How to sleep with pain (sleeping positions with images)
Physical Therapy and Sleeping with Pain

How to Sleep with Pain

Sleeping with pain can be a nightmare. Luckily, we came across a great resource from the Wall Street Journal that we’ve summarized for you below explaining some of the best sleeping positions for various types of pain. Enjoy… and then get some rest!

Sleeping with Shoulder Pain

Try to avoid sleeping on the side of your body with the painful shoulder. Instead, it may help to sleep on your back. If you can’t sleep on your back, sleep on the side without any pain and put a large pillow at chest height and give it a hug.

Sleeping with Shoulder Pain
Sleeping with Back Pain

First, try laying on your back with a pillow under your knees and a rolled towel under the small of your back. This should help maintain your body’s natural curve and is recommended by experts. If you need to sleep on your side, put a pillow between your knees (also good for hip and knee issues). Sleeping on your stomach isn’t ideal for back or neck pain, but if you have to, put a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen to help reduce strain.

Sleeping with Back Pain


Sleeping with Neck Pain

Keeping the neck in a neutral position is key if you have neck pain. It’s best to avoid sleeping on your stomach. To keep your neck in a neutral position, experts recommend keeping the pillow above your shoulders or using a rolled-up hand towel to support the base of your neck.

Sleeping with Neck Pain


Sleeping with Plantar Fasciitis

The key to sleeping with Plantar Fasciitis is to keep your feet and ankles in a relaxed position. Also, you’ll probably want to avoid tucking the sheets in too tightly.

Sleeping with Plantar Fasciitis

Sleeping with Acid Reflux

This one isn’t exactly related to pain, but we threw it in as a bonus – because trying to sleep with acid reflux can be tough. Elevating the head is what experts recommend as a way to help you sleep with acid reflux. You can use pillows under your head or you can even place bricks under the front legs of your bed to prop yourself up. Sleeping on your side may also help.

Sleeping with Acid Reflux


We hope that helps!

If your pain persists or if you’d like to get a checkup from one of our highly-trained physical therapists, you can request an appointment here. Sleep tight!

Relevant Conditions & Treatments