Is your sleeping position aggravating your back?

Those hitting middle age are most likely to be blighted by back or neck pain aggravated by sleeping than any other age group, according to new research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA).

Middle age is the time when people are most likely to see the cumulative effects of poor posture, which can in turn trigger back and neck pain. The research into this age group (45-54) found that nearly two fifths (39%) who have suffered from back or neck pain identify sleeping/mattress as the trigger for those aches, and over half (58%) admit pain keeps them from sleeping.


To help stop sleep from becoming a painful experience, here are some things to try:

  • Avoid sleeping on your front.  Sleeping on your front puts a lot of pressure on your neck as it has to be twisted to one side and it also increases the curve in the lower back which can aggravate the joints there too.  Instead try to sleep on your side or back.  If you still struggle to get comfortable on your side try a pillow between your knees to avoid twisting your pelvis on your side.


  • Invest in a good pillow.  If you are on your side the pillow needs to fill the gap between your shoulder and your neck.  Try out pillows until you find one that suits you.  At attend2health we have an adjustable pillow which is free to hire for a week to see if its right for you.

  • Update your mattress.  It is important to update your mattress at least every 10 years.  Your mattress needs to be not too soft so it can support your spine but not too hard as otherwise your muscles won’t be able to relax.  The best way to choose a new mattress is to go and lie on them in a shop for at least 10 minutes as most mattresses will feel ok to start with but it is only after a period of time you can notice if they are uncomfortable or not.


  • Watch your posture.  It is very important to be aware of your posture and to do some gentle stretches especially if you spend a lot of the day in front of a computer or on your phone.  It is very easy for our heads to come forward putting extra pressure on the neck.  Try this simple exercise to help keep your head back.


It is so important to get a good nights sleep and so frustrating if you can’t sleep well.  Never just suffer if you are in pain as normally there is a lot that can be done to help.  I hope you find these suggestions helpful.  If you do have any questions or want to know how else to help your back or neck pain please call the clinic on 01763 878087 and book a free 15 minute chat with one of our practitioners.  We can find out whats wrong and either treat you or refer you to a doctor for further investigation.