A wedge pillow for back pain is an important tool for managing back soreness and discomfort. When you use a wedge pillow to position your back correctly, it helps you sleep much more comfortably.
The best wedge pillow for lower back pain
Most people spend 7-8 hours sleeping each day. This means that in regard to back pain, sleep position is very important! Your sleep position can help reduce inflammation and jump start healing. The best way to sleep is to have the spine in a “neutral position.”
A neutral position is one where the natural curves of your spine are fully supported. When this is the case, the muscles and ligaments that attach to your spine are at rest. The best way to maintain this position is by using one or more bed wedges for back pain.
If you are a back sleeper, you can use a knee wedge pillow to create a slight bend in the knees and hips. This allows the ligaments, facet joints, and muscles in the low back to stay in a resting position overnight. Using a specifically designed wedge pillow for lower back pain is preferable to simply stacking traditional pillows under your legs.
The specific shape of a sleeping wedge for back pain supports the full weight of your legs. Because your legs are completely supported on a stable base, your back can be completely at rest. Unlike traditional pillows, a wedge pillow for back pain is so stable, it is easy for your body to maintain this position overnight.
For side sleepers, the best wedge pillow for lower back pain is a combination of two pillows: a leg separator pillow and a side sleeper wedge. This combination ensures that your spine maintains a neutral position overnight. When the muscles and ligaments in your back and hips are relaxed, you are able to sleep more comfortably and wake up with less pain.
Why else do you need a wedge pillow for lower back pain?
Low back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world. It is also one of the most debilitating. Anyone that has had a sudden onset of low back pain knows that it can affect just about every part of daily life.
One of the most important things you can do to manage a sudden onset of back pain is to get your body moving as soon as possible. Gentle movements in pain free positions help decrease inflammation and encourage muscle relaxation. Two important ways to get your body moving are walking and a core activation program.
A wedge pillow for lower back pain can help you perform gentle core exercises without pain. If you have back pain, pelvic tilts are the first exercise you should perform. This exercise is a key component of deep core activation that inhibits the painful muscles in your back.
When performing a pelvic tilt, first rest your legs flat on top of your wedge pillow. The next step is to inhale making sure your belly (not your ribs) rises and expands. When you exhale, draw your belly button down towards the bed. Then, gently tilt your pelvis backwards using your core muscles and hold for 10 seconds. You should feel your lower back gently press into the bed. Repeat for 2 minutes with the rhythm of your breath.
Another exercise to perform on your low back pillow is called knee rocks. Place the soles of your feet on the slant of the wedge pillow so your knees are up in the air. Then, gently rock your knees side to side so you feel a gentle stretch. Hold 5-10 seconds on each side. Perform knee rocks for 2 minutes.
Whether your injury is acute or chronic, decreasing inflammation by using a wedge pillow for back pain is an important step to resuming your normal life again. When you combine an early core strengthening and walking program with a bed wedge pillow for back pain, you help reduce inflammation as fast as possible!
-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy