Better sleep with chiropractic

It soon becomes tiresome when you’re struggling to find a comfortable position to sleep in. You lie on your back and your low back or hip start to ache. You try lying on your side and your shoulder or neck starts hurting. And lying on your front just isn’t working. One, pillow, two pillows, or no pillows – nothing’s right. Of course, it then becomes even trickier to sleep when you start worrying about not being able to sleep.

I’m often asked by patients if they should change their mattress or buy an orthopaedic pillow. My response is always the same: Not yet.

If it has only just become uncomfortable to sleep then the most likely culprits are stiffness, misalignment and mechanical dysfunction in the neck, shoulder or back, rather than the mattress. When the underlying restriction in the joints has been identified, corrected and stabilised it will become much easier to get as good night’s rest. If there is then a lingering ache after this, it may be time to consider a change of mattress or pillows.


Here follow some tips for getting comfortable at night. This will keep the pressure off your spine and joints as much as possible. However, as I say, if there’s an underlying problem then make sure to get your chiropractor to check, adjust and correct in order to get that good night’s sleep!

  • Sleep on your back or on your sides. Avoid sleeping on your front. Sleeping on your front causes the joints of your low back to jam up together – this will then become stiff and achy. When lying on your front you need to turn your head to the side to breathe – this puts the joints in your neck at maximum rotation and the muscles at maximum stretch, again this will stiffen and ache when you come to change position.
  • Try to keep your neck and back in line. So if you prefer being on your back use a fairly low pillow. A bulky pillow will tilt your head forward, stretching the muscles at the back of your neck. The muscles then react by tensing up, causing neck ache and often headaches. If you tend to wake with a headache then be aware of this one. If you like to lie on your side you may need a bit more pillow support so that your head, neck, back and shoulders are all aligned naturally.
  • If you have sciatica (pain, pins and needles, numbness or cramps felt in your leg but stemming from a pinched nerve your low back) you may find that lying on your back is quite uncomfortable. Having your knees slightly bent can put less strain on the nerves in your low back – so place a pillow under your knees. If you’re on your side then a pillow between your knees can also take some pressure off the nerve. Do the best you can to get comfortable but if you’re suffering with sciatica that really ought to be checked by your chiropractor.

A better night’s sleep if one of the most common side effects of chiropractic treatment, regardless of the nature of the compliant. To feel more rested and less stressed book in for an assessment and an adjustment today.