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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Is Nighttime Back Pain Causing You To Lose Sleep?

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 @ 12:14 PM

sleeping position back painBack pain can be a major issue at nighttime making it hard to get a full nights rest. The National Sleep Foundation reports that about two-thirds of people who have chronic pain don’t sleep well. With nighttime back pain the pain doesn't stop when a person lies down, no matter what adjustments he or she makes. For some, the pain can be even more intense. And for others, the pain doesn't even start until they lie down.

What can one do to avoid nighttime back pain? In some cases, it might be as simple as adding or changing pillows so that you’re sleeping in a more comfortable position or even getting a new mattress. 

What Causes Nighttime Back Pain?

Nighttime back pain is just like regular back pain in the way that the cause is not always clear. Among other things, back pain can be caused by any of the following:

  • Injuries to the spine such as fractures or sprains or severe injuries caused by a fall or accident.
  • Issues with spine movement or other mechanical problems. The most common is disc degeneration.
  • Different spine conditions or diseases like scoliosis, kidney stones, spinal stenosis, pregnancy, certain cancers and forms of arthritis.
  • Sometimes the cause of back pain might not be determined.

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Here are some tips to avoiding nighttime back pain:

  • Body Pillows! Use a body pillow to support your back. Purchase a body pillow that is about 5-6 feet long. When using the body pillow place it in-between your knees letting it rest alongside your trunk so you’re in a semi-sidelined position. This trick should take the pressure off your back.
  • Supportive Bed Pillows! Make sure you are using your bed pillows properly by having them support your neck not your shoulders. (No shoulders on the pillow!)
  • The Correct Mattress! Make sure to try out your mattress for up to 45 days before buying it. Everyone’s pain is different so it is up to your body to figure out which is the best for you.

Tips for Good Sleep Hygiene

  • Avoid alcohol, especially near bedtime.
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment that’s cool, quiet, and comfortable.
  • Stop working at least two hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine, at least 8 hours prior to bedtime.
  • Turn off the computer and television at least one hour before bedtime.
  • Slowly breathe and focus on the sensation of air as it passes through your nose. This will interfere with your busy thoughts to help you drift off to sleep.
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