Do you suffer from lower back pain during the day or typically wake up with an aching back? A pregnancy pillow or a lumbar pillow is designed to address lower back pain by providing the necessary support to maintain the natural curve of the spine. This helps in reducing the strain on the lumbar region during sleep and also promotes a more therapeutic rest, allowing the back muscles to relax as you sleep. Using lumbar support pillows can assist in minimising the risk of developing chronic lumbar pain and improving overall sleep quality.
Common issues related to lumbar discomfort during sleep
One of the primary causes of lumbar discomfort is poor sleeping posture. If the spine is not adequately supported, it can lead to an unnatural spinal position, putting strain on the lumbar vertebrae and surrounding muscles. If you’re unsure whether you need a lumbar pillow to help you sleep, here are some signs that it may be time to use one:
Prolonged stress — Prolonged stress on the lumbar region during sleep can cause the muscles to tighten and spasm, leading to pain and stiffness. This discomfort can become a chronic issue, affecting one's overall quality of life.
Degenerative changes — Over time, the intervertebral discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae, can start to wear down. This degeneration can lead to conditions like herniated discs or spinal stenosis, which can be worsened by poor sleeping positions.
Sciatica — A common lumbar-related complaint is sciatica, characterised by pain that radiates from the lower back down the leg. This can be aggravated by pressure on the nerve roots in the lumbar area during sleep.
Pregnancy-related back pain — During pregnancy, the lumbar curve can become more pronounced due to the increased weight of the abdomen. This can put additional strain on the lower back, causing discomfort that often worsens during sleep. A pregnancy pillow can come in handy during this time.
How does a lumbar support pillow prevent back pain?
A lumbar support pillow helps prevent back pain by providing targeted support to the lower back, specifically the lumbar region. The lumbar region of the spine has a natural inward curve. Prolonged sitting, especially in chairs that lack proper lumbar support, can cause individuals to slouch, leading to poor posture and stress on the lower back.
Unfortunately, many chairs and seats are not ergonomically designed to provide adequate lumbar support. A lumbar support pillow acts as an ergonomic aid, helping to counteract the lack of support on various seating surfaces. Promoting proper alignment prevents slouching and minimises the risk of developing back pain.
The benefits of using a lumbar or pregnancy pillow
For individuals already experiencing lower back pain, a pregnancy pillow or a lumbar support pillow can help to distribute the pressure evenly across the lumbar spine, reducing tension and stress on the muscles and supporting structures. This relief is especially significant for those with conditions like herniated discs or sciatica, as the lumbar pillow can alleviate some of the pressure on the affected areas.
Consistent use of a lumbar support pillow can contribute to improved posture. By aligning the hips, spine and shoulders, the pillow encourages a more upright and natural position. Over time, this support helps in developing muscle memory for correct posture, even when not using the lumbar pillow. Improved posture, in turn, reduces the risk of developing back pain associated with poor alignment.
People who spend extended periods sitting may experience discomfort and fatigue in the lower back. Adding a lumbar support pillow to the chair enhances comfort by providing additional support. This is especially valuable for tasks that require prolonged sitting, such as office work or travel.
Ways to use a pregnancy pillow to prevent lower back pain
Using a pregnancy pillow strategically can effectively prevent lower back pain during pregnancy. Here are various ways to use one:
Lumbar support — Position the pregnancy pillow behind your lower back while sitting or reclining to provide extra support to the lumbar region. Adjust the pillow to fill the natural curve of your spine, helping to maintain proper alignment and reduce strain on the lower back.
Between the knees — While sleeping on your side, tuck the pregnancy pillow between your knees. This helps align the hips, pelvis and spine, reducing stress on the lower back and promoting a neutral sleeping posture.
Full body support — Opt for a full-body pregnancy pillow, such as a C-shaped or U-shaped design. These pillows provide support to the entire body, ensuring proper alignment and reducing the risk of lower back pain.
Elevate the legs — If experiencing swelling or discomfort in the lower extremities, use the pregnancy pillow to elevate your legs slightly. This can improve circulation and alleviate pressure on the lower back.
Propping up for reading or watching TV — Use the pregnancy pillow as a supportive cushion when sitting in bed or on a couch. This helps prevent slouching and maintains a comfortable posture, reducing stress on the lower back.
Ways to use a lumbar support pillow to prevent lower back pain
If you’re having lower back pain, incorporate the lumbar support pillow into your daily routine as much as possible. Whether you’re at work, in the car or at home, regular use is key to preventing lower back pain. Here are some ways you can use your lumbar pillow:
Office chair support — Place the lumbar pillow against the lower back when sitting in an office chair. This helps maintain the natural curve of the spine and prevents slouching, reducing strain on the lower back muscles.
During bedtime — Use the lumbar pillow while in bed, placing it under your lower back. This can be particularly beneficial for those who experience lower back pain when lying down.
During travel — Bring the lumbar pillow with you when travelling. Whether on a plane or train, use the pillow to maintain proper spinal alignment during prolonged periods of sitting.
Gaming or reading — Incorporate the lumbar support pillow into your gaming or reading routine. Sit on the floor with your back against a wall and use the pillow to support the lower back.
Find the best lumbar pillow in Australia at Dentons
If you’re looking for a pregnancy pillow in Australia or a lumbar pillow to prevent lower back pain, you can find it here at Dentons. We offer a wide range of Australian-made specialised pillows designed in collaboration with chiropractors and physiotherapists. You can also browse our complete collection of pillows and sleep accessories to improve your sleep quality. Find the closest stockist to your location, or contact our team if you have any questions about our products.