Scoliosis Sleeping Tips and Best Sleeping Positions

Last updated on October 21st, 2021 at 08:55 am

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When Leah LaRocco’s doctor prescribed a back brace to halt the progress of her scoliosis curves, sleep became a nightmare.  This is an all too common complaint for scoliosis sufferers (and other medical conditions).  Mattresses for scoliosis quickly become a popular topic for discussion.

“If I lay on my side, the pressure pads would dig into my body, leaving bruises,” she said of her teenage years lying prone in a brace all night. “If I lay on my back, the top of the brace would dig into my neck. If I lay on my stomach, the front of the brace would constrict and pinch my skin. I couldn’t find a comfortable sleep position.”

It’s a problem many people with spinal alignment problems are familiar with, whether they wear a brace or not. If you’re an adult with scoliosis, sleep may be hard to come by. A regular walking exercise program with the ScoliSMART Activity Suit may help you sleep better. Yet, the spine’s abnormal curvature can cause pain at night and make slumbering difficult. Many wonder: What’s the best scoliosis sleeping position? Get a list of at-home scoliosis treatment options sent to your email.

Often, a few simple modifications to your sleeping arrangements can make a world of difference for a person with scoliosis. Follow these scoliosis sleeping tips to get a better night’s sleep:

Choose a Quality Mattress

When you have scoliosis, it’s crucial to sleep on a mattress that supports your back’s neutral position. Since even supportive mattresses tend to lose their upper layers over time, a high-quality firm or medium-firmer mattress is ideal for pain relief and patients with scoliosis.

“What is the best mattress for scoliosis? Is one of the most common questions patients ask scoliosis specialists. There is no perfect mattress for scoliosis.

Clayton J. Stitzel DC

CEO, ScoliSMART 

If you use a topper for added comfort, make sure it’s no more than 3 inches thick. Extra thickness might feel good in the beginning, but it can deprive your spine of much-needed support and positions for scoliosis.

Find the Right Sleeping Position

The strategic placement of pillows can help support your curves while keeping your spine neutral at night. For your head, avoid large pillows—they’ll push your spine out of alignment, compromising your breathing and augmenting neck pain.

Small pillows (or even rolled-up towels) are handy for supporting your spine in other places, as well. Depending on the type of your curve, you might want to try the following:

  • Thoracic curve—For scoliosis curves in the upper back, sleeping on your back with a thin pillow under your shoulder blades can help take the pressure off. If you prefer sleeping on your side, a pillow tucked between your legs helps open up the spinal canal. You can also place one under your upper rib cage to support your spine.
  • Lumbar curve—When scoliosis affects the lower spine, you may need to experiment with different sleeping positions. Stick a pillow either underneath or right above your lower back for extra support. It might also help to add a small pillow beneath your neck (in addition to your regular pillow).

Before you start manipulating your spine with pillows or other devices. It’s best to check with your doctor, who can help make sure your sleeping position doesn’t restrict the flow of blood or spinal fluid in your body depending on your type of scoliosis.

Support Your Spine with Pillows

The strategic placement of pillows can help support your curves while keeping your spine pexels-photo-90317neutral at night. For your head, avoid large pillows—they’ll push your spine out of alignment, compromising your breathing and augmenting neck pain.

Small pillows (or even rolled-up towels) are handy for supporting your spine in other places, as well. Depending on the type of your curve, you might want to try the following:

  • Thoracic curveFor scoliosis curves in the upper back, sleeping on your back with a thin pillow under your shoulder blades can help take the pressure off. If you prefer sleeping on your side, a pillow tucked between your legs helps open up the spinal canal. You can also place one under your upper rib cage to support your spine.
  • Lumbar curve—When scoliosis affects the lower spine, you may need to experiment with different sleeping positions. Stick a pillow either directly underneath or right above your lower back for extra support. It might also help to add a small pillow beneath your neck (in addition to your regular pillow).

Before you start manipulating your spine with pillows or other devices, it’s best to check with your doctor, who can help make sure your sleeping position doesn’t restrict the flowing of blood or spinal fluid in your body.

Treat Scoliosis Naturally

Back braces, which are often prescribed in an attempt to block curve progression, cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Wearing one can make it even harder to sleep at night. What’s worse, braces are ineffective at treating scoliosis.

The ScoliSMART Activity Suit offers a less invasive alternative. Instead of forcing your spine into a specific position for hours on end, our activity suit harnesses the energy of your natural movements to create new muscle memory and re-coordinates muscle firing. This helps reduce the risk of curve progression and provides long-term relief from scoliosis pain—both of which can help you sleep at night.

Also, clinical testing and personalized nutrient therapies can also make a positive difference in your sleeping patterns. By addressing the whole body (and not only the curve,) these simple tests and treatments can help reduce pain and halt curve progression.

Treatment Solutions for Adults

For those with scoliosis, deep sleep can be elusive. These sleep tips for scoliosis pain, along with the right combination of therapies, adults with scoliosis can achieve gradual pain reduction, improved function, and even potential curve reduction. And most importantly, help relieve discomfort so you can get the rest you need.

Don’t know where to start?  Take our FREE “ScoliQuiz.”  (No x-ray required)

ScoliSMART Clinics is committed to treating the WHOLE scoliosis condition, not only the curve. Genetic & clinical testing with targeted nutrient therapies, expert in-office treatment programs, and the world’s only ScoliSMART Activity Suit provides patients of all ages with the most comprehensive, most effective, and least invasive treatment options available worldwide.

[Photo by Mary Whitney via pexels.com]

[Featured Photo by Piotr Lewandowski via free images.com]

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Dr. Clayton J Stitzel

Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel

PENNSYLVANIA
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Dr. Mark Morningstar

MICHIGAN
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Dr. Brian T. Dovorany

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Dr. Aatif Siddiqui

NEW YORK