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The Connection Between Your Pillow & Back Pain

Back sleeper pillow

Sleep is supposed to be a time of rest and recovery for our bodies. But for some, it becomes a source of discomfort when they wake up with back pain. While a poor sleeping position is often the culprit, the pillow you sleep on may be doing more harm than you realise. 
If you experience back pain when you wake up, this guide is for you. Below, we’ll look into the role of pillows in causing and alleviating back pain. Plus, we’ll delve into back sleeping, why it may be the ideal sleeping position for back pain sufferers and the best pillows for back sleepers.

Recognising the causes and signs of back pain: how do pillows contribute?

As a complex and active part of the body, the back requires plenty of rest and recovery. Your body repairs and regenerates its tissues during sleep, including those in your back. If you want to restore your back to good health, decompress the spine and relieve pressure points, you need to enhance the quality of your sleep. 

However, sleep could also cause or aggravate back pain, making rejuvenation more difficult to achieve. Back pain can manifest as neck stiffness, tightness in the lower to upper back or even numbness in the arms or legs. This can result in a vicious cycle: poor sleep exacerbates back pain and back pain disrupts sleep further.

Your choice of pillow plays a crucial role in your sleep quality. Whether you’re a stomach, side or back sleeper, pillows must provide adequate support, so you can maintain your spinal alignment. An improper pillow can force your head and neck into unnatural positions and strain your spine and surrounding muscles. Over time, this acute discomfort can evolve into chronic back pain. 

A case for back sleeping

Sleeping on one’s side may be one of the most common sleeping positions but back sleeping is often recommended for individuals with back pain. This makes back sleeper pillows a valuable investment for high-quality sleep. 

Here’s why back sleeping is beneficial to a healthy, pain-free back: 

  • Proper spinal alignment — Sleeping on your back helps keep the spine in a neutral position. This means that the natural, gentle curvature of the spine is well-supported. It minimises the stress on your spinal discs and surrounding muscles, reducing the likelihood of waking up with back pain. Pillows for back sleepers promote optimal alignment further with their contouring abilities, such as those of memory foam pillows.
  • Even weight distribution — Back sleeping allows for even distribution of your body’s weight across the mattress. This minimises the pressure points and reduces the chances of waking up with sore hips, shoulders and lower back, which can be common among side and stomach sleepers. An even weight distribution also lessens the risk of nerves becoming compressed during sleep. With the best pillows for back sleepers, you can say goodbye to tingling sensations, numbness and pain.
  • Adequate neck support — The right pillow for back sleepers should provide excellent neck support, keeping your head and neck aligned with the rest of your spine. Your pillow must be the appropriate level of firmness and height, so your neck does not excessively tilt or sink. Keeping your neck in a comfortable and relaxed position prevents strain not just on the neck muscles and ligaments but also on the shoulders. 

How to choose the best pillow for back sleepers

Now that we’ve established why back sleeping is ideal for back pain, let’s explore how to select the best pillows for back sleepers. Consider these factors when investing in pillows to support your back:

  • Pillow height and support — Look for a back sleeper pillow that provides adequate support to keep your head and neck in alignment with your spine. Pillows that are too thick can push your head forward, while pillows that are too thin may not provide enough support. A pillow with medium loft can promote proper alignment, but if possible, test out different pillow heights to find one that suits your body frame.
  • Pillow materialPillows for back sleepers may come in different materials, such as down and latex. However, memory foam pillows may offer the best solution to your back pain problems. They adapt to the shape of your head, neck and shoulders, minimising pressure points along your back. 
  • Pillow shape — Consider specialised pillow shapes designed explicitly for back pain relief and back sleepers. Pillows with an S-shape gently cradle your neck and head, which can be helpful for chronic neck stiffness and upper back pain. 
  • Pillow maintenance — Regardless of the type of pillow you choose, proper maintenance should be a top consideration as pillows can lose their shape and support over time. Regularly fluffing your pillow can help maintain its loft and support for your body. 

Back pain can be a persistent and life-altering condition, but it doesn’t have to be aggravated by poor sleep posture. Consider back sleeping to alleviate discomfort and invest in the best pillow for back sleepers to receive proper support for your spine. The right pillow — one that aligns with your sleep position and supports your spine — can make a world of difference. So, the next time you lay your head down to rest, consider how your choice of pillow may be influencing your back health.

Order back sleeper pillows for back pain sufferers from Dentons

If you’re struggling with back pain and sleepless nights, we’ve come to help! At Dentons, we offer a range of chiropractor and physiotherapist approved memory foam pillows that offer therapeutic relief for your spine. Shop our back sleeper pillows to relieve pressure points, promote spinal alignment and improve your back health.

Don’t let discomfort disrupt your sleep any longer — order the best pillows for back sleepers in Australia from our site! We offer fast delivery anywhere in the country, with free standard shipping for orders over $100. If you want to test our back sleeper pillows before purchasing, you may find our products in various stockists in Australia.

For more options, browse our complete collection of pillows and accessories. Contact us for any enquiries and our team will get in touch with you as soon as possible!

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