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7 Best Ways To Sleep With Lower Back Pain

In this blog, we discuss tips for the best way to sleep with lower back pain. Whether your pain is caused by an underlying medical condition, injury, or incorrect posture, here are a few useful tips and tricks for finding relief from lower back discomfort.

Best Ways To Sleep With Lower Back Pain


The best sleeping position for lower back pain is on your side with your knees bent.

Placing a pillow between your knees encourages better spinal alignment and can help bring relief.

Using a heating pad on your lower back relaxes the muscles and eases tension. 

Did you know?
Lower back pain is a significant contributor to missed workdays. In the United States, it is one of the top reasons for absenteeism from work.

Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons people struggle to sleep. The good news is there are simple ways to find relief, like stretching, fixing your posture, or using heat therapy. So, let's delve into what you can do to get those nightly ZzZs despite dealing with lower back pain

How Should I Sleep With Lower Back Pain?

Sleeping with lower back pain can be challenging, but some sleeping positions and practices may help alleviate your discomfort. Here are some tips for sleeping with lower back pain:

1. Sleep on Your Side: Lie on your side with your knees bent. Place a pillow between your knees to help maintain spinal alignment. Side sleeping is also the best way to sleep with lower back pain while pregnant. When sleeping on your side, consider using a body pillow like our Cuddler for additional ergonomic support to help melt away tension and relieve pressure for more comfortable rest.

2. Sleep in a Fetal Position: Curl up on your side with your knees drawn toward your chest. This natural, slightly curved position reduces strain on the lower back. Experiment with the degree of knee bending to find the most comfortable posture.

3. Use a Supportive Mattress: Choose a mattress that provides adequate support for your back. Medium-firm mattresses are generally recommended as these offer a balance between comfort and support. Test different mattresses to find the one that best suits your preferences. Consider using a mattress topper for extra cushioning, enhanced comfort and to further support your spine’s natural curvature

4. Steer Clear From Sleeping on Your Stomach: Sleeping on your stomach can strain the lower back and neck, leading to more discomfort and misalignment of your spine. Opt for side or back sleeping positions instead.

5. Stretch Before Bed: Perform gentle stretching exercises before bedtime to relax the muscles in your lower back. Focus on stretches that target the back, hips, and hamstrings. Incorporating a stretching routine into your nightly ritual can promote flexibility and reduce tension.

6. Heat or Cold Therapy: Apply a cold or heat pad to the lower back area before bed to help alleviate pain and inflammation. Heat therapy can relax muscle tension, while cold therapy can reduce swelling. Experiment with both to determine which provides more relief for your specific experience.

7. Maintain Good Sleep Hygiene: Establish a regular sleep routine to regulate your body’s internal clock. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Create a comfortable and dark sleep environment by using blackout curtains and adjusting the room temperature to your preference. Limit electronic device use before bedtime, as the blue light emitted can interfere with melatonin production.

It might take some trial and error to find what brings you the most relief, so be patient with your body and allow yourself time to relax during the healing process.

Next, let’s look a little closely to see what culprits could be behind your lower back pain!

How Should I Sleep With Lower Back Pain?

What Causes Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain feels like tension in the bottom of your spine area. It happens for different reasons, such as

1. Muscle or Ligament Strain: This happens when muscles or ligaments in your lower back overstretch or tear, often because of lifting heavy objects, sudden movements, or improper lifting techniques

2. Herniated or Degenerated Discs: Discs between spinal bones bulge or rupture, impacting nearby nerves. Common causes include aging, wear and tear, repetitive stress, and improper lifting of heavy objects. Symptoms involve sharp pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness, especially in the legs.

3. Spinal Stenosis: This is when the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Aging, osteoarthritis, and hereditary factors contribute to this condition. Symptoms include pain, numbness, weakness, and difficulty walking.

4. Osteoarthritis: This is wear and tear on spinal joints that lead to pain and stiffness. Aging, joint overuse, and genetic factors play a role in causing Osteoarthritis. Symptoms include stiffness, pain, and decreased flexibility in the lower back over time.

5. Sciatica: This is compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which can cause lower back pain. Herniated discs, bone spurs, and spinal stenosis are common causes of this issue.

6. Scoliosis: This is when the spine curves abnormally, and it can happen without a known cause (idiopathic), from birth (congenital), or due to issues with the muscles or nerves (neuromuscular). Symptoms include uneven shoulders, hips, and back pain, such as in the lower back.

7. Injuries or Trauma: Accidents, falls, or traumatic events can hurt the lower back, leading to immediate pain, swelling, and bruising. If you notice swelling after a fall or an injury in your lower back, seek immediate medical attention.

8. Infections or Inflammatory Conditions: Infections affecting the spine or inflammatory conditions like ankylosing spondylitis can cause fever, inflammation, and localized pain in your lower back area

9. Lifestyle Factors: Daily habits and choices, such as an incorrect posture, sedentary lifestyle especially for office workers, or obesity, can contribute to the gradual onset of lower back pain and stiffness.

Now that you know the most common causes behind the lower back pain you’re experiencing, let’s look at some things you need to steer clear of in order to help your back heal with ease.

What Should You Not Do With Lower Back Pain?

Here are some things you should remember if you’re experiencing lower back pain:

1. Skip Self-Diagnosis and Treatment: First and foremost, avoid self-diagnosing and self-treating without professional guidance, especially if it is recurring. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the cause of your lower back pain and receive appropriate treatment.

2. Avoid Prolonged Inactivity: While rest is important initially, prolonged bed rest can lead to stiffness and muscle weakness. Gradual, controlled movement is often more beneficial to help you feel better quickly. Also, sitting for long periods can contribute to lower back pain. So when working, take breaks, stand up, and stretch regularly if your job involves prolonged sitting.

3. Watch Your Posture: Maintain a good upright posture, especially when sitting for extended periods. Avoid slouching or sitting in positions that strain the lower back.

4. Don't Ignore Pain Signals: Ignoring or pushing through severe back pain can lead to further discomfort. Modify activities or rest if you feel persistent or recurring lower back pain.

5. Be Cautious with Stretching: While gentle stretching can be beneficial, avoid aggressive or forceful stretching, especially if it causes pain. Consult a healthcare professional for appropriate exercises to help relieve your back pain.

6. Avoid Wearing High-Heeled Shoes: High-heeled shoes can alter your posture and contribute to lower back strain. Opt for supportive and comfortable footwear such as sneakers and flats.

7. Limit Heavy Lifting: Avoid lifting heavy objects, especially with improper lifting techniques. If lifting is necessary, use your legs and not your back, and get help from a trained weightlifter if needed. In the same way, activities with a high impact on the spine, such as running or jumping, may aggravate lower back pain. Consider low-impact exercises like walking instead.

Now that we’ve looked at what not to do with lower back pain, below we dive deeper into what you can do that’s helpful for lower back pain.

What Causes Lower Back Pain?

Is Walking Good For Lower Back Pain?

Yes, walking can be beneficial for lower back pain. It is a low-impact aerobic exercise that helps improve overall fitness, strengthens muscles, and helps maintain spinal health. Let’s unpack a few more reasons why walking is considered good for lower back pain relief:

1. Promotes Blood Flow and Healing: Walking increases blood circulation, which helps deliver nutrients to the structures in the lower back, promoting healing and reducing inflammation.

2. Strengthens Core Muscles: Walking engages the muscles in your abdomen and lower back, contributing to the strength and stability of the core muscles that support the spine.

3. Maintains Spinal Alignment: Regular walking with proper posture can help maintain the spine's natural curvature and prevent excessive strain on the lower back.

4. Improves Flexibility: Walking involves the movement of various joints and muscles, promoting flexibility in the hips, lower back, and legs.

5. Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for reducing the load on the spine. Walking is a simple and effective way to manage weight and prevent additional stress on the lower back.

6. Enhances Mood and Reduces Stress: Exercise, including walking, releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Lower stress levels can indirectly contribute to the management of back pain.

7. Low Impact: Walking is a low-impact exercise, making it gentler on joints than high-impact activities. This makes it suitable for people with back pain or joint issues.

While walking can be beneficial if you’re struggling with lower back pain, individual responses to this light exercise vary. You must start slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your walking routine. Listen to your body and if you experience increased pain or discomfort, consult a healthcare professional before continuing or modifying your exercise routine. Lastly, let’s look at signs and symptoms to watch out for and when to seek medical attention.


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When To See A Doctor

Most of the time, lower back pain goes away with self-care and a few changes in your sleep habits and posture. But, there are some cases where you need to seek immediate medical attention. Here are some signs that indicate that it’s time to see a doctor for lower back pain:

  • Severe pain that does not improve with rest or even over-the-counter medications
  • Pain radiating down the legs
  • Weakness or numbness in your legs or feet
  • Difficulty controlling your bladder or bowel functions
  • Fever, chills, and other flu-like symptoms
  • Trauma or injury such as a fall or an accident
  • Pain persisting for more than a week
  • Previous history of cancer
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • First-time onset after age 50, as conditions like osteoporosis may be a concern 

These are some general signs you need to look out for, but, the most crucial factor is that if you’re unsure whether your lower back pain warrants medical attention, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide a thorough evaluation, diagnose the underlying cause, and recommend an appropriate treatment plan based on your specific situation.

These are some general signs you need to look out for, but, the most crucial factor is that if you’re unsure whether your lower back pain warrants medical attention, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide a thorough evaluation, diagnose the underlying cause, and recommend an appropriate treatment plan based on your specific situation.


Adding a few lifestyle changes to your sleep routine can go a long way in helping you manage lower back pain. Sleeping on your side, using a heating pad, and practicing gentle stretching before bed are some of the best ways to rest when you experience lower back pain. It also helps to have an ergonomic body pillow and mattress. And definitely, if the pain persists for over a week, seek immediate medical attention, particularly if the pain is associated with flu-like symptoms, bowel changes, weakness in the legs, and unexplained weight loss. These symptoms are indicators that there might be an underlying medical condition behind your lower back pain.