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Board-certified and expert orthopedic hand and upper extremity surgery, Dr. Erin Nance, speaks to POPSUGAR about Why You Should Stop Sleeping On Your Stomach.

She is quoted saying:

“This stretches the neck muscles which can cause a stiff neck, neck pain, or headaches. It can also cause increased pressure along the nerves that exit the spine, causing numbness or tingling that radiates down the neck and into the hands,” Erin Nance, MD. “Additionally, when you sleep on your stomach, your body can sag into the mattress, causing an increase in the concavity of the lower back, placing increased pressure across the joints of the lumbar spine.”

If you’re experiencing either of these issues, and think the best solution is to retrain yourself to sleep in a different position, Dr. Nance advises transitioning first to your side, tucking pillows between your legs and arms to help break the habit. If sleeping on your stomach really is the most comfortable option for you, you can take steps to protect your neck and back. “The key is to have a supportive mattress and avoid placing the spine in an unsupported, hyperflexed, or extended position,” Dr. Nance said. “Do not sleep with a pillow that is too large and will force your neck into too much flexion.”

Read the original article on POPSUGAR.