How To Sleep With A Herniated Disc?

"How Should I Sleep With A Herniated Disc In My Neck?"
by Dr. J. Alex Sielatycki

Sleeping with a herniated disc can be really challenging. Especially if it's causing severe pain in your neck or down your arm. I often liken it to having a pebble in your shoe or a stone in your shoe that's causing pain. The difference with a disc herniation is you can't necessarily find a position that's always going to give you more comfort. And that's the trouble that people have, is no matter how they sleep or sit, they may still have pain.

That said, there are some positions th+at sometimes will help. Oftentimes sleeping a little bit inclined rather than all the way flat can take some pressure off the neck. And some patients will feel better sleeping in a recliner, say, than laying flat. You mighty try using a little bit more of a supportive pillow to give a little bit of flexion to the neck. So typically with the discrimination, laying with the neck extended may worsen symptoms. So something that gives you good support behind the head and even brings the head up a little bit might give more relief. And that goes along with sitting up in a recliner that allows you to do that.

Many times what I would tell patients, though, is it is a little bit of trial and error to find a position that's comfortable for you. So try laying in a recliner, try lying on either side, laying more flat, more upright, and just find the position that's most comfortable. Sometimes you'll be able to do that. Sometimes if it's a severe disc herniation you won't really be able to find a really comfortable position and that's where more treatments should be offered.

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Dr. J. Alex Sielatycki