Sleeping with lower back pain

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Many people suffer from low back pain due to exercise, work, excessive standing or chronic conditions. The lower vertebra or lumbar area is prone to muscle exhaustion and pain. If suffering from back pain during sleep, having a good mattress and pillows is vital in order to maintain a supportive sleeping posture for good sleep every night.

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Adjust the bed

Make a supportive bed using plywood slats. Place them between the box spring mattresses or place the mattress directly on the floor. Have two supportive pillows that can be placed either on the side or a back pillow. A king pillow or king sized pillow can be placed between the legs, if the individual is a side sleeper. While sleeping, maintain the curve of the back by rolling up towels, wrapped around the waist and tied in front of the body.

Back pain
Avoid bending forward from the waist in order to avoid strain on the back.

Getting in and out of bed properly

  • When getting out of bed, avoid jerking the body up from a lying position.
  • When getting into bed, sit on the sides of the bed, then support the body with the hands and bend the knees and lie down on one side.
  • When getting out of the bed, roll into the side and then bend both the knees, and then push the body up using both hands while swinging both legs over the side of the bed. Avoid bending forward from the waist in order to avoid strain on the back.


  • Take a short warm shower at least for 10 minutes before going to bed. Let the warm water run over the back. Another way is taking a hot bath before going to bed. Heat helps in relaxing the muscles and helps lessen the pain in the lower back. Heat is effective in treating chronic back pain. Use a hot water bottle or heating pad that is applied to the sore areas at least 15-20 minutes before going to bed. Avoid using them while sleeping in order to help prevent the risk or burns or fire.
  • Perform deep breathing exercises when getting into bed, breathe in and out deeply and visualize every muscle in the body relaxing.
  • Avoid eating large meals, drinking alcohol and caffeine before going to bed to prevent acid reflux that can keep the person awake. Eat light snacks such as a piece of toast.
  • Apply an analgesic rub on the lower back before going to bed to make a pleasant sensation of warmth and gives relaxation for the muscles.
  • Avoid staying in bed for long hours in order to prevent stiffness of the muscles and making the condition worse.
  • If pain spreads from the back down the leg, pain becomes worse when bending over, fever, pain in the back with problems with bowel or bladder, numbness and weakness in the legs and becomes worse at night, it is time to seek medical help immediately.

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