How to Sleep to Improve Alignment and Help Alleviate Back Pain

How to Sleep to Improve Alignment and Help Alleviate Back Pain


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San Francisco, Calif., September 20, 2012 – If you’re waking up with back pain, it may be due to the way you’re sleeping rather than a medical ailment. That’s according to renowned balance expert Jean Couch, founder of the Palo Alto-based Balance Center. "Misaligned bones create chronic tension," Couch explains. "We can alleviate tension and pain by sitting, standing, bending and sleeping differently. Practicing proper alignment in bed takes stress off the joints and allows the muscles to relax for a more restful sleep."

Couch offers these tips on optimal spine alignment during sleep.

  • Sleep in an elongated position, not in a ball. This lengthens the spine and increases moisture and nutrition to spinal discs. In Couch’s experience, people often curl up because of back pain. An elongated alignment promotes a healthy back.
  • When sleeping on your side, place the upper arm on hip or side. If the arm drops forward, consider putting a pillow under the armpit. This widens the shoulder girdle and aligns the entire shoulder area.
  • Position your pillow properly. If lying on your side, your pillow should be positioned as high as your shoulder is wide. If the pillow is too low, your head will drop down and your neck will kink; if too high, it will push the head up. Either situation is hard on the neck and spine.
  • Make sure your pillows can be shaped to provide the right support. Couch says she sleeps with two down pillows from McRoskey. "I can shape the down pillows depending on my comfort needs at the moment. No foam or pre-shaped pillows for me."
  • Back sleepers should create a wedge shape with their pillow, with more height and dimension toward the top of the head. This forces the chin down and lengthens the neck, decreasing snoring and possibly helping with sleep apnea. The wedge shape also helps to relax the lower back.

About McRoskey Mattress Company

McRoskey Mattress Company has been handcrafting mattresses and box springs in San Francisco, California since 1899. Mattresses are available in standard and custom sizes. McRoskey has showrooms in Palo Alto and San Francisco. http://www.McRoskey.com or Facebook or Twitter: @McRoskey.

Robin Azevedo