Welcome to today’s movement tip. I want to talk about proper positioning for sleeping, to take the most strain off of your low back, your neck and even if you have sore shoulders. Alright, so you want to think about what you have around the house to help you with positioning your limbs. Most likely you have a variety of different pillows, throw pillows maybe even some blankets or towels; you can certainly use whatever you have around the house. Now I’ve got a few pillows here that I want to show you what I can do with them.
First thing, let’s talk about your shoulder. If you’ve got a really sore shoulder for various reasons then when you’re sitting it’s really important that you keep your arm, of the sore shoulder, in a supported position, especially when you’re finding it’s quite acutely painful. So that position typically is slightly forward and slightly out to the side. That’s what we call the resting position for the shoulder. So what you want to do is just wedge a pillow comfortably under there so that the arm can be resting. The weight of the arm is being taken off of the shoulder so that it really provides a nice rest and reprieve, so the shoulder can heal. Now equally you can use the same position when you’re lying in bed. So again if you’re lying on your back you can place that pillow comfortably in there so that, again, it continues to help take the strain off of your shoulder. So that’s one way to use a pillow, a throw pillow, whether you’re sitting or lying to really help with any kind of shoulder pain.
Alright, so that’s one thing. Next thing I want to talk about is the position that you may be sleeping in. So if you’re lying on your side, which is a great position to sleep in, it is advisable that you place a pillow between your knees when you’re lying on your side. The reason being we want to try to keep our pelvis aligned as much as possible when we’re lying down. So you can see, hopefully you can see the difference here. If I’m lying on my side, this top leg really comes down and it can really put some strain on my lower back and my SI joints. So having a pillow, that’s not too thick, just to place in between the knees to help align the pelvis, it should help with comfort as well as keeping the alignment appropriate for your pelvis as you’re lying on your side. Now you might need to play with the firmness or just how cushy the pillow is and how large it is. If you find that uncomfortable, then put something a little bit less large between your knees. So that can be a really helpful way when you’re lying on your side.
Equally it’s important to look at your pillow for your head. Now you want to keep basically your spine as aligned as possible. So again, when you’re lying on your side – is that pillow providing enough support so that you’re aligned? Are you way up here? Then that’s going to really put extra strain on your neck and again, if it’s too flat it may equally be putting strain on your neck. So trying to find that most aligned neutral position so that really from your head to the bottom of your spine is as aligned as possible. Similar to when we’re standing or sitting we would like that same alignment when you’re lying on your side.
Finally, I want to talk about lying on your back. If you do have back pain, you may already know this, but supporting under your knees is probably going to be the most effective way to mitigate some of that pain. So, you may have a wedge pillow, which is a pretty snazzy, nice way to get those legs up there. But you may just need to pile some pillows or towels, or blankets, whatever works. Again, you want to find what works for you. But getting yourself into a position that can take the strain off of your lower spine when our legs are straight out, it really does put a little extra strain onto that lower spine. So that’s why putting some pillows underneath your knees and trying to find that comfort level. Now you may have too many and you may find that’s too much. So play around with it and see. Maybe it’s just one pillow that gives you just the right amount of relief for your low back. But it is important and it’s a great way to help relieve the strain from any low back pain when you’re lying on your back. Put that pillow underneath the knees. And those are some tips for you today.
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