ISG blockade – which is the best sleeping position?

Back pain is a real common affliction. The modern way of life means that we sit far too much and no longer experience enough exercise. As a result, the spine can be exposed to some stress for which it was not designed.

As a result, unfamiliar movements can lead to the sacroiliac joint blocking . This manifests itself with restricted mobility and lower back pain.

What influence does the sleeping position have on the SI joint blockade [1]and how can you best deal with this? In this guide you will find out how you can sleep deeply despite the ISG blockade.

If you have lower back pain, the first idea is likely that you have a herniated disc [2]suffer. If you’ve picked up something that was obviously too heavy, you may experience sudden pain. Lumbago is also a common injury in this context.

However, it can also happen that a joint becomes blocked due to movement or stress . In the lower back, this is often the sacroiliac joint. This means that there is now an ISG blockage. How is the blockage expressed and what can you do about it?


First of all, it should be clear that you have to see a doctor if you have sudden pain in your back . Only the doctor can fully clarify whether it is a blockage or a herniated disc. It also depends on how the sleeping position should be designed.

The sacroiliac joint is the connection between the lower spine and the pelvis . If you imagine the human skeleton, the hips and legs can be seen on the side of the lower back. The joint now represents the connection between the spine and the legs.

The joint absorbs the forces and movements of the upper body. It works as a link between the upper and lower body .


If you are currently performing a movement and you immediately notice a pulling or maybe even felt a crack , the suspicion that it is an ISG blockage is obvious . The blockage usually occurs unilaterally and you will be able to clearly determine on which side the restriction exists. This is a clear distinction from the herniated disc, which is located in the middle of the body.

Symptoms of SIJ blockade

The blockage in the sacroiliac joint is often associated with one-sided complaints such as pulling and restricted mobility.

With the blockage you will feel a pull on one side and with certain movements you will also feel the pain. The ability to move may be restricted. The symptoms mainly occur in the lower lumbar spine.

If left untreated, these problems can also affect other joints and muscles. After all, they have to compensate for the blocked joint and so tension can occur in the entire lower back and the knee joint can be affected.


The sleeping position is less to be seen as the cause of the SI joint blockade. Often there are already other underlying complaints, which are then expressed in the blockage.

This is especially the case if there has been muscle tension in the lower back for a long time. A muscle imbalance or generally weak muscles can also lead to the blockage. If there is persistent tension in the lower back, the blockage is foreseeable.

But it can also happen relatively suddenly. For example, if you twist your upper body in an unusual way or if you put the wrong weight on it. Then the pain will be very noticeable.

Too little exercise and a one-sided strain can be seen as the main causes. If you work a lot in the office and spend most of the day sitting or lying down, you will have weak back muscles.

Unhealthy work posture

Sitting at a desk for long periods of time is partly responsible for the presence of the ISG blockage. Muscle imbalances occur and impair the functionality of the joints.

But athletes can also favor the factors of an ISG blockade. For example, when only certain parts of the body are trained and not the entire body. As a counterbalance, stretching exercises or other sports should be exercised .

To strengthen the back muscles and prevent an ISG blockade [3], it is therefore advisable to exercise enough and to do sports. It should be ensured that the entire body is stressed.


If you are already suffering from SIJ blockage, it can be difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position . Sleeping on your side is felt to be painful, and even on your back you may notice pulling on one side.

However, you can ensure that the symptoms of an ISG blockade are reduced with a healthy sleeping position.


First of all, you should make sure that the back is exposed to little stress while sleeping . You can do this by observing the natural curvature. In addition, stabilization can be carried out to provide support.

The natural position of the spine is such that there is a slight curvature in the lumbar spine. This is especially noticeable while sleeping on the back. In the lateral position, the spine is rather straight and the legs slightly bent.

Healthy sleeping posture

Keep the natural shape of the spine and support your back with the right pillow and a supportive mattress.

A common mistake is using a pillow that is too high to try to support the lumbar spine. The pillow may offer greater comfort, but the symptoms will worsen in the long term if the lying position does not correspond to the natural position of the spine. Therefore, less is often more and a thin pillow promises better relief than a large model.

Also the choice of mattress [4]is important. How this should be designed will be explained in detail later.

But which sleeping position is most beneficial for an ISG blockade?


The Sleep on your back is described by most medical professionals as the rückenschonendste variant. The spine can take its natural course and there is no excessive strain on the intervertebral discs.

The cervical spine can be supported with the help of a flat pillow . However, it is important to ensure that the head does not bend forward. A thin pillow under the lumbar spine or knees can be helpful for further stabilization.


Sleeping on the side is also popular. While this may be comfortable, there is a risk that the spine will fall to one side and not go straight. The body sinks deeper into the mattress in certain places and this can lead to an uneven load.

The popular side sleep

Lying on your side is not quite as healthy as sleeping on your back, but most people prefer it. Use a pillow to stabilize your posture and relieve your muscles.

Therefore, sleeping on your back is described as healthier. Nevertheless, the lateral position can be optimized. Pillows between the knees and under the cervical spine can reduce the strain. Special pillows for sleeping on the side can also help. In any case, it is important that the spine remains as straight as possible and does not kink. In the case of the cervical spine in particular, there is a risk that a pillow that is too high can be dangerous.


At the unfavorable which is prone position described . This is not only harmful [5]for the spine, it also prevents you from breathing deeply enough. A hollow back occurs in the lower back and the cervical spine is hyperextended.

It is therefore advisable not to lie on your stomach and prefer to sleep on your back.


In addition to the sleeping position, the mattress is also an important point for an ISG blockade in order to be able to sleep relaxed and healthy. The hardness of the mattress is particularly important here.

The mattress should neither be too soft nor too hard. It is a myth that soft mattresses are particularly gentle on the back. It is more important that you find a mattress that meets your needs.

To do this, you should test different mattresses and see how you lie on them. It is best to have a person at your side who will examine your sleeping position in the profile. Here it is important that the spine is as straight as possible . The shoulders and pelvic area should only sink into the mattress until the natural curvature of the spine is created. But there should be no kinks to be seen. This ensures that the spine retains its natural course.

In addition, the mattress should be 15 to 20 centimeters longer than your body size. This allows you to keep enough space at the foot end so that the feet do not go over the mattress. It can also make sense to get an extra long mattress if you are taller than 1.90 m.

The last thing to look out for is the pillows . These should be rather flat and only serve as a support. Under no circumstances should the head be raised so far that the cervical spine is kinked. In the lumbar spine area too, the motto is that less is often more. A small pillow can help with SIJ blockage, but it shouldn’t be too dominant.


The ISG blockade is certainly uncomfortable. By adapting your sleeping position to it, you can relieve the pain and relieve tension.

In general, exercise is the first step towards recovery and ensures that there are no more ISG blockages. When sleeping, the back position is particularly preferred and this minimizes the strain on the lower back.

If you follow the tips on sleep behavior and find the right mattress for you, you can ensure a high quality of sleep despite the ISG blockage. All further steps must of course be discussed with the doctor.

Jamie Clark

Hello, I’m Jamie Clark, 32 years old, and I have been living in the USA for a few years.
Since I was a child, I have suffered from a house dust allergy, severely affecting me. I felt the effects both while exercising and while sleeping. Constant sneezing after getting up and difficult breathing were the consequences. The allergy has also developed into asthma, which is still a sporting restriction today.

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