Sleeping Position Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief

Sacroiliac joint discomfort, is commonly referred to as SI joint pain. It has the potential to be an incapacitating ailment that impacts the lower back and hips. This sensation originates from the connections between the sacroiliac joints, which link the spine and the pelvis. 

People experiencing SI joint pain frequently encounter challenges in attaining relief, particularly when aiming for restful sleep. Nevertheless, adjusting your sleeping posture can substantially impact effectively handling this pain and enhancing your general quality of existence. Let’s dive deep into it.

Understanding Sacroiliac Joint Pain

The sacroiliac joints play a crucial role at the lower end of your spine on both sides. They’re like shock absorbers, helping your upper and lower body communicate regarding handling forces. But when these joints get inflamed or out of alignment, they can cause ongoing discomfort in your lower back and buttocks. 

Sometimes, the pain even travels down your legs. And believe it or not, everyday activities like sleeping can worsen this discomfort.

Numerous elements can play a role in causing discomfort in the sacroiliac joint. These encompass:

  1. Injury: Incidents or mishaps can result in misalignment or harm to the sacroiliac joint, giving rise to pain.
  2. Pregnancy: Hormones generated during pregnancy can induce ligament relaxation, potentially causing instability and discomfort in the SI joint.
  3. Degenerative Conditions: Over time, joint wear and tear can lead to conditions like osteoarthritis, triggering painful sensations.
  4. Overuse: Engaging in repetitive tasks or subjecting the joint to excessive strain can result in inflammation and subsequent pain.

Sleeping Positions and Their Impact on SI Joint Pain

The way you sleep can play a significant role in exacerbating or relieving sacroiliac joint pain. Improper sleeping positions can increase pressure on the joint, worsening the discomfort. 

On the other hand, consciously choosing the right sleeping place can alleviate stress on the joint and reduce pain.

Let’s explore different sleeping positions and their potential effects on SI joint pain:

  • Back Sleeping: Lying on your back is typically regarded as one of the most favorable stances for individuals experiencing discomfort in the sacroiliac joint region. Using a pillow beneath your knees can aid in preserving the natural curvature of your spine and diminishing stress on the SI joints. This positioning can ease tension in the joints and the adjacent muscles. When sleeping on your back, or in dinosaur style, it’s advisable not to extend your legs entirely, as this might stress the sacroiliac joint. Instead, gently bend your knees for enhanced comfort.
  • Side Sleeping: If lying on your back doesn’t feel right, try sleeping on your side. But remember to keep your spine in a good position. To do that, tuck a pillow between your knees. This stops your top leg from tugging on your spine and putting it out of whack. Also, ensure your pillow is the right thickness so your head stays level and comfy, not too high or low. When picking a mattress, go for one that’s medium-firm. This gives the right balance of support and lets the bed follow your body’s natural curves. That way, your hips will stay upright and maintain your alignment.
  • Fetal Position: Curling up in a fetal position can also provide relief for some individuals. Draw your knees toward your chest and place a pillow between them. This position can help reduce strain on the sacroiliac joints and promote better sleep.
  • Stomach Sleeping: For those experiencing SI joint pain, it’s usually not advised to sleep on your stomach. This position might make your spine curve unnaturally, putting extra stress on the sacroiliac joints. If sleeping on your stomach is what you prefer, consider using a pillow under your pelvis to help keep your alignment more neutral. Sleeping on your stomach isn’t typically recommended for sacroiliac joint pain. This position could cause your lower back to arch too much and put additional pressure on the joint.

Additional Tips for Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief During Sleep

  • Supportive Mattress: Investing in a supportive mattress is essential for maintaining proper spinal alignment. A medium-firm bed is generally recommended, as it provides both comfort and support.
  • Pillow Choice: Choose a pillow that adequately supports your head and neck without tilting them out of alignment. A contoured or orthopedic pillow can help maintain the natural curvature of your spine.
  • Mattress Toppers: Use a mattress topper to add an extra cushioning layer. Memory foam toppers can conform to your body’s shape, relieving pressure on the sacroiliac joints.
  • Stretching Before Bed: Doing gentle stretching before you hit the hay can do wonders for unwinding your muscles and easing tension in your lower back and hips. Concentrate on stretches that work on those hip flexors, hamstrings, and lower back areas. Also, consider adding a body pillow to your sleep routine. These pillows offer extra support and can assist you in keeping a cozy sleeping posture throughout the night.
  • Regular Movement: If you wake up during the night, take a moment to change your position or stretch gently. Normal movement can prevent stiffness and discomfort.

Pre-Sleep Routine and Sleep Hygiene

Establishing a pre-sleep regimen and adopting proper sleep practices can also alleviate discomfort in the sacroiliac joint. Participate in relaxation methods like deep breathing or mild stretching before sleeping to ease muscle tension and minimize stress around the sacroiliac joint.

Moreover, adhere to a steady sleep timetable, set up a cozy sleeping space, and restrict electronic device usage before bedtime to enhance the quality of your sleep.

When to Seek Professional Help

Although changing your sleeping posture might alleviate minor sacroiliac joint discomfort, it’s crucial to seek guidance from a healthcare expert if your pain continues or deteriorates. A medical practitioner can precisely identify the root cause of your pain and suggest tailored remedies, such as physical therapy, medications, or alternative interventions.


Suffering from discomfort due to sacroiliac joint pain can disrupt your sleep and daily activities. However, adjusting your sleeping posture can significantly impact your comfort levels. Discovering the proper sleeping position can effectively reduce stress on the SI joint, diminish inflammation, and facilitate healing. It’s important to bear in mind that maintaining consistency is crucial – adapting to a new sleeping position might necessitate some time, so practicing patience is essential.

If your sacroiliac joint pain persists despite experimenting with different sleeping positions, seeking advice from a medical professional is recommended. They can identify the root cause of your pain and suggest suitable treatments, which could encompass physical therapy, medication, or other interventions.

In addition to these modifications in sleeping posture, embracing other lifestyle changes like maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, and practicing proper posture can collectively enhance SI joint health and an overall improved quality of life.

Eliana Hayes
I, Eliana Hayes, a health professional and content writer with a passion for empowering others through engaging and informative articles. Let's explore the world of wellness together and make a positive impact on our lives.

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