Two of the most common questions I am asked are:
- What is the best sleeping position?
- What mattress do you recommend?
For starters a few sleeping pointers. You should use only one pillow under your head. Not two or three that will cause your head to be propped up causing increased flexion in your neck. This is just like texting on your phone all day long.
If you are a side sleeper it helps to have a pillow in between your legs that will cause less strain on your SI joints (those are the joints in the back of your hips). Also having a pillow under your knees when laying on your back is helpful. Some patients find it more comfortable to cross their legs at the ankle while sleeping on their back too.
If you are a stomach sleeper I recommend the cross crawl position (pictured below). I liken this to climbing a ladder.
As far as a good recommendation for a mattress that gets a little more tricky. A study came out a few years ago that tested firm, medium and soft beds for comfort levels with different back and neck conditions. The ultimate outcome was the mattress that is most comfortable to the patient is the best choice. Pretty subjective and not very helpful results.
I tell all my patients the worst thing for their back is a water mattress that is super soft. The other extreme is a bed that is super hard, this can cause pressure points on your hips, knees and shoulders.
I like to recommend a firm mattress with a soft pillow top to add more cushion but still have the good support for your spine.