There are many people who prefer to sleep on their stomach, however, in some instances some people are forced to sleep on their stomach after major back surgery. But is being a stomach sleeper ok and if not then why is it bad for you? Your professional chiropractor Pretoria can help answer more of your back related questions and help you make healthier choices for your back and spine.
Why is the spine so important that sleeping positions should be considered?
The spine supports a lot of the body’s movement functions by being an overall body weight support. The spine also allows for neck and head movements like “flexion” and “extension” because of its complex vertebrae design in the cervical spine region. Most importantly, the bones or vertebra of the spine supports the spinal cord which transmits messages directly from the brain throughout the body. These are but a few of the reasons our spines and backs should be taken care of by sleeping in better positions other than the stomach.
Back and side verse stomach sleepers – Chiropractor Pretoria
All sleeping positions have their advantages and disadvantages and while some are beneficial others may cause long-term damage and strain to your spine and back. Sleeping is a time you get to give your spine a chance to rest after its constant support throughout the day.
The stomach sleeper may find this position comfortable as it also reduces snoring and sleep apnea problems. However, what makes this position bad is that it puts strain on the lumbar spine region and can result in lower back pain as well as strain the neck because it’s positioned to either side.
Sleeping on your stomach for long hours will eventually start becoming problematic and you may experience neck and lower back pain amongst other. Neck pain occurs due to the rotation and/or side bending for hours on end. When you are laying on your stomach, your lower back also curves more, causing the joints to become jammed up and could result in lower back pain. For pregnant women sleeping on the stomach becomes more and more uncomfortable as your pregnancy progresses. It is advisable not to sleep on your stomach during the initial phase of your pregnancy.
If you sleep on your stomach, you need to train yourself not to do it. Something you can try is placing a pillow against your chest and in front of your legs. This will “trick” your brain into thinking you are on your stomach as well as preventing rotation in your lower back as you bring one of your legs up.
Sleeping on the back allows the spine and neck to rest in a neutral position preventing any stress on this region. However, some folks may not get a good night’s sleep because this position even though great for your spine is not the most comfortable and may induce snoring.
If you sleep on your back, ensure you have the proper support for your neck and place a pillow behind your knees. This will relax the lower back muscles and reduce any back pain.
This fetal position is very comfortable for most people; however, this can cause some pressure on the internal organs when sleeping on the left side, so switching sides during the night is fine. However, for pregnant women, left side sleeping is encouraged to help increase blood flow and oxygen to the heart and the unborn baby.
It is important to ensure you have a good supportive pillow. A pillow can also be placed between your knees. This will ensure your pelvis doesn’t rotate during the night. Click here to find out how to choose the correct pillow
Ask you professional chiropractor Pretoria for more information and start making better health choices for your back.
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