Scoliosis is more common than you might believe. Many people wonder how to sleep with scoliosis – or what position to sleep in with scoliosis. Sleeping can be difficult if you or a loved one suffers from the pain and discomfort associated with this condition. To top it all off, you may be advised to sleep with a back brace.
We have created a comprehensive guide to further explain what scoliosis is, who is at risk, treatment options, and ways to cope, particularly in getting a regular good night’s sleep, with careful consideration for people who are adversely affected by this limiting disorder.
We hope that after reading these tips, you will be in a better position to deal with the difficulties, especially at night, and to get the best possible rest for someone with scoliosis.
What exactly is scoliosis?
Before we get started, we should define the term. A lateral curvature of the spinal column is defined as scoliosis.
The affected spine may be C-shaped or S-shaped, resulting in uneven shoulder blades, hips, or waist.
A healthy backbone runs down the centre of your back in a visually straight line. Scoliosis causes the spine to curve from side to side.
Most cases of scoliosis are barely visible or painless, and may not necessitate treatment. Only about 10% of the cases are moderate to severe.
Scoliosis in small children usually develops during a growth spurt and can appear before or during puberty.
In some cases, the severity of the spinal deformities worsens with age, and the pain worsens as well. As a result, a patient’s remaining growing years are critical in determining the best intervention.
What are the dangers of Scoliosis?
Who is most prone to scoliosis, and why? Three factors that may put you at risk are listed below.
- Age: As previously stated, age has a significant impact on your chances of developing scoliosis. The majority of cases begin while a child is still in his or her mother’s womb. While some children are diagnosed at a young age, the condition is most commonly detected in children aged 10 to 15.
- Scoliosis affects both boys and girls biologically. Girls, on the other hand, are more prone to severe spinal deformities if they are not treated properly and promptly.
- Heredity or genetics: The majority of people with scoliosis do not have a family history of the condition. Despite this, because of the high rate of recurrence within the family, some patients are thought to have acquired this abnormality through inherited genes.
What is the treatment for scoliosis?
As previously stated, mild cases of scoliosis often do not require treatment; however, it is always best to consult with your physician before assuming that you or a loved one does not require professional advice.
A back brace may be prescribed in some cases to help realign the spine. Braces are typically light and can be worn under a shirt. Some braces, such as the Boston-type, should be worn for at least 16 hours to achieve the best results.
The Providence brace, on the other hand, is designed for use at night. It is the next step for patients who are unable to meet the time requirements for Boston-type. These back braces, however, are not guaranteed to cure scoliosis, but rather to slow the progression of the curve.
Scoliosis can be disabling, causing more than just chronic neck and back pain. Aside from the physical burden, such deformities will have emotional consequences. Early detection and treatment will reduce pain and other potential complications such as breathing difficulties.
Sleep and Scoliosis
Scoliosis frequently causes chronic back or neck pain, and an improper resting position can aggravate the problem, especially if you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress or with the wrong pillows.
Your sleeping position may also be putting undue strain on your back and neck.
Melatonin deficiencies are not uncommon in scoliosis patients. Melatonin is a naturally occurring chemical in your brain that aids in the initiation and regulation of your sleep-wake cycle.
If your brain produces less melatonin, you may have difficulty falling or staying asleep. As a result, feeling refreshed in the morning becomes difficult.
So, the main question now is how to sleep with scoliosis while minimising pain, which patients frequently complain about.
Sleeping Positions That Are Good and Bad
There is no specific sleeping position for scoliosis. However, if you have this disorder, some are thought to be better than others. This section will go over various sleeping positions and their benefits and drawbacks when it comes to sleeping with scoliosis. Always keep in mind that your comfort and preferences are the most important. Follow your instincts and do what feels right for your body. The suggestions that follow are only that: suggestions.
Sleeping on your stomach
This is widely regarded as the best sleeping position for scoliosis. Lying on your back naturally aligns your spine while evenly distributing your weight, reducing unnecessary pressure on your spine.
To alleviate pain or pressure in specific areas, place small pillows or rolled-up towels beneath your body. A rolled towel should be placed under your neck, shoulders, lower back, or knees. Experiment with different combinations to see which one works best for your spine.
Sleeping on one’s side
If you have scoliosis, sleeping on your side may be the next best option. However, some patients claim that sleeping on their side causes them to wake up in the morning with more aches and pains.
If you don’t have any small pillows, you can use the rolled-up towel technique to alleviate the discomfort.
To relieve pressure on your hips, try inserting one between or beneath your knees. You might also want to try putting one under your spine to help counteract the curves and provide extra support while sleeping.
Snoozing on Your Stomach
Resting on your stomach, even with pillows, is not recommended if you have scoliosis because it forces you to twist your head and neck in one direction for an extended period of time.
Such an incorrect position will put undue strain on your spine and should be avoided. Aim for a position that will relieve pain while also being comfortable for your back and neck.
Ideal Sleeping Environment
Another thing you can do to improve your sleep quality is to create a peaceful and relaxing environment conducive to rest. Make sure your bedroom is quiet and has little, if any, stimulation to prevent you from falling asleep.
Make sure your bedroom is cool and dark. To help trigger your sleep-wake cycle, use thick curtains and turn off the lights. Also, keep it a little cooler than usual.
A temperature of 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit allows most people to sleep better, longer, and deeper. Consider installing an air conditioner to regulate the temperature in your room, especially during the summer.
You might also want to start a bedtime routine. Even if you have a low melatonin level, this will help your brain and body recognise that it is time to get ready for bed. Relaxing scents, such as lavender, can also help you prepare for sleep and relaxation.
Scoliosis Sleep Aids
When it comes to relieving pain and pressure on your spine and surrounding muscles, rolled-up towels are an excellent supplemental tool. You could also try a more durable solution, such as a small pillow.
A thin cushion placed beneath your shoulder blades may work well as a scoliosis pillow for upper back deformities. When it comes to scoliosis, strategically placed pillows can make a significant difference and provide more support than your mattress alone.
Sleeping with scoliosis means waking up with a slew of aches and pains that can make you feel grumpy and irritable all day.
However, if you know how to sleep with scoliosis, you have a good chance of improving your situation and getting a good start to your day.
We recommend sleeping in a sleep-friendly environment with a cool temperature and no distractions, using pillows or towels to help you settle more comfortably while you sleep, sleeping on your back or side, and selecting a firm mattress with adequate spine support.
Naturally, you should always do what feels right for you. After all, everyone is as unique as scoliosis cases.
You will undoubtedly come across numerous tips for dealing with this condition, but in the end, what your body requires is what is most important.
Pay close attention to your body; it will assist you in making sound decisions. Have a wonderful evening!