Protect Your Spine By Avoiding This Maneuver While Sleeping

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 4, 2022

Sleep Position Spine

Everyone gets comfortable in their own way when trying to fall asleep, but new research suggests that patients should avoid crossing their legs as they work to fall asleep, as this can cause spinal misalignment issues over time.

According to Dr. Nilong Vyas, a sleep physician and medical review expert at the Sleep Foundation, putting one leg over the other can be hard on your spine when you’re trying to fall asleep.

“If you sleep in a twisting position, it can cause a misalignment of the spine,” said Dr. Vyas.

This sentiment was supported by Derek Hales, a sleep expert and founder of NapLab.com. Hales said this misalignment can develop as your spine twists to follow the twisting of your legs.

“During the course of multiple hours sleeping like that, it creates undue pressure on the spine, which creates pressure points in the joints, muscles and ligaments of the lower back and shoulders,” said Hales. “These pressure points are often the result of pain when sleepers awake in the morning.”

Creates Tension In The Spine

If you rotate one leg across the other in order to find a comfortable sleeping position, it can actually force the lower part of your spine to handle pressure at a time when it’s supposed to be relaxed. This can lead to an accumulation of muscle tension, which can lead to physical symptoms like pain and soreness in the lumbar spine. Instead of feeling refreshed when you wake up in the morning, you may wake up stiff or uncomfortable simply because you had one leg crossed over the other while you were sleeping.

If you are waking up with spine pain, take some time to really evaluate your sleeping position. Everyone has a different comfortable position, but some sleeping positions may be healthier for your spine than others. Oftentimes the simplest way to help your spine find a relaxed and natural position while sleeping is to sleep on your side with a small pillow or pad between your knees to help keep the entire spine in alignment. Sleeping on your stomach or back can sometimes put abnormal stress on your cervical spine or lungs depending on your exact position, but find what’s comfortable and take note of how you feel when you get up in the morning.

If you are waking up with back pain, or if spinal pain is making it hard for you to fall asleep or stay asleep, now is the time to pick up the phone and contact Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute. Dr. Sinicropi will take a look at your medical history, talk with you about your symptoms, conduct a physical exam and order any necessary imaging tests to help get to the bottom of your issue. From there he’ll work with you to provide a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan that suits your needs and goals.

Sleep should be a restful time for your spine, but if your sleeping position is causing problems or you simply can’t achieve peaceful sleep because of chronic back pain, let us help you find a solution. For more information, or for help with any of your spine-related issues, give Dr. Sincropi and his team a call today at (651) 430-3800.

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