Women’s Health: While switching up your sleeping position is unlikely to magically cure all of your lower back pain, it can definitely help.

Ultimately, the best sleeping position for your lower back pain is the one that feels the most comfortable to you, says Neel Anand, MD, professor of orthopaedic surgery and director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles. “Every person is different,” he points out.

Fetal Position: Sleeping curled up on your side may help if you have back pain caused by a herniated disc, Dr. Womack says. In case you’re not familiar with what that is exactly, discs are the jelly-like cushioning between the vertebrae in your spine. A herniated disc is when part of that cushioning pushes out—and that can cause pain. Adding a pillow between your knees can also help straighten out your spine, he says.

On your stomach with a pillow under your pelvis: Sleeping on your stomach has a bad rap when it comes to back pain. “It can cause excessive curving of your spine,” Dr. Womack says. But, he adds, this position is doable if you place a pillow underneath your pelvis (this takes some of the pressure off your back). You can even skip the pillow under your head if you’re comfortable with it, to further keep things in alignment.

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