Why Is Back Pain Worse When Lying Down
But why does your back pain occur when youre getting into bed? Most people who experience back pain have strained muscles. Not sitting up straight at the desk or lounging unsupported on the couch can cause specific muscles to contract over long periods.
You may not notice it at the moment or when youre up walking around because theres no pressure on them. But when your back hits an unsupportive bed, those sensitive, strained, and damaged muscles are agitated.
And that added pressure on the affected part of your back causes those muscles to hurt.
How Can I Prevent Low Back Pain
You can prevent low back pain with physical therapy, exercises, and stretching. Supports and back belts do not prevent low back pain.
Keep in shape, lose weight if you are overweight, and exercise regularly. Being inactive can lead to low back pain. Regular exercise like walking, swimming, or biking is good for your back. These activities put less stress on your back than sitting and standing.
Don’t lift heavy objects by bending over at the waist. Bend your hips and knees and then squat to pick up the object. Keep your back straight and hold the object close to your body. Don’t twist your body while you are lifting.
If you have to sit at your desk or drive for a long time, take breaks to stretch.
What Are The Treatments For Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain usually gets better with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers. After a few days of rest, you can start to get back to your normal activities. Staying active increases blood flow to the area and helps you heal.
Other treatments for lower back pain depend on the cause. They include:
- Medications: Your provider may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or prescription drugs to relieve pain. Other medications relax muscles and prevent back spasms.
- Physical therapy : PT can strengthen muscles so they can support your spine. PT also improves flexibility and helps you avoid another injury.
- Hands-on manipulation: Several hands-on treatments can relax tight muscles, reduce pain and improve posture and alignment. Depending on the cause of pain, you may need osteopathic manipulation or chiropractic adjustments. Massage therapy can also help with back pain relief and restore function.
- Injections: Your provider uses a needle to inject medication into the area thats causing pain. Steroid injections relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Surgery: Some injuries and conditions need surgical repair. There are several types of surgery for low back pain, including many minimally invasive techniques.
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Ques : How Do You Tell If Lower Back Pain Is Muscle Or Disc
Ans: The basic difference to locate whether your lower back pain is related to muscle or disc is that if it hurts both while bending forward and returning to the upright position, then it is disc pain.
Whereas, if it hurts more while returning to the upright position as compared to forward bending, then its muscle pain.
Other symptoms of disc pain are:
- Increased back pain with prolonged sitting and frequent bending.
- Increased back pain because of coughing, sneezing, and even laughing.
- Numbness or pin-needles like pain radiating into the affected area.
One Back Pain Treatment You Probably Dont Need
Back pain can be incredibly frustrating, and going under the knife may seem like the quickest, easiest fix to bring relief. But the truth is, many people dont need surgery for lower back pain management, Dr. Park says.
If your back pain is musculoskeletal, you will not require surgery, but if its a pinched nerve thats due to a disc herniation or something else, you may need to have surgery, he says. But even in those people, when you go through a six-to-eight-week course of treatment that includes physical therapy and activity modification, 85 to 90 percent of the time, they wont need surgery.
However, if you try the treatments above and dont see any improvement or still feel pain, talk to your doctor about a referral to a pain management specialist, as more specific tests or treatments may be required to get to the bottom of whats going on.
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Maintain Correct Posture When Sitting
You can avoid lower back pain by maintaining proper posture when sitting. If you have a desk job, keep your feet planted on the floor and use a chair that provides lower back support. Also, avoid hunching forward to see your computer screen and reaching far in front of you to use your mouse or keyboard.
There Are Different Types Of Back Pain
Back pain can be acute or chronic . It can feel like a sudden, sharp pain or a dull, constant ache.
Acute back pain lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Its often caused by an accident, fall, or lifting something thats too heavy. Acute back pain usually gets better on its own, without any treatment. But there may be times when you need to get medical care. Find out when to call a doctor or nurse about back pain.
Chronic back pain lasts for more than 3 months. Its much less common than acute back pain. Most chronic back pain can be treated without surgery.
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Lower Back Pain When Runninghow To Prevent Back Injuries
Low back painits the worst. Most people experience it at some point or another, whether theyre runners or not. You picked something heavy up incorrectly, you regularly spend 8 hours of your day in a chair, or maybe its the effect of some issues in your posture and body mechanics. If youre a runner, your running form could play a huge role in whether your lower back muscles protest the miles you put in.
Lower bank pain when running can make even a jog around the park excruciating.
But the bottom line is, you dont have to live with lower back pain. Strength training, correcting poor posture, and working on mobility are all ways to get back to pain-free life and running. Read on to understand how weak and tight muscles contribute to your pain and follow our tips to help shore up those trouble areas.
Get Out Of Bed The Right Way
As SpineUniverse explains:
Lastly, make sure you are getting out bed properly. Unfortunately, the majority of people will sit up, twist their back to prepare to get into a standing position, and use their back to stand. This method is incorrect. The proper way to exit a bed upon waking is to roll onto your side and use your arm to push up from the side-lying position. From this position, scoot to the very edge of the bed and get up using your legs, not your back.
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Home Therapies To Get You Over The Hurdle
If your back pain is mild, you could try home therapies such as ice, massage, heat or over-the-counter pain medications to help you through this time. This is the route many professional athletes take when they have to deal with back pain at game time. It seems to work for them!
But home remedies are not for everyone. If you think you may have a torn ligament or a broken boneor another significant injurysee a healthcare provider. Other reasons to speak with your healthcare provider include if you have a fever, unexplained weight loss, or have experienced a traumatic event.
When To Get Help For Low Back Pain
Pain from ruptured discs and arthritis doesn’t have to flatten you. There are a variety of ways to ease lower back pain discomfort and reduce disability, often without drugs.
Spinal problems are the price we pay for walking upright. Wear and tear on our backbones and the constant pull of gravity on our vertebrae take their toll over time. Nearly every adult has had a stiff or sore back at some time.
Sciatica is a term you’ve probably heard people use for pain in the lower back, radiating to the buttocks and down one or both legs. “When patients tell me they have sciatica, they could have one of two conditionsa leaking disc or spinal stenosis ,” says Dr. Steven Atlas, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. These conditions in turn can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, which emerges from the lumbar spine, separates just above the buttocks, and runs down each leg.
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Best Stretches And Exercises For Back Pain
Daniel Giordano, D.P.T., C.S.C.S., cofounder of Bespoke Treatments in New York City and an MH advisor, sees a lot of patients with back pain caused by the quadratus lumborum, which too often gets overworked in exactly the wrong way. He prescribes these stretches and these strengthening exercises to make things right:
Secret #: Stretching Programs/yoga
If youre wondering how to get your sciatic nerve to stop hurting, yoga is a great option.
But we want to warn you not to do anything that makes your pain worse, even stretching or yoga.
Yoga is perhaps one of the best ways to relieve the pain of sciatica and prevent its reoccurrence as well, depending on the root cause.
Sciatica is a pain in the butt, literally. What better way to ease the pain than to work it out? Yoga will stretch out muscles that are tight and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. Some of the best yoga poses for sciatica are:
- Pigeon on a Chair – This is a great stretch for those who cannot lie flat on the floor without pain. Sit in a comfortable chair. Place your right ankle on top of your left knee and try to move the right knee towards the floor. You can apply very light pressure to the right knee with your hand for a deeper stretch. Hold and repeat with the opposite leg.
- Pigeon Pose – Place a folded towel under your behind and thigh on the right side as you cross the right leg in front of you. Place the left leg stretched out directly behind you. If you can, bend down at the waist over your right leg. If you cant, simply stay in the pigeon pose and feel the stretch. Change sides.
- Cobra – If you can lie on your stomach on the floor without pain, the cobra pose is a good choice. Lie with your palms on the floor under your shoulders, feet together, and pointed behind you. Push your torso up off the ground but leave your hips on the floor.
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Rub On Medicated Creams
Skin creams, salves, ointments, or patches may help when your back feels stiff, sore, and tense. Many of these products contain ingredients such as menthol, camphor, or lidocaine that can cool, heat, or numb the affected area.
Put on creams right where you hurt. Ask someone to apply it if you have trouble reaching the spot.
âIt’s not going to be a mainstay at providing significant relief, but it can calm things down,â Ray says.
Hot Or Cold Therapy For Low Back Pain
Hot or cold packs may help ease pain and reduce symptoms. The soothing relief from heat, or the dulling relief from a cold pack, is only temporary and will not treat more serious causes of back pain. However, they may provide greater mobility for people with acute, subacute, or chronic pain, allowing them to get up and get moving.
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Secret #: Physical Therapy Modalities & Physical Rehabilitation
One of the great things about physical therapy is that you will learn exercises and stretches to strengthen your muscles to not only stop sciatica pain but to prevent a recurrence.
Physical therapy and chiropractic go hand in hand, which is why most chiropractors offer physical therapy modalities in their clinics.
There are a variety of options that a physical therapist might choose to treat your sciatica, including active treatments, such as stretching, strength training, yoga, and core strengthening exercise programs, or passive therapies, such as ultrasound or chiropractic massage.
Depending on the cause of your sciatica, your physical therapist might suggest less intense exercises and treatment plans, such as walking, swimming, water aerobics, or joint mobility.
Your chiropractor can use multiple physical therapy modalities that work in combination with chiropractic care to treat your pain, find the root cause, and make a treatment plan that works for you, so you can get back on your feet again without the pain of sciatica. In fact, one study found that patients with sciatica who received physical therapy as joint mobility and exercise experienced more meaningful improvement than those who didnt.
If you have sciatica nerve pain while pregnant, seeing a chiropractor along with a physical therapist is even more important.
Exercise To Loosen Muscles
Although it may seem counterintuitive to exercise when lower back pain is causing you grief, the right kind of movement can help eliminate the discomfort. Its always important to consult your physician before you engage in exercise when you have pain, but this conversation is well worth having if youre suffering.
First, you should keep in mind that not all exercise is beneficial in combating back pain. Try to avoid toe-touch exercises and sit-ups, which may add to the stress on your spine instead of relieving it. Leg lifts are another exercise to stay away from when you are hurting. If your core is not strong, leg lifts could be too demanding on your body if youre already experiencing pain.
Several types of exercises can be useful when you need to relieve back pain. Partial crunches can aid in strengthening your core without applying too much pressure to the area. Slow and controlled wall-sit exercises may also be useful. Other repetitions to consider include bringing each knee to the chest in succession, pelvic tilts, and swimming.
Ask About Prescription Medications
If your back pain hasnt resolved itself within four to six weeks, make an appointment with your doctor, who will examine your back and ask you to sit, stand, bend, walk, and lift your legs to see how your pain is affecting your mobility. Youll likely be asked to rate your pain on a scale of one to 10, and they may do imaging tests, like an X-ray or MRI. Then, he or she may recommend one of the following prescribed therapies:
- Muscle relaxants: Medications like cyclobenzaprine or baclofen can help relieve painful back spasms. If you go this route, just know that side effects can include fatigue and dizziness.
- Topical pain medications: These creams and ointments, like Voltaren gel, are meant to be rubbed directly on to the area thats hurting you.
- Cortisone shots: If other treatment measures fail, your doctor may recommend an injection of cortisone, a potent anti-inflammatory. There are risks, including thinning of nearby bone, and relief typically lasts just a few months, tops.
Relieving Your Back Pain
When you are suffering from an ache or struggling to get lower back pain relief, it may seem difficult to take a proactive approach to the matter. However, alleviating such aches may be largely within your control. If you make some simple changes in habit and lifestyle, you might be pleasantly surprised by the results. At North Texas Medical Center, we take great pride in helping our community achieve better health. If you are suffering from backache, call us at , or contact us online today.
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Use A Pillow To Keep Your Spine In Alignment
Waking up with lower back pain often means your spine was rotated throughout the night. If you sleep on your side, try placing a pillow between your knees. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow behind the backs of your knees. And if you sleep on your stomach, try placing a pillow under your hips and lower abdomen and another thin pillow under your head.
The right pillow can go a long way in helping your back pain. But it can also help you reduce neck pain too, as long as you choose the right pillow.
Stop Trying Passive Treatments
Passive treatments like heat, ice or ultrasound may feel good, but their effect is usually only temporary. Most research indicates that active self-care exercise and postural correction is an effective remedy for low back pain.
A visit to your physical therapist can help determine which exercises are best for your specific condition.
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Take It Slow When Getting Up
Taking it slow when you get out of bed can be beneficial. You may want to use your arms to sit up slowly before moving your legs off the side of the bed. Once you plant your feet on the ground, shoulder-width apart, you can stand up slowly, using your leg strength instead of your back to help you up.
After carefully standing, you can further relieve tension by reaching your arms up above your head and stretching slowly from side to side.
Swim Your Back Back To Health
If your back pain has sidelined you to the point that weight training just isn’t an option – even with a good yoga warm up or band routine like Donnie’s – then consider switching to a different activity for a while: swimming.
Swimming and CrossFit coach Hannah Caldas herniated a disc a few years back and she found swimming to be incredibly helpful during her recovery phase. She opted not to undergo surgery and instead showed up to the pool three days a week. According to Hannah:
There are a few main reasons why swimming is a good rehabilitation tool:
It is low impact. It is a form of active stretching – swimming technically will ensure full range of motion movements for many different body parts. It provides just enough resistance from water to provide, over time, sustained aerobic conditioning to the rehabilitating subject, allowing them to continue to workout while rehabbing at the same time.
If your low-back pain is severe enough that even swimming seems daunting, you can start small. Hannah suggests you begin by getting into the water up to chest height and simply walking in the water. This is similar to what many therapist will have you do in their therapy pools. Once you’ve done this for a number of sessions and you feel good enough to swim, opt for the back stroke as the water will help support your back and thus relief some tension.
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