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Back Pain at Night

Parashar Joshi Apr 19, 2019
Back pain experienced during nighttime can be a sign of a serious spine problem. Let's discuss some of the causes of this condition along with relevant treatment for the same.
Today's fast paced life has led to back pain becoming a leading physical problem. As a strong healthy back is vital for our wellbeing, the alarming rate at which back problems are increasing is a major cause of concern to the global medical fraternity. Of all the people who suffer from back pain, many experience lower back pain at night while sleeping.
Back pain at night is also called nocturnal back pain. People affected by this condition can't get enough sleep because the pain does not stop even if the sleeping position is changed. It may vanish throughout the day, but may reappear when one goes to bed at night. Studies say that, on an average, nocturnal back pain patients slept for less than 5 hours.


If you happen to be suffering from back pain particularly during night hours, then it could be due to one (or more) of the following reasons:
  • Improper body posture or body position while sleeping
  • Improper use of a pillow
  • Adverse effect of extreme stress
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Kidney stones
  • Accidents, injuries, etc.
  • Excessive or improper training (in case of sportspersons or athletes)
  • Prolonged or improper use of high-heeled footwear
  • Muscle strain or inflammation
  • Pregnancy-related back pain
  • Lack of cushioning or body support due to faulty bed mattresses
  • Lifting excessively heavy weights and doing so in an incorrect manner


If you sleep on your back, keep a small leg pillow under your knees. That little bit of leverage can at times, ease lower back pain.
As far as back pain during pregnancy is concerned, it is suggested that you sleep on your side, rather than on your back. It can help lessen the strain on the spinal nerves and can reduce back pain.
Some people who experience back pain while sleeping have benefited from using a memory foam mattress cover. The foam mattress cover can provide a certain degree of cushioning support, and can shape itself as per the contours of your back and spine.
However, there are cases of few people whose back pain only worsened due to the use of such foam mattresses. Therefore, ideally the best way to go about it, is to first consult your doctor before making a purchase.
Pay attention to the type of your head pillow. An improper head pillow may  cause cervical back pain. In such cases, visit a chiropractor who can analyze your back problem and recommend the right type of pillow for you.
Cut down on stress and anxiety. Extreme stress, anxiety, and overexertion always take a toll on one's back, and the pain is particularly experienced at the far end of the day. The more stress free you are, the better you will sleep.
At the same time, lack of exercise or a naturally weak back can also lead to such a condition. In such cases, your focus should be on back exercises such as swimming, yoga exercises, etc.
Exercises are immensely useful in strengthening the spine and the back muscles, and will significantly reduce your back pain.
Also, applying a heating pad to the affected area of the back can, at times, help in reducing back pain temporarily. However, if your back problem persists even after trying out the aforementioned home remedies, it is best that you visit a doctor at the earliest and get the problem sorted out.
This was a brief overview of back pain that specially occurs during the nighttime. Remember, considering the hectic lives that we lead today, having a strong healthy back is paramount.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.