Do you have muscle pain when you wake up in the morning?

Many of the clients coming to my Seattle massage practice are suffering from pain and/or muscle tension when they first wake up in the morning. Some people have low back pain and many have shoulder pain. It leads to reason that they are doing something while they are sleeping to cause themselves this discomfort. Unless they have a serious sleep walking issue, it probably has to do with the position their body is lying in.

 To support your body better while sleeping breaks down to what angle best takes care of your individual joints and how to achieve that optimal angle.

neck-aligment-while-sleepingTo care for your neck while sleeping on your side, it must be in a neutral position like the picture to the left. There are many types of pillows that can help you achieve this. Ikea has a few and you can try them on a bed the store provides next to the pillows display.

 The best angle for shoulder support when sleeping on your side is for the shoulder to not cave in or angle back. Keeping a neutral position across your chest and upper back as much as possible is better. To do this you can hug a pillow while you sleep. This will help keep your shoulders from curving inward.

When you are also sleeping on your side, the best angle for your legs  is with your knees hip length apart. You can create this angle by placing a pillow the correct amount of thickness between your knees. To support your low back, your legs bent at the hip between a slight and a 90 degree angle is preferred.

When you are sleeping on your back, a great way to support your low back is to put a pillow under your knees.

Now these are just some general ideas. As usual, talk to your health care practitioner for more in depth suggestions. Thank you for reading. PJ Harris, LMP,


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