Sleeping can Affect Your Back – See How These Positions Help or Hinder Your Back

Sleep is essential to everyday life. It allows your body to function properly, repair itself, and gives your brain some much-needed rest once the day winds down. However, many people in Webster, Texas, wake up every day wondering why sleep isn’t helping their back pain. Did you know that your sleep position may be to blame for your morning back pain? According to the British Medical Journal, an important factor in back pain is ergonomic exposure, such as sleeping a certain way (1). At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand that it’s important to wake up and be able to get straight to your routine without pain, so we’ve listed the best and worst sleep positions for back pain:


Help: Sleep on Your Back with a Pillow Under your Knees

Sleeping on your back allows your weight to be evenly distributed. This weight is also being distributed along the widest part of your body, resulting in less strain on your back’s pressure points. Simply lay flat on your back and place a pillow under your knees. For extra support, place another small pillow under your lower back.


Hurt: Sleeping with a Rounded Back

Much like slouching, sleeping with a rounded back can actually increase back pain. This position prevents the spine from being in the natural upright position, which causes strain and leads to back pain. Try to ensure you are maintaining correct posture, even when you’re sleeping.


Help: Sleep on Your Side with a Pillow Between Your Knees

While simply sleeping on your side won’t necessarily reduce back pain, using the pillow between your knees will. This allows your spine to keep in alignment with your pelvis and hips, which reduces the stress on your back. Lay on your side, and place a comfortable pillow in between your knees. If you find that there is a gap in-between your waist and the mattress, you may want to add another small pillow in this space for increased support.


Hurt: Sleeping on Your Stomach

Sleeping on your stomach can increase pain in the neck and upper back. When you sleep on your stomach, you force your neck to remain in a rotated, tight position. This means that your neck is stationed in an unnatural position for an extended period of time, which can cause the dreaded “crick” in the neck and pain that can radiate to the upper back.


Help: Sleep on Your Back While Reclined

When reclined, an angle is created between your thighs and torso. In order to recline while enjoying the comforts of your bed, consider investing in an adjustable bed. This will allow you to recline to whatever angle you find the most comfortable.


Sleep should be relaxing and rejuvenating. However, when you sleep in certain positions, you may feel run-down as you wake up with back pain. These sleep positions can have you waking up in the morning feeling your best. For those whose spine pain interferes with their daily life, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at 832-340-2134. Our Webster, Texas, Spine Solutions Center can get you back to a pain-free life in no time.




The Best Way to Save Yourself From Back Pain This Holiday Season

The holidays are a wonderful time. Many people in the Houston, Texas, area are spending the season with family and friends at holiday gatherings and parties. However, with this season comes a multitude of unhealthy foods that can lead to weight gain which, according to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, (1) can worsen pain felt in the back. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we believe that no one should spend their holiday season suffering from spine pain due to weight gain, so we’ve listed some tips on how to avoid the holiday pounds and protect your spine this season.


  1. Snack Smarter

When choosing a snack this holiday season, it can be tempting to reach for cookies or other sweet holiday treats. These sweets are loaded with sugar which has been linked to a high body weight, according to Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health (2). Skip these foods this holiday season, and reach for some fruit or another healthier snack option.


  1. Reduce Your Stress

While the holidays are often filled with fun events, it can also be a stressful time. Between holiday shopping and making time in your day to do other holiday activities, you may find yourself feeling a bit more stressed than usual. According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, stress stimulates the secretion of cortisol that is linked with weight gain (3). Keep yourself as stress-free as possible this holiday season to avoid weight gain that can cause back pain. Treat yourself to a massage or try engaging in a hobby that helps you reduce your stress level.


  1. Get Enough Sleep

When spending time with friends and family or attending Christmas parties, it can be easy to fall behind on your sleep schedule during the holidays. Avoid weight gain this holiday season by making sure to make sleep a priority. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, studies have suggested that sleep deprivation may lead to weight gain (4).


  1. Eat Plenty of Protein

If you’re having friends or family over for a holiday dinner, make protein the main dish. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, protein promotes the feeling of being full (5), which can help prevent holiday over-eating. Serve turkey or chicken to provide a delicious meal that can help prevent weight gain and protect your back from pain.


The holiday season is a wonderful time filled with family, friends, and fun events. However, it can easily cause weight gain that can exacerbate back pain. Houston Physicians’ Hospital’s Spine Solutions Center can eliminate your pain and get you back to doing the things you love. Give us a call at 832-340-2134.

How to Avoid Back Injuries When Hanging Christmas Decorations

Christmas is here and many people in the Webster, Texas, area are getting ready to put up their Christmas lights. However, this can be a difficult task when you suffer from spine pain. Houston Physicians’ Hospital understands that you don’t want your spine pain to hold you back from your favorite holiday traditions, so we’ve listed some tips to protect your spine when putting up Christmas lights this season:


  1. Get Plenty of Rest

According to the Sleep Research Society (1), a lack of sleep is hypothesized to contribute to chronic pain. By getting plenty of sleep the night before you plan to hang your Christmas lights, you can ensure your body and spine are up to the task. This can help reduce pain on the spine when you’re reaching and climbing on ladders to hang your lights. In addition to getting plenty of sleep before hanging Christmas lights, you should also rest fully after hanging them to allow your spine to recuperate.



  1. Enlist Some Help

Enlist the help of family or friends when it comes time to hang Christmas lights. Not only can this make the task more exciting, it also allows the opportunity to take breaks when your spine pain is flaring up. When you are worried that a certain task may be too much for your back, ask for help. This can prevent any injuries to your spine and make hanging Christmas lights a bonding experience.


  1. Position Your Ladder Correctly

When using a ladder to hang your Christmas lights, make sure to position it properly. A ladder that is not angled correctly could lead to a fall that could injure your back and exacerbate your spine pain. According to the Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management Department at Stephen F. Austin State University (2), a ladder should be placed at a 75-degree angle against the side of your home to be used safely and avoid falls.



  1. Take Frequent Breaks

While you may feel as though you can’t wait to get your Christmas lights hung and ready to light up your house, it is important to take breaks. This allows the body to release stress and tension that may build while reaching, tugging, and pulling on various items. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (3) recommends taking frequent breaks from activity, such as hanging Christmas lights, if you suffer from pain, swelling, or stiffness in the joints. This is especially important when your spine pain symptoms are bothering you, as continuing your activity could lead to injury or further pain symptoms.



Hanging Christmas lights is a popular holiday tradition, but it is important to protect your spine from further pain. If your spine pain is keeping you from your favorite activities, Houston Physicians’ Hospital can help. Give us a call at (832) 340-2134.