Many back pain sufferers spend too much time lying on their sides. But here are some tips for fewer postures
Where is the best spot for sleeping on your back? A recent study suggested that pulling down your head towards your spine reduces back pain.
However, concerns around sleeping on the back of your body have led some to offer their solutions for avoiding – or at least easing – the discomfort:
This solution was suggested by Dr Matthew Lenczner who studied back pain at Harvard Medical School. The practitioner suggests people start by lying on the back of a desk or wooden chair, instead of the seated position. He later recommends lying on your stomach to create the proper shape for your spine, before reducing the position to flat. “Every part of your back, in fact, will flatten,” he said.
Lenzczner – who estimates 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with back pain each year – is now evaluating the practice in the UK. If it works, he plans to introduce the experiment at his business-cum-academy, The Back Gaze.
If you’re unsure whether your back is flat, a standing yoga pose called Mata – short for Manus – can offer the answer. Bob Moses, professor of orthopaedic neurology at the University of Toronto, said by lying on your side the proper “swaying” of the spine could take place. His suggestion: consider down or wide-width sitting positions, like those used in basketball, for flexibility and support.
Turn your arm to the side
According to the Harvard Medical School study, neither up or flat – of which there is a fixed fifth position – is good. The way you lay on your back can ensure that you have a shape that is protected. What doesn’t sit well with researchers is the all-day back shape, such as the slouching upward from sitting. “Your posture doesn’t come back for long periods of time,” said Lenczner. “It’s more like holding a horse when you’re hurt.”
Short, upward-facing or vertical positions can exacerbate the spasms that precede a haemorrhagic shock, which may or may not lead to chronic lower back pain. This is where someone reacts by blocking a narrowed or narrowed a space between the discs (the soft cartilage that lines joints of the spine), by either loosening the material or plumping it up. This can either paralyse the low back, damaging the nerves that carry information between the neck and chest, or worsen symptoms. It’s most likely a painful problem.