The Side-Sleeper’s Dream: Spine, Pillows, and Posture EssentialsJune 28, 2018
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No matter how firm or soft your mattress is our bodies conform to the mattress when we sleep and often times we wake up with neck and/or back pain. Here is an easy way to adjust your side-sleeping posture to keep your spine in perfectly straight line (neutral alignment). Thickness/thinness of the pillows do matter. The best way to assess if the pillow is the appropriate height is lie down in front of a mirror with the pillows in the correct position to ensure that you are maintaining a neutral alignment.
- Place the pillow as high up into your under arm as you can on the side that you will be lying on.
- This will act as a placeholder until you get onto your side.
- Once you are on your side slide your arm out from under you so that you are not lying on your arm.
- The pillow should support your rib cage so that you can maintain a neutral spine position.
- The combination of the neck pillow and ribcage pillow also create a valley for your shoulder so that you don’t compress your body into your shoulder. This can lead to many shoulder problems
Head, Arm & Knees
- The pillow should be placed under the head in the crook of the neck.
- If the pillow is under the shoulder your head will go into a side bend position creating compression on the joints of the neck on the side that is down and tension of the muscles and ligaments on the side that is up.
- The key is to fill in all the spaces.
- Note: if you notice you are consistently placing your hand under your pillow then the pillow(s) might be too thin.
- This pillow should be placed in front of you to support the arm on the side facing up.
- If you roll slightly the weight of your arm will cause excessive spinal rotation as well as tension on the muscles of the shoulder.
- Place this pillow between your knees so that the top hip and knee are lined up in a parallel manner.
- If the pillow is too low or you do not sleep with a pillow in between your knees, gravity will pull your top leg down creating tension on the hip and excessive side bending and rotation of your low back.
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