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What Causes Back Pain When Lying Down

Why Might Your Back And Hips Hurt When Lying Down

Common “FAI” Scenarios: Low back pain when lying down

HealthMatch staff

Lower back pain is an extremely common condition, which can have a variety of causes and can also lead to pain in the hips. It is one of the most common reasons why people seek medical advice.

In some cases, your back and hips might hurt more when you are lying down. Why is that, and what can you do about it?

Upper Back Pain Causes

Back pain is usually due to poor posture, muscle overuse, or an injury. It is less than the pain in the neck or lower back because the spine in the upper back is less adaptable. Generally, it is caused by:

  • Overuse of muscles.
  • Injuries to the muscles, ligaments, or spinal discs that support the back.
  • One or more fractured vertebrae.
  • Poor posture during work or pastime, particularly for extended periods without a break.
  • Pressure in the spinal nerves due to a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease.
  • Osteoarthritis – when the cartilage of joints and discs breaks down.
  • Myofascial discomfort – related to the connective tissue that wraps around to support the muscles.
  • Accident also causes severe back pain.

What Is Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is the pain felt in the lowest part of the abdomen and pelvis. Anatomically speaking, the pelvis is a structure that supports the spinal column and also protects abdominal organs. Pain in the pelvic area can be dull or sharp and constant or intermittent . The intensity of pelvic pain ranges from mild to moderate and severe. Women are primarily affected by pelvic pain, which can also spread to their lower back area, thighs, and buttocks.

Okay, but what is pelvic girdle pain then?

Pelvic girdle pain is pain that affects pelvic joints, hips, thighs, and the lower back area. One in four pregnant women experiences pelvic girdle pain. This kind of pain happens due to a combination of factors including the pregnancy hormones that loosen the ligaments.

When that happens, movements in the pelvic area increase or become uneven thus inducing pain. The growth and development of a baby in the womb puts strain on the pelvic and lower back area, which can also cause PGP. Position of a baby in the womb, history of back pain, and misaligned joints of the pelvis can also cause pelvic girdle pain.

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Home Treatment For Lower Back Pain

There are a number of at-home options to treat pain in your lower back:

  • Relax. Sometimes just sitting down will relieve enough of the pressure from your lower back to reduce the pain significantly.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . These over-the-counter pain relievers include ibuprofen and naproxen . You can purchase NSAIDs here.
  • Exercise and stretching. Although exercise is often good for addressing lower back pain, consult with a professional. Some exercises can make the pain worse. For example, avoid toe touches and situps, but try hamstring stretches. Generally getting into better physical health will help reduce lower back pain when standing and doing other everyday activities.
  • Stand and sit up straight. Your posture is important for proper weight distribution. Standing and sitting up straight will help.
  • Get supportive shoes and orthotics. Get shoes or shoe inserts that help keep your feet in a neutral, supported position.
  • Mattress support. Find a mattress that gives you better support than your current one.
  • Use heat and ice. As soon as the pain starts, put an ice pack on your lower back for 20 minutes several times a day. After 48 hours, alternate using ice and heat.
  • Avoid heavy lifting. Avoid lifting heavy objects. If you must, keep your back straight and bend your legs so the leg muscles do the majority of the work.
  • Lose weight. If youre overweight, getting to a healthy weight will improve strain on your back.

How To Treat Pelvic Pain

Lower Back Pain When Lying Down: Causes and Treatments

Mild and temporary pelvic pain is usually not a source of concern. If you get pelvic pain only when lying down at night and its preventing you from getting enough sleep, you should schedule an appointment to see your doctor.

Many men and women are reluctant to see a healthcare professional about this problem. They usually hope pelvic pain will go away on its own. Keep in mind pelvic pain is not a condition by itself, but usually a sign of a much bigger problem. Its understandable to wonder why do I have pelvic pain when I lie down.

But, the only way to know the exact cause is to get a proper diagnosis from your healthcare provider. Diagnosis will also make the treatment of pelvic pain a lot easier.

So, how to relieve pelvic pain when sleeping? How to treat this kind of pain in general?

One way to relieve pelvic pain when sleeping is to sleep with a pillow between your knees. Pillow will keep your pelvic area aligned and take the pressure off the hip and pelvic muscles. While you can use a regular pillow, you can also invest in a body pillow if youre pregnant.

Instead of cotton pajamas, you may want to opt for silk and satin pajamas. That way you can slide around in bed. Cotton would cause more friction.

Another option is to wear a belly band or a pregnancy support band to maintain proper alignment of the pelvis and reduce pain.

Lifestyle modifications are also necessary, especially for persons whose pelvic pain is chronic or comes and goes. These tips can help you out:

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Tips To Lessen Back Pain At Night

About 80 percent of Americans will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Depending on the cause which may include injury arthritis and chronic conditions like fibromyalgia symptoms range from dull throbbing aches to sharp shooting pains. If pain becomes too severe it can interfere with quality sleep leaving you feeling exhausted and depressed. Poor sleep can also disrupt the bodys natural healing process which can make pain worse and keep it from getting better.

Some people can sleep in positions that relieve pain. Others with nighttime back pain may feel like they cant find relief no matter what they do. For these folks pain may even worsen or flare up when they lie down. If this sounds like you and pain is getting in the way of sleep its time to try something new. These five tips can help relieve symptoms so you can get the sleep you need.

  • Upgrade your mattress. A springy old mattress can make back pain worse. But a super-firm mattress may not be the best solution either. To keep your spine aligned just right while you snooze youll need a mattress thats just right. That means something different for everyone but medium-firm mattresses are usually a good bet. Replace your mattress every eight years for optimal firmness or get a mattress topper for support when it starts to sag.
  • You may also consider seeing a pain specialist at Reid Pain Management.

    The Spine Supports The Body

    Back pain comes from the tissues around the spine. The spinal column is the structure that supports the body and is made of bones called vertebrae. There are dozens of vertebrae that lead from the neck down into the lower back or lumbar region. Cushioning pads between the vertebrae called intervertebral discs act like shock-absorbers and prevent the vertebrae from grinding. The vertebrae are held together by ligaments, and muscles are attached to the spine by tendons. The spinal column is not solid bone the spine is like a sturdy, segmented tube. The open space within the spine protects the spinal cord. The spinal cord runs from the brain down into the base of the spine and is made of the many nerves the body needs to transmit electrical signals that let us feel and move. Nerves come out of the spine at various places to transmit signals to and from different parts of the body to the brain. Strain or injury to any part of the spine can result in back pain.

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    Signs Your Back Pain Might Be An Emergency

    In our 20s and 30s, normal back pain often can be attributed to factors of daily life, such as sitting too long, picking up children, or overdoing it while exercising.

    In our 40s and older, work injuries and the beginnings of arthritis and degenerative conditions are more common.

    Back pain is so common, in fact, that many patients shrug off symptoms that might indicate a medical emergency.

    Approximately 80% of adults will experience back pain in their lives, so its important to be able to identify the severity of your symptoms and track how long the pain lasts.

    If back pain can be associated with a specific activity, such as lifting or twisting wrong, and the pain goes away within 72 hours after resting and applying ice, its usually nothing to worry about. However, if pain creeps on gradually, appears suddenly, or doesn’t go away, you might have a more serious condition.

    Osteoarthritis Of The Spine

    Lying Down Thoracic Rotation for Back Pain Relief

    Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis that affects the spine. This condition is described as the inflammation of the facet joints and sacroiliac joints located in between the pelvis and the spine. Osteoarthritis of the spine occurs in the lower back as the cartilage between the joints slowly breaks down, causing pain and inflammation. But aside from natural degeneration, back injuries might also affect a persons risk of developing spinal arthritis.

    Patients with spinal arthritis often feel intense pain whenever they bend or twist their back. They might also feel stiff because of this. There might also be tenderness or swelling of the muscles over the affected vertebrae, as well as numbness in the legs in cases of spinal osteoarthritis in the lumbar area.

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    Symptoms Of Sacroiliac Pain Lying Down

    Most patients who experience sacroiliac symptoms when lying down also suffer symptoms at other times of the day and during other activities, as well. Most will suffer exacerbated pain when standing and performing particular tasks, although certain diagnoses might make some patients more prone to sitting-related SIJ pain or other activity-enacted discomfort. Only a very small minority of sacroiliac pain conditions will be solely symptomatic due to reclining to rest, although some patients might suffer pain in the joint exclusively when lying down due to some other source process, such as mindbody ischemia.

    Statistically, most patients who do experience worsened discomfort when reclining have unilateral pain that has been diagnosed as being caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction. However, other diagnoses, such as sacroiliitis and various autoimmune diseases in the sacroiliac joint, can also produce reclining-related symptoms in less common scenarios.

    Tip #: How You Sleep Is Important

    First, make sure youre sleeping in a position that is conducive to maintaining the natural of your spine. Specifically, do not sleep on your stomach. Stomach sleeping can cause neck pain and headaches upon waking, and places your spine in an unnatural position.

    Try to sleep on either your side or back. If youre a side sleeper, place a pillow between your knees. If you sleep on your back, it may help to place a pillow underneath your knees. Placing the pillow between and underneath your knees gives your spine the best chance of maintaining its natural curves while you sleep.

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    Degeneration Of Spinal Tissue

    Degeneration of spinal tissues occurs naturally throughout life as the spine experiences normal wear-and-tear throughout years. Vertebrae may degenerate and press against nerves that run through the spine. Intervertebral discs wear down and lose their ability to cushion the vertebrae. Discs can also become herniated or ruptured, causing a bulging disc that may compress spinal nerves and cause pain. The nerves may get more compressed when sitting, making back pain worse when lying down or sitting. A specific nerve named the sciatic nerve originates in the lower spine and runs into the legs. Compression of this nerve can cause a burning, shooting pain that runs down one of the legs .

    Most Back Pain When Lying Down Is Still A Sprain Or Muscle Spasm

    Lower Back Pain When Lying Down Flat: What It Means

    Most back pain is due to a simple problem such as a muscle sprain or spasm. Back pain may increase when lying down simply because the pressure is put on the injury.

    Back pain after a fall may worsen when lying down for similar reasons or merely because of nasty bruising that responds to pressure. This kind of back pain typically resolves quickly with time, over-the-counter painkillers, and stretching.

    You should still check with your doctor if you have back pain at night to make sure it is not a more serious problem.

    If you have a fever or loss of bowel and/or bladder function, back pain is an emergency regardless of when it occurs.

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    Upper Back Pain When Lying Down

    Upper back pain is a common issue that everyone faces most of the time. It can occur anywhere from the base of the neck to the middle of the ribs. It is present all the time for some people, but in some cases, the pain worsens when lying down during the night when they sleep or rest.

    Some have pain in the night or when they wake up in the morning. It would be best to find a comfortable posture while relaxing, taking pressure off of your upper back.

    Other Causes Of Pelvic Pain

    In addition to the abovementioned causes, pelvic pain affects women and men due to other factors including:

    • Urinary tract infections tend to occur in the middle of the pelvis and around the pubic bone. Besides pelvic pain, UTIs can also cause a burning sensation when urinating, frequent urination, fever or chills, changes in color or smell of urine, lower back pain.
    • Sexually transmitted infections pain in the pelvis usually occurs with urination or bowel movement. Both gonorrhea and Chlamydia can cause pelvic pain as well as other symptoms like discharge from the penis or vagina.
    • Hernia a bulge that disappears when you lie down.
    • Appendicitis the swelling or inflammation of the appendix. It starts suddenly and can be severe.
    • Kidney stones or infection kidney stones are more common in men and they usually dont cause symptoms until they start moving through the ureters. Kidney infection happens due to bacteria but kidney stones can also cause it.
    • Cystitis Inflammation of the bladder usually caused by UTI. The condition forms pressure on the pelvis and causes pain.
    • Adhesions the bands of scar-like tissue that make tissues and organs in the abdomen stick together. They dont always cause problems but may induce uncomfortable symptoms if the intestines become blocked and stuck together.

    Pain in the region of womens internal reproductive organs can be present, and it often refers to pelvic pain.

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    Back Pain At Night And Ankylosing Spondylitis

    There are two main categories of back pain: mechanical and inflammatory. Mechanical back pain results from problems with the way the different components of your spine work together. Mechanical back pain, such as from overuse injuries, poor posture, or a herniated disc, is the reason for the vast, vast majority of back pain cases.

    On the other hand, inflammatory back pain occurs because theres a problem with your immune system attacking the joints in your spine, sacroiliac joints , and the entheses .

    Back pain that wakes you up in the second half of the night is one of a few key signs that your back pain could be inflammatory and due to a disease like ankylosing spondylitis.

    Patients often experience stiffness and pain that awakens them in the early morning, a distinctive symptom not generally found in patients with mechanical back pain, reports Medscape.

    Its not common to have back pain so bad in the middle of the night that you cant go back to sleep, says Fardina Malik, MD, a rheumatologist at NYU Langone in New York City who frequently treats patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

    Mechanical back pain generally feels better when you rest or sleep. You might have discomfort, but you should be able to sleep through the night.

    How To Sleep Better With Lower Back Pain

    Back Pain When Lying Down Or Lying Flat On Your Back Should You Do It?

    Getting quality sleep is an important part of recovering from lower back pain, but sleeping well may seem like a tall task when your back hurts. While theres no guaranteed way to get better sleep, certain practical tips can help:

    • Find a supportive sleeping position. Ideally, you can sleep on your side, but regardless of the position, make sure your spine is well-aligned. If needed, use extra pillows for body support.
    • Be careful with alcohol and caffeine. Though alcohol may help you doze off, it can throw off the quality of your sleep. As a stimulant, caffeine can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
    • Try relaxation methods. Finding techniques to wind down can put you in the right state of mind for sleep with less focus on pain.
    • Reduce potential sleep disruptions. If you inadvertently wake up at night, pain may make it harder to get back to sleep. For that reason, try to eliminate excess noise and light from your bedroom or block them out with a sleep mask or earplugs. Set your bedroom to a temperature that will be comfortable throughout the night.

    Focusing on sleep hygiene can improve your sleep habits so that you can sleep better both during and after episodes of lower back pain.

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