Sleeping On Your Stomach – Pain Reduction

Written by Dr. Steve Chaney on . Posted in Sleeping On Your Stomach

The Right Pillow Can Make All The Difference

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT – The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

sleeping on your stomachSleeping on your stomach has several negative outcomes, which fortunately can be overcome. As your spine is twisting to enable you to turn your head, you are impinging on nerves, disks, and veins.

The pressure causes a long list of aches and pains, often far from the source of the problem.

Why Sleeping on Your Stomach is Bad for Your Neck

As you look at the healthy spine graphic, consider what happens to the neck bones when the head is turned. The cervical vertebrae are twisted, which puts a strain on your spinal cord, at the base of your brain.  Plus, your carotid artery is potentially being squeezed, and your nerves are being pressed on by the bones.

If your head is turned to the left, your neck and shoulder muscles on the left are being held tight. Meanwhile, the muscles on your right are being overstretched, and then held that way for hours.  This puts great pressure on all the structures of your neck.

While prevention is optimal, you can learn how to treat each of the muscles that are being strained as you sleep on your stomach. Releasing tight muscles every day will help avoid some of the damage that is done by having your head twisted.

Why Sleeping on Your Stomach is Bad for Your Lower Back

back pain solutionYour spinal cord runs from your brain all the way to your feet.  As your nerves break off to every area of your body, an impingement causes pain, numbness and tingling

When you are sleeping on your stomach, your lower back (lumbar) vertebrae will drop forward.  This causes your lumbar vertebrae to press into your spinal cord.

The muscles of your lower back; psoas, quadratus lumborum and erector spinae, are affected while sleeping on your stomach.

You can learn how to do simple self-treatments to eliminate lower back pain in my book “The 15 Minute Back Pain Solution.”   This is a step-by-step program that treats each muscle involved in lower back pain, sciatica, and more.

How to Reduce Pain From Sleeping on Your Stomach

sleeping on your stomach spineIt’s best to stop sleeping on your stomach, but habits are a challenge to break. While you’re working to change this habit, here are a few tips to help relieve muscle tension and pain now.

In my therapy practice I have used a cushion that holds the body in a perfect face down position. A cushion holds the clients head, which is face down, and their abdomen is supported to prevent the lumbar curve.  Some of my clients who sleep on their stomach feel it’s so comfortable they have bought it for their home.  Here’s how you can create the same effect without the expense of buying the cushions.

Click on the link above to see how the Body Support cushion works, and then follow along with me.sleeping on your stomach lower back pain

Begin to change the way you sleep by buying a very dense king-size pillow. Lie on top of the pillow with your trunk and have your knees on the bed. Put pillows under your ankles, which will help support the curve of your lower back.

It’s challenging to re-create the face cradle, and the odds of sleeping with your face down are slim.  However, if the pillow under your trunk comes all the way up to your chin, you can have your head bent forward and only slightly turned. The idea is to have as little of a twist as possible in your neck.

You also want to avoid having your lower back collapse into the mattress. The dense pillow under your trunk will support your lumbar vertebrae and prevent low back pain.

Whenever possible, try to start to sleep on your side, supporting your head to keep your spine straight. It’s a challenge, but it’s worth the effort.

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly

 

About The Author

julie donnellyJulie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Trackback from your site.

Comments (1)

  • Ruth Kneile

    |

    Thank you, Julie and Steve!

    Reply

Leave a comment

Recent Videos From Dr. Steve Chaney

READ THE ARTICLE
READ THE ARTICLE

Latest Article

How to Relieve Stress Naturally

Posted September 18, 2018 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Try A Mental Massage

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

 Want to know how to relieve stress naturally?

Stress is rampant in the lives of many people, whether it be from work, homelife, or things we can’t control such as the weather or traffic.  And stress is a killer!  Even if it doesn’t kill, it sure makes life unpleasant.

This short article will explain an easy technique that will massage your stomach and other organs, enabling you to release stress from your body.

The first time you do this technique I suggest you lie down in bed, but afterward you can do it anyplace.  It’s especially good to do while you’re experiencing a stressful situation.

How to Relieve Stress Naturally Step by Step

how to relieve stress naturally ice meltingStart by breathing deeply at your normal pace, paying attention to the rise and fall of your abdomen and chest. Visualize tension like a block of ice that you are melting with the warmth of your breath.

Next, breathe in through your nose to the count of four.

Hold your breath to the count of five.

Slowly breath out through your mouth, to the count of six.

Do this several times and then return to breathing at a normal pace, but still filling and emptying your lungs fully.

While breathing, see the “ice” melting from your scalp all the way through your face, neck, lungs, heart and stomach.  “Feel” it flowing out through your fingertips.

how to relieve stress naturally mittensContinue by “feeling” the ice melting from your hips, legs and feet, flowing out through your feet.

Relax and visualize the tension melting and flowing out of your body.

Next, visualize soft fluffy blue mittens cradling your face, your throat, your lungs, heart and stomach. Visualize the mittens moving down and softly rubbing your arms, legs and feet.

Keep breathing slowly and deeply, relaxing into this comforting vision.

how to relieve stress naturally visualizeFinally, visualize pure, positive energy in the form of diamond dust, sparkling and flowing into your head, filling your body, and flowing out through your fingers and toes.

When you have the time, allow this to take as much time as you like. And when you are living your busy life, realize that you can do this entire relaxation meditation in 30 seconds. Just see it as waves of energy passing from your head to your feet.

This simple exercise is one that I’ve taught people for years, and it really works!  It’s like a mini-spa treatment for your mind and nerves.

 

Wishing you well,

 

Julie Donnelly

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

About The Author

julie donnellyJulie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

UA-43257393-1