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Why Does Lying Down Relieve Back Pain

Doctors Use Medical Tests To Diagnose Back Pain

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

Most back pain does not need a diagnosis to start treatment. However, doctors can use diagnostic tests to identify more serious causes of back pain. Tests that doctors may use to help diagnose your back pain include:

In most cases, back pain is not medically serious and can be treated without the need for diagnostic tests. However, some back pain requires immediate medical attention. Talk to your doctor if back pain coincides with unexplained weight loss, inflammation or fever, new inability to control the bladder or bowels , or any tingling or numbness in the legs.

How To Treat Upper Back Pain

  • Rest
  • Ice or heat packs
  • Over-the-counter medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , or acetaminophen
  • Manual therapy, such as physical therapy, massage, Thai yoga massage, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation
  • Exercise, Pilates, or yoga

Change your sleeping position

  • Keep your spine in a neutral position by using a different mattress or foam mattress topper for additional support or using pillows to support your spine.
  • Sleep in a different position, such as sleeping on your back or alternating sides if you are a side sleeper.
  • Invest in a supportive and just-right pillow for your head and neck curvature, says Holland.

Stretch your upper back

Consult with your doctor if problems persist

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 .

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Relieving Sciatic Pain When Lying Down: Additional Methods

Lying on the unaffected leg is a common piece of advice for those with sciatic pain. However, this doesnt always result in relief. Some people who sleep on their unaffected side end up shifting the hip on the opposite side upward enough to irritate a nerve root in the affected area. Try experimenting with different sleeping positions if you have regular issues with leg pain as you rest. You may also be able to minimize sciatic pain when lying down by:

Placing a pillow between your legs to maintain your hip-spine alignment Taking anti-inflammatory medication shortly before going to bed to ease nerve irritation Investing in a high-quality mattress thats supportive in the right spots for your lower back, hips, and legs Exploring your options with ergonomic pillows or cushions

If you do experience pain in your thighs or legs when lying down that keeps you from sleeping well, dont automatically assume its sciatica. Its important to get an accurate diagnosis from a specialist such as a Los Angeles spine surgeon, since similar symptoms could be produced by peripheral arterial disease , muscle cramps, or the irritation of the piriformis muscle, a muscle in the buttocks thats close to the sciatic nerve.

What Information Should I Share With My Doctor

What Can I Do to Relieve My Back Pain : Physiosunit
  • What symptoms you have, including the part of your body that are affected.
  • How severe the pain is, and whether you have upper back pain at night only.
  • If your symptoms get worse while lying down, is it right away or only after lying down for a long time or after sleeping.
  • Does anything make the pain go away, such as changing position while lying down, propping up your back with pillows, etc.

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Do You Have Neck Or Back Pain Your Sleep Style May Be Contributing

If youve ever woken up with a tingling arm or achy neck, youve experienced the negative effects of sleeping in the wrong position.

The key is alignment: When you sleep with your spine in a neutral position, it reduces the strain on your back and neck. It also helps to sleep on a firm surface.

So which sleep positions should you embrace and which should you avoid? Heres a rundown, from best to worst.

Physical Therapy Helps Relieve And Prevent Back Pain

Physical therapy can help prevent and relieve back pain when laying down. Physical therapists are experts on the stretches, exercises, and massage needed for non-invasive back pain treatment. A physical therapist can also help you identify other areas of your life that could be contributing to back pain like poor posture or a non-ergonomic workspace.

FYZICAL offers a wide variety of physical therapy services by qualified providers across the U.S. To find a FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Center near you, visit our website at Our highly skilled therapy providers are 100% focused on your optimal health so you can Love Your Life®!

To learn more about how FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers can help you, .


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Causes Of Sij Symptoms When Lying Down

Anatomical positioning is almost always to blame for pain that is expressed when lying down. Several sleep postures place direct pressure on the sacroiliac joint, from different directions. Depending on the particulars of a patients diagnosed condition, certain positions may therefore aggravate or relieve their pain.

Sleeping on the back can produce bilateral pressure on the sacroiliac joints in an anterior direction. This is particularly true for larger sized patients with prominent buttocks. Side sleeping in the fetal position can place direct lateral pressure on the joint unilaterally. The side which suffers is the side facing downwards into the mattress. Meanwhile stomach sleepers can place pressure on the sacroiliac joint in a posterior direction, particularly if they are obese with a larger amount of protruding abdominal fatty tissue.

Coping Strategies for Sacroiliac Pain Lying Down

People can get very ingrained in their sleep habits and changing these preferences might pose problems for patients who are stricken with nighttime sacroiliac pain. However, instead of taking drugs or undergoing some other form of symptom-based care, the ideal therapeutic intervention for sleep-related pain problems is certainly activity modification. Basically, if the patient can change their sleep position, they will generally benefit in terms of pain relief.

Easing Sciatic Nerve Pain When Resting

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Elevating your legs slightly with a pillow or two placed beneath your knees is one way to shift your spines lower alignment enough to minimize nerve passageway narrowing. You may also be able to reduce your lower spines inward curvature as you sleep by:

Using an adjustable mattress Resting or napping in a reclining chair Propping up your knees slightly

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So How Can I Avoid Middle Back Pain When Lying Down Or Sleeping

The first thing to do is determine why you have the pain from the causes above.

If you have a disease history, seeking a medical advice is recommended. For a muscular tension problem, doing an appropriate sleeping position is the best way to relieve the pain.

  • The back position

This is the most back-friendly sleeping position. In order to relieve the lumbar spine, it is advisable to put a thicker pillow under your knees. However, the pillow should not be too thick, otherwise, the area of the upper spine will be bent too much. Special neck pillows are particularly well suited to relieve neck and shoulders.

  • The lateral sleep position

In the lateral position, especially on hard mattresses, the spine is bent to one side and the pelvis is skewed. This position can be compensated by a pillow between the knees. A thin pillow under the waist supports the middle area of the spine.

What Can I Do

Do you deal with lower back pain? Youre not alone.

The Global Burden of Disease study named lower back pain the leading cause of disability across the globe.

Whats even more interesting is that most back pain isnt caused by serious medical conditions, like cancer or arthritis. Instead, its often brought on by stress or strain from bad posture, awkward sleeping positions, and other lifestyle habits.

Here are the best sleeping positions to try if you have lower back pain, as well as some other things you can do to get a better nights rest.

If lying flat on your back feels uncomfortable, try shifting over to your side:

  • Allow your right or left shoulder to make contact with the mattress, along with the rest of that side of your body.
  • Place a pillow between your knees.
  • If theres a gap between your waist and the mattress, consider using a small pillow there for added support.
  • Whether you use one pillow or opt for two, you should resist the urge to always sleep on the same side. Doing so many cause issues like muscle imbalance and even scoliosis.

    How does this position help? Sleeping on your side alone wont make you feel better. Its using the pillow between your knees thats the trick. The pillow will keep your hips, pelvis, and spine in better alignment.

    If you have a herniated disc, you may want to try sleeping on your side curled in a fetal position:

  • Lay on your back and then roll over gently onto your side.
  • Lay flat on your back.
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    The Best Sleeping Positions For Lower Back Pain

    The best sleeping position for lower back pain is on your side with a partial bend in the knees. Keeping the knees bent helps balance the body and reduces pressure on the lumbar spine. Many people find it helpful to put a small pillow between their knees to make this position more comfortable.

    Unfortunately, many back and stomach sleepers have a hard time changing their sleeping position. Even so, they can take steps to reduce strain on their lower back:

    • Back sleepers can put a pillow under their knees, legs, and/or lower back to support the natural curve of the spine and minimize lumbar pressure.
    • Stomach sleepers should opt for only a thin pillow under their head and place a more supportive pillow under their hips and abdomen. This works to prevent the lower back from sinking into a U-shape that pulls the spine out of alignment.

    Some people with back pain use an adjustable bed that makes it easy to raise the upper or lower part of the mattress in a way that decreases tension in the lower back.

    On The Side With A Pillow Between The Knees

    Pin on Lifestyle

    Lying on the side can be comfortable, but it can pull the spine out of alignment, straining the lower back.

    It can be easy to correct this issue by placing a firm pillow between the knees. This raises the upper leg, restoring the natural alignment of the hips, pelvis, and spine.

    To get comfortable in this position:

  • Get into bed and carefully roll to one side.
  • Use one pillow to support the head and neck.
  • Pull the knees up slightly, and place another pillow between them.
  • For extra support, fill any gaps between the body and mattress with more pillows, especially at the waist.
  • Anyone who usually moves from their side to their front may also want to try hugging a large pillow against their chest and stomach to help keep their back aligned.

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    The Best Sleeping Position For Your Back Pain

    When you sleep, you lose conscious control over your body, and you can end up twisting your spine or tucking your pelvis in. An existing back pain can get further aggravated, resulting in a restless night of sleep.1 Using supported sleeping postures can prevent the concentration of stresses on your spine, keep your back relaxed, and create a healing environment.

    As a general rule, avoid sleeping on your stomachit disturbs the normal alignment of your spine.1 Also avoid sleeping on the side that hurts more, especially if you have sciatica and follow these guidelines:

    What Can I Do If I Have Acute Low Back Pain

    The following advice will benefit a majority of people with back pain. If any of the following guidelines causes an increase of pain or spreading of pain to the legs, do not continue the activity and seek the advice of a physician or physical therapist.

    The key to recovering from acute low back pain is maintaining the normal curve of the spine . Supporting the hollow of your back will help decrease your recovery time.

    Follow these guidelines for 10 to 20 days after you experience acute low back pain:


    • Sit as little as possible, and only for short periods of time .
    • Sit with a back support at the curve of your back.
    • Keep your hips and knees at a right angle. Your legs should not be crossed and your feet should be flat on the floor.

    Here’s how to find a good sitting position when you’re not using a back support or lumbar roll:

    Correct sitting position without lumbar support.

    Correct sitting position with lumbar support.


    • Use a back support at the curve of your back. Your knees should be at the same level or higher than your hips.
    • Move the seat close to the steering wheel to support the curve of your back. The seat should be close enough to allow your knees to bend and your feet to reach the pedals.


    Stooping, squatting, and kneeling

    Lifting objects

    Reaching overhead

    Sleeping and lying down

    Other helpful tips

    If you sleep on your back, put pillows under your knees and a small pillow under the small of your back.

    Read Also: How To Relieve Bulging Disc Pain In Back

    On The Back With Knee Support

    Lying on the back evenly distributes the bodys weight, helping to minimize pressure and ensure a good alignment of the head, neck, and spine.

    Placing a small pillow under the knees may provide additional support and help maintain the natural curve of the spine.

    To get comfortable in this position:

  • Lie flat on the back facing the ceiling. Avoid tilting the head sideways.
  • Position a pillow to support the head and neck.
  • Place a small pillow under the knees.
  • For extra support, fill any other gaps between the body and mattress with additional pillows. Try placing one beneath the lower back.
  • Could Increase Chance Of Allergies

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    There is naturally more dust on the floor than on the bed. Bedding down on the floor can expose you to more dust than youre used to, which could have you sneezing all night long.

    This is why its essential to make sure the space you choose is clean. It should be close enough to a window that you can catch a breeze if you need to, but not so close it settles dust on your face.

    If this is something youre struggling with, choose another sleeping space. If that’s not an option, get a great antihistamine!

    Who Shouldnt Sleep on the Floor?

    Sleeping on the floor is not for everyone. Those who should be wary of trying it include:

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    Can Your Mattress Cause Lower Back Pain

    Because it is a principal means of supporting the body during sleep, a mattress can play an important role in preventing or reducing lower back pain.

    Proper spinal alignment demands a mattress that is in good condition and doesnt sag excessively. Research supports using a medium-firm mattress to combat lower back pain, although the most appropriate firmness can vary based on a persons weight, body shape, sleeping position, and individual comfort preferences.

    How To Relieve Kidney Pain

    This article was medically reviewed by Victor Catania, MD. Dr. Catania is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Pennsylvania. He received his MD from the Medical University of the Americas in 2012 and completed his residency in Family Medicine at the Robert Packer Hospital. He is a member of the American Board of Family Medicine.There are 21 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 20 testimonials and 85% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 269,094 times.

    Research suggests that if you experience pain in your back between your ribs and your buttocks, or even down your sides into your groin area, you may be having kidney pain.XResearch source Although back pain is not always caused by your kidneys, you should talk to your doctor to make sure you don’t have any serious medical conditions. Experts note that treating your kidney pain will depend on its cause, and your doctor can make the best recommendations for your situation.XResearch source

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    Experiencing Leg Pain When Lying On Your Side

    Side sleepers sometimes experience sciatic-related leg pain as well. This is more likely to happen if you sleep on the same side as the leg thats affected by sciatic nerve irritation. Similar discomfort may occur if you sleep with your hips tilted too far on the affected side, which may shift your spines curve and pinch or compress nerve roots.

    Home Remedies For Lower Back Pain When Sitting

    Why does my back hurt when I lie down?

    In addition to improving your posture when sitting, try these at-home remedies for lower back pain:

    • Change your position. Consider a standing desk or one thats ergonomically designed to help you maintain good posture by allowing you to adjust the height of your monitor.
    • Apply ice.Cold helps reduce inflammation that may be affecting your back. Leave the ice pack on for about 20 minutes, and then remove it. You can do this every hour or so.
    • Use a heating pad. After any inflammation is under control , many people find heat soothing. It also promotes healing by bringing blood to your back.
    • Take over-the-counter medication.Pain relievers like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce discomfort and swelling.
    • Use a support. Placing a rolled-up towel or special lumbar pillow at the base of your spine while sitting will help you remember to sit up straight and provide you with some stability.
    • Get a massage. This can help loosen and relax tight muscles.
    • Consider yoga.Yoga is known for its ability to stretch and strengthen the body. Many programs allow for modification of the poses as needed.

    There are several exercises that will help strengthen your lower back. Try these three stretching exercises to help make your back stronger and better toned:

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