How to Sleep Comfortably with a Herniated Disc in the Upper Back

Herniated disc is a common condition that occurs when the soft cushion-like discs found between the vertebrae in your spine rupture or bulge out. This can cause intense pain, discomfort, and difficulty sleeping, especially if it’s located in your upper back. In this blog post, we will provide some tips on how to sleep comfortably with a herniated disc in your upper back.

Understand Your Herniated Disc:

Before we dive into tips on how to sleep better with a herniated disc in your upper back, it’s important to understand what causes it and how it affects your body. The discs act as shock absorbers for the spine, allowing movement while also protecting its structure. When one of these discs ruptures or dislodges from its position, it puts pressure on the nerves that run through our spinal column causing severe pain.

Consult With Your Doctor:

If you’ve been diagnosed with a herniated disc already and experience trouble sleeping due to severe pain at night; consulting with an Orthopedic specialist should be done immediately for more personalized recommendations suitable for you.

Sleeping Position Matters

When dealing with a herniated disc in the upper part of your back – avoid sleeping on stomach as this position hyperextends thoracic spine which would only worsen symptoms and increase muscular tension around affected area.
The recommended sleeping positions are:
1. Sleeping On Back: Sleeping supine using pillows beneath knees decreases tensile strength from lower lumbar allowing less stress placed upon weakened muscles surrounding injured site
2. Side Sleeping: If lying flat isn’t comfortable enough – side-sleeping recommended but ensure shoulders/hips aligned properly so no additional strain put onto discs within thoracic (upper) portion affecting normal breathing patterns.

Pillows Are Essential

Using Pillows can help reduce pressure points whenever one decides to sleep by lifting up certain areas of our body thus alleviating any potential tension built up during day-to-day activities. If you’re dealing with a herniated disc in your upper back, using pillows might be the best solution to reduce pressure points and sleep more comfortably.

Here are some ideas for pillow placement:

1. Use a contoured neck pillow to support the curve of your cervical spine.
2. Place a small cushion or rolled up towel beneath lower back area – this will help lumbar spine remain neutral while sleeping on back
3. Between Knees: Placing pillow between knees can also provide relief from any nerve impingement while lying on one’s side

Invest In A Good Mattress

The key factor that determines how well we sleep is our mattress’ quality – it can play an important role in managing symptoms associated with herniated discs as well.. Since our spinal column follows natural curvature, it’s essential to have proper alignment throughout its entire length ─ especially when resting at night which makes investing in good quality mattresses such as Tempur-Pedic, Casper Wave Hybrid or Nectar advisable.


In summary, dealing with a herniated disc anywhere in the body can be challenging but taking proactive steps like adjusting sleeping positions and utilizing pillows properly greatly improve one’s ability to get through day-to-day activities without much pain/discomfort- not forgetting consulting with Orthopedic specialist who could recommend tailored exercise routines which we’ll discuss in another blog post! Remember that everyone’s anatomy is unique so personalization of recommendations should always be considered first before trying them out yourself!