What Causes Lower Back Pain in Bed?
Millions of people struggle with recurrent lower back pain, which for many can be genuinely debilitating. It can have a number of potential causes, most of them relatively minor. The good news here is that lower back pain can improve over time, and there are steps you can take both to prevent and relieve it.
Normally, lower back pain disappears within a matter of weeks or perhaps months, though in rare cases it may be an indication of a more serious underlying condition. As well as being troublesome through the day, the discomfort lower back pain causes can also manifest itself in bed at night, robbing you of valuable sleep.
Here, we’ll take a look at the causes of lower back pain in bed and what you can do both to prevent and relieve it.
Lower back pain causes
As we’ve noted, there are several potential causes of lower back pain. These include:
- Awkward sleeping position. Sleeping in an awkward position can put extra pressure on the spine, leading to back strain and adding further pressure to joints.
- Pregnancy. Many experience lower back pain during pregnancy, especially in the fifth to seventh month. This is because pregnancy can put strain on the lower back muscles, potentially leading to stiffness and muscle tightness after sleep.
- Fibromyalgia. More common in women than in men, this is a condition that leads to musculoskeletal pain in various parts of the body. As yet there is no known cure for it, though there are medications which can help to alleviate pain and improve sleep.
- Sciatica or a slipped disc. Over the years, our bodies become more susceptible to a whole host of conditions, including back problems such as sciatica or degenerated spinal discs. These can cause considerable pain and make sleeping difficult.
- Bad mattress. Old mattresses degenerate over time and provide you with less effective support than they once did. It may be that you need to replace your existing mattress with a new, more supportive one.
Various other medical conditions – including scoliosis, arthritis, endometriosis and kidney stones – can also lead to back pain. In some rare cases, persistent lower back pain may be an indication of a spinal tumour. You should contact your GP immediately if you suspect this is the case.
How to prevent lower back pain
There are things you can do to reduce the risk of experiencing pain in your lower back. These include the following:
- Staying active regularly can help keep your back strong. Around 150 minutes of exercise per week is recommended for adults.
- Avoid sitting for excessive periods – move around regularly, say every hour.
- Maintain a good posture when sitting, whether around the home or at work. If you work in an office, make sure that your monitor, desk and screen are properly set up so that you don’t end up straining your neck.
- When lifting objects, bend your knees to avoid bending your back.
- If you’re overweight, losing weight through a healthy diet and frequent exercise can help reduce the likelihood of developing back pain.
How to relieve lower back pain
Here are a few steps you can take that might help to relieve back pain, if it’s something you suffer from:
- Invest in a new mattress that’ll provide you with better and more consistent support.
- Try applying cold treatments or heat to the affected areas of your back. However, you should avoid applying ice directly onto your skin.
- Carry out some simple back exercises and stretches (nothing too strenuous).
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) can help to reduce lower back pain. Painkillers, such as codeine, should only be used for a few days at a time.
If you find that your back pain doesn’t alleviate despite taking measures such as these, you should arrange to see your GP so that they can investigate further. They may then refer you to a specialist for further treatment.