How to Use Body Pillow for Back Pain to get Relief Quickly

Is falling asleep at night a task for you because of throbbing back pain? Are you tired of waking up in the middle of the night and being unable to get back to sleep because you cannot take the back pain? If your answer to these question is ‘yes,' then you are not alone. Most often than not, a body pillow for back pain plays the role towards a more comfortable and restful sleep. Interesting fact: four out of every five people around the world stay awake all night long because the back pain will not let them stay comfortable in bed.

You do not have to let this pain bring you down anymore. You now have a solution that lets you enjoy better and uninterrupted sleep all night long. A body support pillow offers lots of functionality from supporting expecting mothers to promoting a good sleeping position, and in this case, we focus on its use for back pain. A body pillow aligns the spine naturally aligned keeping you comfortable when sleeping.

However, here is the thing, the body pillow might not be of much help if you do not use it properly. It is crucial that you learn the proper way to use the body pillow. Otherwise, you might use your pillow without reaping maximum benefits. So, how to you use a body pillow for back pain to get relief quickly? This question is our primary focus in this article. We go through everything that you need to know about the use of a body pillow. If you follow this tutorial keenly, then you are assured of quick relief from your discomfort.

What you will need to follow this tutorial

This tutorial focuses on how to use a body pillow for back pain to achieve the fastest results. Here are the things that you will undoubtedly need.

  • A body pillow (of course!)
  • Extra pillows of a regular size
  • A good mattress
  • Bed (Although this is not a must if you are okay with sleeping on a plain mattress)

There are many alternatives when choosing the best body pillow. The different types of body pillows include straight pillows, U-shaped body pillows, C-shaped body pillows, loopy style pillows, among many other options.

Afull body pillow is the best option, and more so the U-shaped body pillow. These pillows work very well because they hug the entire body. You have the allowance for the head support, body length, and knee support. Therefore, with a shaped body pillow, you can now eliminate the need for too many body pillows that only clutter the bed. The fact that you use a single pillow also makes it easy for you to turn around at night without having to rearrange your body pillows.

Other than the shape, manufacturers also go an extra mile to add other features that increase the ease of use and the comfort achieved. Other body pillows today incorporate aromatic herbs, massage mechanisms, and heating coils. These mechanisms help add to the therapeutic effect of the body pillow, and they also play a major role towards a faster healing of the back pain. The body pillow with heating coils is especially effective for chronic back pain because it helps facilitate circulation and relaxing of tight muscles. At the same time, the pillow provides the much-needed support.

Total body pillows are available in different materials. It is not a guarantee that getting the priciest one will grant you the comfort you need. You will realize that getting a body pillow is a matter of trial and error. The popular materials used in body pillows include down alternative, memory foam, polyester, and buckwheat. Each of these has its advantages and downside. Your choice is heavily dependent on your comfort level and preferences.

Step by Step Instructions on How to Use a Body Pillow for Back Pain

The main sleeping positions include stomach, side, and back sleepers. In its way, each position exerts some pressure on the spine, and this is the primary cause of back pain. Body pillows cover the entire length of your body, and there is a way that it is applicable for each sleeping position to reduce the strain exerted on the spine. The strain is reduced by keeping the body elevated and the spine in a natural and neutral position.

Each sleeping position requires the body pillow to be used in a unique manner to achieve the best results. Let us look at different ways that a body pillow can be used to reduce back pain.

​Step One: Sleeping on your Side

When you sleep on your side, the leg on the upper side tends to flop out. It rotates the pelvis, and this misaligns the hip joint and spine. As side sleepers, you will achieve best results from your body pillow by cuddling with it on the length. Place the lower part of the body pillow between your knees while pulling your knees towards your chest.

The pillow raises the upper leg and thus achieve proper alignment. This position helps support the lower back and hips, and it is key towards eliminating any tightness and pain in the morning. Cuddling with the pillow also provides added support for the shoulders.

Positioning the pillow between the knees also helps alleviate knee and hip pain.

​How to Buy a Knee Pillow

  • Be sure to go for a pillow that is firm enough to keep the upper leg in a raised position.
  • The pillow should be adequately thick.
  • If possible, go for a memory foam pillow because these have a medium firmness that will work well for knee pillows.

Step Two: Sleeping on your Back

This sleeping position tends to place a lot of strain on the back, and this is the main reason why many people wake up with a back pain. Doctors recommend that people suffering from chronic back pain should avoid sleeping on the back as much as possible.

However, if you cannot sleep in a different position, you can place a body pillow under the knees. This position is key towards maintaining the natural curve and alignment of the lower back. The spine, therefore, stays in a natural position whenever you sleep.

You may also place a small folded towel under the small section of your back to get extra support. Always keep your neck supported with a pillow.

​Step Three: Sleeping on your Stomach

Just like the back position, doctors acknowledge that sleeping on your stomach is one of the worst positions on which you can sleep. This position exerts some major strain on the lower back. However, if you cannot sleep in a different position, you can try placing a body pillow under your lower back and the pelvis. This position will help prop you up while keeping the spine straightened.

It is also advisable that, if possible, you sleep without placing a pillow under the head. If you need to use one, then make sure that it is not too firm to place excessive stress on the back.

The good news about back pain is that it tends to fade away after a few days. Cases of surgery are rare.

​Various Conditions that necessitate the use of a Body Pillows for Back Pain

Sciatica- The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest of all nerves in the human body. The nerve connects the skin, thigh, feet, and leg muscles to the nervous system. This task is too huge for a single nerve.

In case a problem in the lower back causes irritation or compression of this nerve, it results in a problem called Sciatica. This condition could either be a dull ache or an extremely sharp pain running from the lower back down to the back area of the leg.

In such a condition, a body pillow helps in the straightening of the spine while relieving nerve pressure.

Pregnancy- As pregnancy progresses, the baby’s weight increases. This process pushes away the mother’s internal organs so as to create enough room for the fetus. Therefore, there is a lot of pressure exerted on the spine when the woman is standing, walking, or lying down. The strain has a major effect on the backbone, and it results in overworking of the muscles which strain to align the spine.

A body pillow plays a major role when placed between the knees. It is a key accessory when it comes to aligning the spine.

Misalignment of the Hip- In normal cases, pelvic muscles and bones are in alignment with the spine and spinal cord. There are several reasons that could result in the misalignment of the hips and consequently misaligning the spine. These are factors such as bone deformity, fracture, rotation or a disease.

These misalignments result in something between a dull ache to the stabbing, sharp pains in the hips and lower back. A good body pillow will alleviate any discomfort due to hip problems and also facilitate hip alignment.

Bulging or Slipped Discs- A slipped disc results when a disc gets misaligned. On the other hand, a bulged disc results when there is a tear in the outer fibrous ring that causes the softer inner portion to bulge out. Either of these is very painful.

Just as in other cases, a body pillow aligns the spine allowing for a more restful and comfortable sleep.

Proper skeletal alignment is very crucial because in this case, the muscles are not overworking or compensating to keep the body balanced. Also, the nervous system is not being pinched or pressured. Consequently, back pain decreases considerably.

​Self-help Strategies towards Alleviating Back Pain Besides using a Body Pillow

1. Replace your mattress every eight years

With time, the supportive materials of your mattress tend to break down. It is, therefore, necessary to get w new one every eight years to ensure firm support at all time. A foam mattress is better than a traditional spring one because of the support that it offers.Besides a good mattress, also ensure that you have a supportive bed. You can increase the support of bed by incorporating plywood slats. However, some people may decide to use the mattress directly on the floor if it is of great quality.

2. Get more and regular exercise

You may think that you are doing your hurting back justice by resting and limiting your exercises. Well, you may rest for a day or two. However, beyond this, rest will not be of much help. Experts agree that regular exercising is helpful towards easing muscle tension and inflammation.

It’s time to quit smoking

Smokers are mostly prone to back pain. It is because smoking inhibits blood which contains nutrients from flowing into the spinal discs.

3. Be keen on your weight.

Excessive weight, especially in the tummy area, tends to cause a shift in the body’s center of gravity and puts a strain on the lower back. It is recommendable that you remain within a range of ten pounds of your ideal body weight to effectively control back pain.

4. The sleeping position is also crucial

If you are prone to extreme back pain, you will need to talk to your doctor for advice on the best sleeping position. Most times, you will receive advice against sleeping on your stomach or the back. However, if these are positions that you cannot avoid, then you might want to use a body pillow, as discussed in the section above. Otherwise, the best sleeping position for people with back pain is on your side with a pillow between your knees.

5. Shift to some loose clothing

Clothing that is too tight tends to interfere with proper walking, sitting, or bending. Consequently, you might find yourself experiencing back pain more often.

6. Get a hot shower or treat your lower back with heat before you get into bed

Heat is a treatment that helps relax muscles. It can, therefore, relieve back pain. In fact, heat is more effective than ice, especially for chronic pain. You can take a hot shower before getting into bed. Consequently, you may opt to apply a heating pad or hot water bottle directly on the sore areas. However, do not take the heating pad or bottle to bed as this could be risking getting burned.

 Do some thorough breathing exercises before sleeping

This relaxation technique goes a long way in helping you fall asleep faster. Breathing in and out continuously also helps to boost blood flow, thus easing any pain and discomfort.

7. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and large meals right before getting to bed

A heavy meal a few minutes before bedtime could result in acid reflux which could keep you awake. If you usually wake up starving in the middle of the night, then you might take just a light snack before sleeping.

On the overall, limit your intake of alcohol because it interferes with the REM sleep which results in you waking up feeling cranky and tired. Also, taking caffeine less than six hours to your bedtime could disrupt your sleep. All these factors result in you not receiving quality sleep and consequently result in tiredness and back pain.

8. You could also try an analgesic rub, especially on the lower back before going to sleep. These rubs tend to cause a pleasant feeling of relaxation and warmth in your muscles for a more restful sleep.

9.​ Avoid oversleeping as it could result in muscle stiffness, which is a call to back pain. Unless it is a recommendation by the doctor, then do not stay in bed continuously for more than eight hours. If you wish to stay in bed all day, then wake up after every few hours and move around.


I once experienced back pain some years ago. By then, I did not know as much as I know today about the body pillow for back pain and ways to manage the pain. For this reason, I had a hard time managing the pain. Over the years, I have learned a lot on the same. I have shared all of this information in this tutorial. I can testify that by using the body pillow properly and following the tips I outlined above, I no longer experience back pain!

Without a doubt, this tutorial is very important to me. I know that there are many people suffering from chronic back pain. I do hope that they will find this tutorial helpful. By using a body pillow properly, it is possible to alleviate back pain, no matter your preferred sleeping style.

How did you like this tutorial? Did you love it? Was it helpful? These are some questions for which I would love to hear your responses. Please let me know what you think in the comments box. If you this tutorial was helpful, please share with your friends and family so that they can also benefit.

Kristin William

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