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Sleep interruption---Waking up with lower back pain at night

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I go to sleep quickly and sleep sound for 2 to 4 hours then awaken with back pain. Changing position helps, sleep returns after 15-20 minutes but only lasts for a short time---cycle repeats for rest of night. During the day, after loosening up, no pain till middle of next night! Any ideas on why and what to do to get out of this "Groundhog Day"-like routine? Not fun!
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replied December 13th, 2011
Active User, very eHealthy
Sounds like disc damage. The longer you sleep, the more the muscles relax and the discs (ligaments) take more stress.
Maybe a different mattress. One that keeps your spine in a straight line so your hips are not shifted to one side or twisted.

I would suggest trying some type of hip flexor stretch such as:
1) "Kneeling lunge stretch"
2)"Standing quad stretch"
3) "Progressive groin stretch".
and
10 "Static back" position

Do a Google search for details.
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replied December 13th, 2011
Thank you very much for your reply! I will definitely study and try the strengthening exercises.

I want to report something that developed regarding my problem:
I slept through the night last night without pain,first time in several weeks. The reason? In discussing my problem with my grand-daughter, who is an athletic trainer with great understanding of body structure, kinematics, and such, she suggested I try sleeping with a sturdy pillow between my knees. As she explains it, since I am a "on the side" sleeper, laying for a long period with knees together places an amount of stress on the spinal column. The pillow between knees provides alignment that reduces or eliminates the mis-alignment stress. What a great piece of information that I will continue to test out is the nights just ahead. This, in combination with proper strengthening exercise may be my answer. I will keep you and the forum posted!
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replied December 13th, 2011
Active User, very eHealthy
grudicil, glad to hear you are getting some relief.

Sounds like you have a very tight IT (iliotibial) band. This runs up the outside of your thigh.
You should be able to lie on your side and have the knee of the top leg drop down and touch the floor. If it is more than 2-3 inches off the floor, it is definitely too tight.
If you can't do this, your hips are probably;y getting twisted when you sleep on your side.

If you would like to try 2 exercises:

1) Sit in a chair or lie in "Static Back Position" (Do a Google search) and squeeze a yoga block between your knees. Your knees should be NARROWER than hip width to get the stretch.
2) Do a Google search for "egoscue Inner Outer thighs Exercise". It's the first hit on the page.

by strengthening your hip adductors, the IT band should relax and elongate.
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