UC Health.


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