Best Sleeping Positions For Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief: Restorative Rest

The sacroiliac joint (SI joint) plays a crucial role in supporting the lower back and hips, connecting the spine to the pelvis. Unfortunately, sacroiliac joint pain is a common condition that can significantly impact sleep quality and overall well-being. Adopting proper sleeping positions can alleviate discomfort and promote better rest, making it an essential aspect…

Best Sleeping Positions For Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief
Natalie Smith

Written By
Natalie Smith

Published On
April 29, 2024

Disclaimer: This article has been generated with the assistance of AI tools. While our research team has fact-checked the content, readers should independently verify information for accuracy and reliability.

The sacroiliac joint (SI joint) plays a crucial role in supporting the lower back and hips, connecting the spine to the pelvis. Unfortunately, sacroiliac joint pain is a common condition that can significantly impact sleep quality and overall well-being. Adopting proper sleeping positions can alleviate discomfort and promote better rest, making it an essential aspect of managing sacroiliac joint pain.

Understanding Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Sleeping Positions For Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief

The sacroiliac joints are located on either side of the lower spine, where the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) meets the iliac bones of the pelvis. These joints are responsible for transferring weight and force between the upper body and the lower extremities. Sacroiliac joint pain can arise from various causes, including injury, pregnancy, arthritis, and inflammatory conditions.

Symptoms associated with SI joint pain may include lower back pain, hip pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving or walking. The discomfort can range from mild to severe and may radiate down the buttocks, thighs, or groin area.

The Connection Between Sleeping Positions And SI Joint Pain

Improper sleeping positions can exacerbate sacroiliac joint pain by causing misalignment and pressure on the joint. When the spine is not in a neutral position, it can lead to increased stress on the SI joint, resulting in discomfort and potential worsening of the condition. Maintaining proper spinal alignment during sleep is crucial for alleviating SI joint discomfort.

Additionally, the firmness of the mattress and the quality of pillow support can significantly impact the relief of sacroiliac joint pain. A mattress that is too soft may cause the spine to sag, while an excessively firm mattress may create pressure points, leading to discomfort and disrupted sleep.

Best Sleeping Positions For Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief

Supine Position

Lying on your back with your knees bent and supported can help maintain natural spinal alignment and reduce pressure on the SI joint. Place a pillow under your knees to further alleviate strain and promote a neutral spinal position. This sleeping position can be particularly beneficial for those experiencing SI joint pain.

Side Sleeping

Side sleeping is another recommended position for individuals with sacroiliac joint pain. Proper pillow placement is crucial to keep the spine aligned and prevent twisting or rotation. Use a pillow between your knees to prevent pelvic rotation and alleviate pressure on the SI joint.

Fetal Position

Curling up on your side with your knees drawn toward your chest can relieve pressure on the SI joint. This position allows for natural spinal alignment and can be further enhanced by using a body pillow or cushion for added support and comfort.

Prone Position (Cautionary Note)

While some individuals may find relief by sleeping on their stomachs, this position should be approached with caution for those with SI joint pain. Prone sleeping can increase spinal extension and potentially worsen SI joint discomfort for some individuals. If you choose to sleep in this position, it is recommended to place a pillow under your hips to maintain a neutral spine alignment.

Tips For Optimal Sleep Environment

Creating a conducive sleep environment can significantly contribute to alleviating sacroiliac joint pain. Invest in a supportive mattress and ergonomic pillows designed to maintain spinal alignment. Consider using mattress toppers or adjustable beds to customize sleep support and find the most comfortable position.

Additionally, incorporating other aids such as heating pads or ice packs can provide relief by reducing inflammation and promoting muscle relaxation in the affected area.


Adopting proper sleeping positions is a crucial step in managing sacroiliac joint pain and promoting better sleep quality. By maintaining neutral spinal alignment and reducing pressure on the SI joint, individuals can alleviate discomfort and wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Experiment with different sleeping positions and seek personalized advice from healthcare professionals to find the most suitable approach. Prioritize sleep quality and overall well-being by implementing strategies to alleviate sacroiliac joint pain during the night.


1. Why is sacroiliac pain worse at night?

Sacroiliac pain can worsen at night due to prolonged periods of inactivity and lack of movement. During the day, movement and activity can help reduce inflammation and stiffness in the SI joint. However, at night, when you remain stationary for an extended period, the joint can become more aggravated, leading to increased pain.

2. What aggravates sacroiliac joint pain?

Several factors can aggravate sacroiliac joint pain, including improper posture, prolonged sitting or standing, physical activities that strain the SI joint (such as lifting heavy objects or repetitive twisting movements), pregnancy, and certain medical conditions like arthritis or inflammation.

3. Is a heating pad good for SI joint pain?

Yes, using a heating pad can be beneficial for sacroiliac joint pain. Heat therapy helps promote blood flow to the affected area, which can reduce inflammation, relax muscles, and alleviate stiffness and discomfort. Additionally, heat can provide a soothing effect, helping to manage pain and promote relaxation.

4. What not to do with sacroiliac joint pain?

When experiencing sacroiliac joint pain, it’s important to avoid activities or movements that can exacerbate the condition. Avoid excessive bending, twisting, or lifting heavy objects, as these actions can put additional strain on the SI joint. Furthermore, prolonged periods of sitting or standing in the same position should be minimized, as they can lead to increased discomfort and stiffness.

Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith is a highly respected Osteopath with over 15 years of experience in treating a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. She graduated from the British School of Osteopathy with a Master’s degree in Osteopathic Medicine and is a registered member of the General Osteopathic Council. Natalie’s expertise spans the diagnosis and treatment of issues affecting the muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissues. She utilizes a holistic, patient-centered approach, combining manual techniques such as spinal manipulation, soft tissue massage, and joint mobilization to alleviate pain and restore optimal function. Passionate about educating her patients, Natalie frequently speaks at local health workshops and has authored articles on osteopathic care for several respected medical journals. Her commitment to ongoing professional development ensures she remains at the forefront of the latest advancements in the field of osteopathy.

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