Do you wake up in pain in the morning more than often? You might be sleeping wrong. And that is not just about bad posture it can be the inadequate sleep set up in your bed. Now what is a sleep set up? It’s just the pillow you use, the mattress you sleep in, and can also constitute the kind of sleeper you are.

What’s the best way to get rid of back pain from sleep? In conjunction with a comfortable mattress, finding a supportive pillow for back pain can help alleviate a painful back, as well as neck and shoulder pain.

Best Pillow for Back Pain

If one part of your body is misaligned, it will have a cascading effect on other parts of the body as the muscles respond to the unusual phenomena and overcompensates for the affected area. So, what is the solution?

A supportive yet comfortable pillow for backache that will align your head and cradle your neck to maintain an optimum body balance and avoid extra pressure on the muscles. A back pillow for pain will help you with back strain and neck stiffness letting you sleep like a baby!

Finding the best pillow greatly depends on your regular body posture you sleep in and what makes you the most comfortable while sleeping. However, there are tips and tricks you can apply out of the bag to help speed the process. Different pillow types will have different effects on your sleep quality. So let’s explore each one of them.


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Before buying a backache pillow check the following points:

  • Pillow fabric
  • Pillow loft or height
  • Pillow size and shape
  • Pillow firmness

Now let’s get you that pillow of your dreams! Below we have listed out some very popular categories of pillows for back problems that will cinch that back pain in no time.

Best Pillow for Back Pain

Memory Foam Pillows

Mostly when you experience back pain it's your lower back that takes the hit. In such a scenario memory foam pillows will be your wisest choice. Side and back sleepers can get comfort from the sturdy yet moldable support of a foam pillow to keep their head and neck at an appropriately balanced height.

Make sure to pick a back pillow for back pain that has breathable layers of memory foam and has cooling properties that offer as much support as needed to align your head and neck. Sleeping with such pillows will significantly prevent that extra stress on your muscles and reduce back pain.

Pillows for Lumbar Support

It is a read and revised notion that many types of back pain root from an unhealthy curve in the spine. Pillows that you place only against the lower part of your back are designed to offer effective lumbar support. They help you maintain the right alignment to your back. This can help some people minimize their pain.

Cut-out Pillows

Do not worry, it is way better and much effective than it sounds. A pillow with a cut-out design may actually help you solve your spine problems. Some people find thick pillows fairly supportive for maintaining their spine's natural curve but for some it might cause certain discomfort when it pushes the lower back slightly forward.

A cut-out pillow helps with the same. The cut-out design makes room for the tissues that collect at the top of your hips and at the bottom of your back when you sit. Such a design will keep your pillow from pushing your lower back forward whilst supporting the curve of the spine.

Backrest Pillow

A backrest or back support pillow typically comes in wedge shape or a contour shape designed to provide a firm back support. Such pillows are made with armrests and an extra shape for neck support. Backrest pillows are most handy in reducing the back pain as they balance your entire body which prevents the unnecessary stress on the muscles.

Side Sleepers also benefit from a backrest pillow as it provides a great between-the-knee support. This relieves hip pain to a great extent and keeps the body properly aligned.

Latex Pillows

If you are squirmy and experience a lot of tossing and turning while sleeping, then maybe the loft or height of your pillow is to blame. Latex pillows with different kinds of fillings usually come with customizable options. You can adjust the height according to your preferences and comfort. An adjusted support will cradle your head and neck thereby reducing back aches.

Latex is known for its cooling properties so if you are a hot sleeper then this is a bliss for you. A cooler temperature will ensure sound sleep and you can get lost in the dreamland without any interruptions.

Down or Down-Alternative Pillows

Down pillows are super fluffy and mushy so they might not provide as firm a support as the memory foam pillows but still, they are excellent for customized support for your back and joints.

In fact, for back and stomach sleepers down pillows can easily be compressed and used under the pelvis for the perfect lumbar support. What else could one ask for a long, healthy, and restful sleep?

Types of Back Pain

Early discovery about what kind of back or lower back you have, you will be able to figure out how to treat it accordingly. Majorly when we talk about severe level of back pain issues, we are talking about the following categories:

- Acute - Chronic

Acute Back Pain

Acute back pain is generally categorized as short term. If you have acute back pain, it most likely started unexpectedly. Anxiety, intense physical activity, clumsy motions, or incorrect lifting techniques can all lead to severe back discomfort.

Most frequently, back pain that is acute is diagnosed. The maximum period of time that acute back pain lasts is six weeks. Furthermore, the underlying source of the discomfort is typically not a significant or persistent issue.

Chronic Back Pain

Now when we say chronic we mean long term distress. Because the symptoms of chronic pain are severe enough to affect your mobility, quality of life, and health over an extended period of time, it is considered a serious condition.

Although it can strike without warning, persistent back pain often develops gradually over the course of more than six weeks. Recurrent back pain is another term for chronic back pain that occasionally disappears but returns on a regular basis.

Although a recent accident may produce chronic pain, underlying medical issues are typically the true cause. Muscle deconditioning, which is characterized by a loss of back strength and stability, is one of the most common reasons. Other factors such as poor posture, improper lifting techniques, obesity, and lack of exercise can also contribute to back pain.

Chronic Back Pain

Symptoms of Back Pain

Symptoms of acute and chronic back pain are quite similar. The only difference between the two is the duration. Like we discussed earlier acute back pain is short term while chronic is long term and needs sincere medical attention.

  • Excruciating, scorching, or agonizing pain that doesn't go away or comes back despite the use of over-the-counter drugs, home remedies, massage, or physical therapy
  • Consistent stiffness or tightness, particularly after extended durations of lying down, sitting, or standing
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Limb weakness, characterized by tingling or numbness in one or both legs

What Causes Back Pain During Sleep?

If you’re getting out of bed with more back pain in the morning than the night before, your sleep setup is the one to blame. Most people who suffer from back pain feel it most in their lower back.

This is a sensitive area of the body where many joints, muscles, and spinal disks interact. Pressure and misalignment of the spine can place high levels of stress on your back and overall body balance, while sleeping.

Unsupportive Sleeping Position

Your sleeping position may be the cause of your lower back pain if it occurs every morning after you go to bed. Back pain might result from sleeping in an unsupportive position, which puts more strain on your spine.

Stomach Sleeping

When you sleep on your stomach, you run the danger of twisting your neck out of line with the rest of your spine. Your lower abdomen may descend more than the rest of your spine, thus pulling your back out of alignment, depending on how firm your mattress is.

In either case, you may be more likely to wake up with lower back pain if you sleep in this position. To help prevent this misalignment, try sleeping on your stomach with a small pillow beneath your lower belly and no head pillow.

Back Sleeping

Although resting on your back facilitates maintaining a straight spine, failing to support the natural curve of your spine can still result in back pain. This sleeping posture actually increases your risk of lower back pain, according to one study. Think about putting a pillow under your knees to reduce your risk and avoid pain.

Wrong Mattress

If you are sleeping on an outdated, unsupportive mattress, there is only so much that your sleep position can do to help reduce lower back discomfort in the morning. It could be time to replace your mattress if you've owned it for longer than five years.

In one study, users replaced their worn out, 10 year old mattresses for brand-new ones. Both their back discomfort and the quality of their sleep improved each week over the course of the next month.

Even if your mattress is brand-new, it might not be a suitable match for you or your favorite sleeping position. Since it is either too soft or too rigid, it could not provide adequate support. Firm mattresses typically do a better job of reducing lower back discomfort than medium firm mattresses.


Back discomfort is a typical pregnancy symptom. Although it usually starts in the second or third trimester, it can occur as early as the first four weeks of pregnancy. Some pregnant women experience worsening back discomfort as they sleep, which might wake them up. But following delivery, this kind of back pain usually goes away.

Stretching frequently and applying a warm compress to the back can help reduce lower back pain during pregnancy. Lower back discomfort can be avoided by using your leg strength to help you stand up from the bed rather than your back muscles.

what causes back pain during sleep

Reasons for Morning Lower Back Pain

A multitude of additional variables could be involved in lower back pain in the morning. Other illnesses and lifestyle choices, such as the following, can also result in lower back pain:

  • Endometriosis and arthritis
  • kidney stones
  • Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
  • Jobs involving a lot of pushing, tugging, or heavy lifting
  • advanced age
  • The osteoporosis
  • bodily harm
  • Unfitness
  • Consuming tobacco
  • spinal cord issues such as ruptured discs, spinal stenosis, and sciatica
  • Tension Tumors
  • Gaining weight

Is Back Pain Highly Common?

Yes, back pain is highly common and one of the most prevalent medical problems globally. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

It affects people of all ages, from adolescents to the elderly. Back pain is the most prevalent cause of disability among American workers, accounting for 2% of all cases of incapacity to perform everyday duties.

How to Sleep with Your Pillow?

Let’s see what other things we can do to increase back comfort. Well, there are a few tricks with the pillow you can do that will definitely let you wake up with a smile on your face.

Sleeping with Pillow Between Your Knees

Often with side sleepers the knees fall together while sleeping which can result in a misaligned spine. This posture might feel comfortable for a while but after a few hours it will start creating stress on the spine, especially if your mattress isn’t that supportive.

Keeping a pillow between your knees will let you keep your back properly aligned. Sleeping with your pillow like this benefits in many ways. It keeps the back posture accurate, minimizes chances of back pain, and also reduces hip and sciatica pain.

Sleeping with Pillow Under Your Knees

This technique is basically invented for the back sleepers, where you place the pillow underneath your knees to keep your posture even while sleeping. Sleeping like this will let you keep the natural curve of your lower back and properly distribute your body weight on the bed.

Sleeping with Pillow Under Your Stomach

As you might have figured out by the name, this one is ideal for stomach sleepers. You keep the pillow under your pelvis or thighs and you would significantly be able to reduce pressure from the spine.

The posture may sound funny but it is so effective in preventing nerve strain and treating lower back pain. If you are a stomach sleeper, try this today!

how to Sleep with Your Pillow

Who is Prone to Back Pain?

The likelihood of developing back discomfort increases with age. Additionally, you have a greater risk if you:

  • Avoid exercising.
  • already suffer from arthritis or some forms of cancer.
  • are overweight.
  • Raise using your back, not your legs.
  • experience despair or anxiousness.
  • Use tobacco goods or smoke.

When Should You Seek Medical Care?

If you have back discomfort and you should consult a doctor if

  • Resting does not lessen the intense discomfort.
  • One or both legs are affected by the discomfort, which is particularly bad if it goes below the knee.
  • One or both of your legs feel weak, numb, or tingling.
  • You struggle to maintain bladder or bowel control.
  • Chills, a fever, or an inexplicable weight loss accompany the pain.
  • You have had recent trauma, osteoporosis, or cancer in the past.
  • The discomfort impedes your regular activities and lasts more than a few weeks.

Severe or persistent back pain may indicate an underlying medical problem that needs to be evaluated and treated by a healthcare provider right away.

Final Thoughts

Getting the right pillow doesn’t magically cure your back pain overnight. Nothing can do that. But it will offer you the proper support your back needs. If you are still with us, you must have read everything a supportive pillow can do for you. You just need to get started.

Eli & Elm pillow is one such support that will take care of your neck, back, and shoulder. You’ll be relieved every morning you’ll roll out of bed painless. With the shredded latex-filling, Eli & Elm side sleeper pillow makes room for your back to find its comfort without being uneasy while sleeping.

The cooling properties of the pillow are cherry on the cake. Whether you are a hot sleeper or prone to tossing on the bed, our pillow keeps you at an optimum temperature providing you with the most sound sleep ever.


WebMD: Best Pillows for Back Pain

CNET: This Trick Can Help You Relieve Lower Back Pain While Sleeping