Wedge Pillow Articles

The Best Way To Sleep With A Compression Fracture

best way to sleep with compression fracture

The best way to sleep with a compression fracture is to lie with your spine in a neutral position. This is a position without muscle or joint strain and with plenty of space between the joints in your spine. Keep reading to learn how this is done.

Sleep on your back, but not flat on your back

If you have a compression fracture and are trying to sleep, don’t sleep flat on your back. Almost all of us have tight hip flexors that pull our pelvis into an anterior tilt. When our pelvis tilts forward, it causes our lower back to arch. This means when we lie down flat on our backs with our legs straight, our lower back is arched. This arch decreases the space between the joints in your back and causes your back muscles to tighten overnight.

To avoid waking up with back stiffness and pain, especially if you have a compression fracture, sleep on your back with your legs elevated on a knee wedge pillow. Sleeping with your legs supported on a leg wedge takes away the arch in your lower back and allows your back to lie flat. This restores the space between your joints, allowing your compression fracture to heal overnight rather than be compressed and irritated.

For anyone trying to sleep with a compression fracture, this is great news. The ability to sleep with your back muscles relaxed, with plenty of space in between the joints of your lower back, is a huge relief to anyone with a compression fracture!

What if I can’t sleep on my back with my compression fracture?

If you just can’t sleep on your back, you can sleep on your side, if you have the right support. First, use a side sleeper wedge to support your lower spine while you sleep. Placing a side sleeper wedge in the curve of your waist will prevent your spine from curving downwards when you lie down on your mattress.

If you are trying to side sleep with a compression fracture, this is important because when healing, you don’t want any of the joints in your spine to be compressed. When you lie on your side without back support, joint compression can happen as your spine curves down towards your bed.

Additionally, you should use a leg separator pillow that completely supports your entire top leg. This means the pillow should run from your pubic bone to your foot. A leg separator pillow should also keep your top leg as close to parallel to the bed as possible.

This ensures that your hip muscles are not pulling on your back and that your pelvis is not rotating. This is key to side sleeping with a compression fracture because if your hips and pelvis are supported, they won't be pulling on your spine.

Learning the best way to sleep with a compression fracture is key for your healing. Get yourself sleeping right, so your body can maximize its nightly restoration!

-Hillary Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Best Sleeping Position for Breathing Problems

best sleeping position for breathing problems

To be in the best sleeping position for breathing problems, you’ve got to position yourself smartly. This involves positioning your body in a way that it overcomes the effects of gravity on your lungs, allowing you to breathe easier. There are two main ways to do this.

Sleep elevated

The first principle to sleeping in the best position for breathing difficulties is to sleep elevated. Sleeping elevated opens your chest cavity, allowing your lungs to expand more. If your chest cavity has more space for your lungs to expand, it’s easier for you to breathe.

Sleeping in an elevated sleeping position also increases circulation of fluids throughout your head and torso. Sleeping in an inclined position helps your sinuses drain, alleviates postnasal drip, and uses gravity to keep fluid from pooling in your lungs. When all these things are taken care of, your ability to sleep greatly improves. 

Best side sleeping position for breathing problems

For side sleepers, the best sleeping position for breathing problems is lying elevated while on your side. The most comfortable way to do this is to use a contoured incline sleeping pillow and a supportive leg separator pillow.

The combination of these two pillows gives your back muscles, spine, and hips the most support, while at the same time elevating your torso so you breathe easier. With your body completely supported and your torso positioned in a way that alleviates breathing problems, sleep will become much more satisfying.

Best back sleeping position for breathing problems

For back sleepers, the best sleeping position for breathing problems is to use a 10-inch to 12-inch triangle wedge pillow to elevate your torso, and a knee wedge pillow to elevate your legs. Why both pillows?

A 10-inch or 12-inch wedge pillow is the ideal height to sleep on to alleviate breathing difficulties. However, this is a fairly steep incline and some people find that they slide down their wedge pillow during the night. A knee wedge pillow will prevent you from sliding down your triangle wedge.

Additionally, resting your legs on a knee wedge pillow alleviates your back by removing pressure from your spine. Resting in this position is similar to a gravity eliminated position and allows your body to rest peacefully and in a relaxed state.

When your body is finally in the best sleeping position for breathing problems, you can rest assured that you’ll be sleeping better and feeling better than you have in a long time.

-Hillary Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy

What's The Best Side to Sleep On?

Best Side to Sleep On

The best side to sleep on depends on some things that are unique to you! Keep reading to learn which side will work best for you to lie on, depending on some common conditions.

Best side to sleep on for vertigo

Positional vertigo is typically triggered when you change positions in bed or when you roll towards one side. If you have vertigo symptoms with moving/rolling over to the right, sleep on your left side. If you have vertigo symptoms with moving/rolling to the left, you should sleep on your right side.

Sleeping on the side without symptoms will decrease the activity of the vertigo. This will help you manage symptoms until you seek medical intervention. It also lets your vestibular system rest and as a result, helps it heal. You can learn more about sleeping with vertigo, here

Best side to sleep on for acid reflux or GERD

If you have GERD symptoms at night, it is recommended that you position yourself elevated and on your left side. Why the left side? Sleeping facing left is ideal if you have reflux because this position places your stomach and esophagus where it is much more difficult for the stomach acid to travel back up into your esophagus and cause heart burn.

To do this, you will need an incline pillow and leg separator pillow. The combination of these two wedge pillows will keep you sleeping on your side, elevated with your back and hips fully supported, and comfortable.

For more information on how to sleep on your side with acid reflux or GERD, click here

Best side to sleep on when pregnant

For pregnant moms, the best side to sleep on is also the left side. This is so that the growing baby does not push against the vena cava. The vena cava brings blood flow back to the heart, and you don't want it compressed! Sleeping on the left also decreases pressure on the liver and other organs so that sleeping is more comfortable.

Sleeping on the left side is the ideal position for a pregnant woman because it maximizes support for the baby and is the best position for circulation for the mother. Pregnant moms will benefit from some form of side sleeping support whether that be low back and hip support or support to sleep slightly inclined due to acid reflux.

For more information on the best way to sleep while pregnant, click here

Best side to sleep on with hip or back pain

For back or hip pain, the best side to sleep on is the side that has the least pain. For example, if your right hip is hurting, you should be position yourself on your left side, and vice versa. The most important part of sleeping with back or hip pain is making sure your are supporting your body properly, which we will cover next.

The correct sleep posture for side sleepers

There are two ways to support your body while side sleeping. Regardless of which side you are on, the first decision you need to make is: should I be positioned with my torso flat or elevated? If you have breathing difficulties, sinus issues, migraines in the morning, sleep apnea, snoring, or acid reflux, you would benefit from sleeping elevated while on your side.

How to position yourself elevated and on your side

Positioning yourself at an incline while lying on your side is done with a contoured incline pillow and a leg separator pillow. A contoured incline pillow supports the contours of the side of your body to make sure you have maximal back support.

A leg separator pillow positions your hips in a way that they are completely relaxed. It also makes sure your muscles are not pulling on your spine in an unhealthy way. The combination of these two pillows gives you the full body support you need to side sleep on an incline, all night long, comfortably.

How to sleep flat and on your side

If you do not have any of the conditions mentioned previously, the best way for you to sleep on your side would be to sleep flat, with your back and hips supported. Doing this is simple. First, use a side sleeper wedge to fill in the curve of your waist. This keeps your spine straight at night and lets your low back relax and rejuvenate while you sleep.

Second, use a supportive leg separator pillow that supports you leg from your pubic bone to past your feet and holds your top leg as close to parallel to the bed as possible. Most leg separator pillows are not supportive enough to hold your leg in correct sleep posture, so make sure you find one that has maximum support, like the one we carry at Wedge Pillow Solutions.

Hopefully you had a chance to learn what the best side to sleep on is for you, specifically! No matter which one you choose, support your body correctly, and you will be well on your way to a good night's sleep.

-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy

 

Stop Having Lower Back Pain After Sleeping

lower back pain after sleeping

Lower back pain after sleeping is common. Why? Because most people don’t know the best way to sleep with low back pain! Keep reading to learn how to position your body to avoid experiencing low back pain after you sleep.

Sleeping is a way for your body to rejuvenate, recover, heal, and restore. It’s science. We are designed to need sleep, otherwise our body can’t function properly. Therefore, sleep should be designed and strategized to optimize our ability to function during the day.

When you have lower back pain after sleeping, it disrupts your body’s ability to repair itself. When you sleep pain free, and in the correct position, it helps existing back problems heal and decreases the chances of waking up with a sore back after sleeping.

The key to eliminating lower back pain after sleeping is to keep the spine in a “neutral” and restful position. This is a position where your joints are not strained and your muscles are not pulling or putting tension on your spine.

Back pain after sleeping on your back

Do you have a sore back after sleeping supine? Lower back pain while sleeping on your back occurs most commonly due to tight hip flexors. When you lie flat on your back, tight hip flexor muscles (which most all of us have because of sitting too much) rotate your pelvis forward, causing your lower back to arch. This arch in your low back can put tension on the facet joints in your lumbar spine, your ligaments, and your nerves.

To avoid lower back pain after sleeping on your back, use a knee wedge pillow to keep your spine in a neutral position. When you sleep with a slight bend in your hip and knees, it prevents your hip flexors from rotating your pelvis forward. This position eliminates the arch in your lower back that you have when you lie flat.

Sore back after sleeping on your side?

If you have a sore back after sleeping on your side, it’s because when you side sleep, it’s harder to keep your spine in a neutral position. The side of your body has natural curvatures (think hips, waist, rib cage). This means that sleeping on these curves, while trying to keep a neutral spine, is a little more difficult.

The best way to avoid lower back pain while sleeping on your side is to fill in the curves of your side-body so that while you sleep, your spine is in a neutral position. To do this, you will lie on a side sleeper wedge so that it fills in your waist area (the area between the bottom of your rib cage and the top of your hip bone.) A side sleeper wedge keeps your spine in a neutral position while you sleep, giving it a chance to rejuvenate overnight.

To maintain the alignment of your hips and to make sure that your hip muscles are not pulling on your back, side sleepers need to use a leg separator pillow. This pillow should support the entire length of your leg from your pubic bone down to your feet. It should also hold your top leg as close to parallel with your bed as possible. This position keeps your hip muscles relaxed and ensures your muscles and tendons are not pulling on your spine in an unhealthy way.

Sore back after sleeping on your stomach?

Honestly, that makes sense. Lower back pain after sleeping on your stomach occurs because stomach sleeping puts your low back into and extended position (excessive arching). This excessive arch can compress your lumbar facet joints as well as decrease the opening where the nerve roots come out of your spine.

Additionally, individuals who sleep on their stomach are at a higher risk for stroke due their head position. Most people who sleep on their stomach turn their head completely to one side or the other. This position can compress the vertebral artery and overtime this can be very damaging. It's best to avoid it all together!

If you are having lower back pain after sleeping, could it be because of your positioning? Most of the time the answer is yes. Now that you know how to sleep with back pain, make the necessary changes and get back to the revitalizing sleep that your body craves!

-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy

A Pillow Wedge For Back: Support Your Spine

pillow wedge for back

Sleeping with a pillow wedge for back will relax the muscles around your spine to make sleeping comfortable. As a physical therapist, I received extensive training in sleep ergonomics, and I can't wait to share with you what I learned.

A pillow wedge for back sleepers; it may not be what you think

Do you like to sleep on your back? The first thing you need to know is this: you should never sleep flat on your back. When you sleep flat, there is an arch in your lower back. Sleeping with an arch in your back can make back pain worse, or lead to back pain in the future.

Instead, use a pillow wedge to take away this arch. By placing a knee wedge underneath your legs, you protect your back. Your back is protected because with your legs supported, your back lies flat on the mattress instead of arching. The placement of this wedge pillow re-aligns your spine and the muscles that surround it. This way, you sleep comfortably at night and wake up without back pain or stiffness.

If you would like to sleep with your torso inclined, use a wedge pillow for back to elevate your upper body. A memory foam topped triangle wedge with a firm and supportive base will give your back the support it needs for you to recline comfortably all night.

A triangle shaped back bolster should be used in combination with a knee wedge pillow. Using both pillows to support your body puts you in an anti-gravity like position, fully relaxing your body so you sleep without muscle tension.

Back pillows for side sleepers

What if you prefer to sleep on your side? Because of the natural contours of the human body, side sleepers need at least 2 pillow wedges to fully support their back: a leg separator pillow and a side sleeper wedge. 

A leg separator pillow is more supportive than the typical “body pillow.” A leg separator pillow maintains the alignment of your top leg so that the muscles in your hip and back fully relax. Using this pillow wedge prevents any tension in your low back and hip muscles that could be pulling on your spine overnight. This way you wake up without any back stiffness or pain.

A side sleeper wedge is a small wedge that fills in the contour of your natural waist. When you sleep without a side sleeper wedge, your spine curves down towards the bed with the natural curve of your waist. To prevent this from happening, a pillow wedge for back supports your spine and prevents it from curving when you are lying down.

A pillow wedge for back will support your spine no matter how you like to sleep. If you have any questions about which sleep set up will work best for you, comment below! We love to help!

-Hillary Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy

How to Use a Knee Elevation Pillow

knee elevation pillow

A knee elevation pillow is a very common and effective tool that helps alleviate symptoms from orthopedic conditions and digestive and cardiorespiratory pathologies. It also increases sleep comfort so you are able to rest better. However, many people are using their leg wedge pillow ineffectively or wrong, and this makes it less effective. If you are wanting to learn how to use a leg wedge, then look no further.

How to use a triangle knee elevation pillow

This type of knee elevation pillow should start right near your gluteal fold (where your bottom meets your leg). As the knee wedge gradually inclines, the center of the knees should rest at the angle of the wedge pillow. This gives your legs the most support and is the most comfortable on your knees.

Another key to buying a triangular shaped knee wedge pillow is to make sure it’s the right length. You’ll know it’s the right length if your heels just barely hang off the end of the pillow. Click HERE to learn more on how to measure your leg to see exactly what size leg wedge pillow you need.

How to use a contoured knee elevation pillow

When using a leg elevation pillow with contours, there are some similarities to a triangle knee wedge pillow in regards to positioning. The heels should rest just off the end of the pillow. And just like with the triangle wedge, the contoured leg pillow should start right near the gluteal fold.

The difference with this knee elevation pillow is that your legs rest on an incline. The contours cradle your legs, so that your legs are comfortable while you elevate them. If you are positioned correctly, the back of your knee will rest on top of the first "hill" and your calves will be cradled in the valley between the two contours.

Knee pillow for side sleepers

The last knee elevation pillow we will talk about is a leg separator pillow. This type of pillow is very effective when you would like to elevate your knees in a side-sleeping position. When most people look for a knee elevation pillow for side sleepers, they look for a single, regular sized pillow to go in between their knees. While this is a good start, if you stop there, you are really missing out.

If you only place a regular sized pillow between your knees, you’ve just caused your top hip to externally rotate. This rotation of your top leg puts tension on your spine. Instead, the best way to sleep on your side is to elevate your legs on a knee elevation pillow that runs from your pubic bone all the way to your feet. The pillow should support your top leg so that it rests as close to parallel with the bed as possible. When your pillow fully supports your leg, your hips and back are able to fully relax. 

If you have been wondering how to use a knee elevation pillow, this article should answer a lot of your questions! Use it as a guide to position yourself correctly and enhance the effectiveness of your knee wedge pillow.

-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy