Why does Lower back pain happen when lying down flat?

by Sanjana Lall
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Ever felt a pang of pure horror while lying down flat on the floor? A tinge of pain that feels somewhat close to an electric shock flowing through your body? Chances are, you must have. Statistics have it – four out of every five people experience lower back pain at some point in their lives! This brings us down to this sad reality – cases of people experiencing sharp lower back pain when lying down flat are mounting up more than ever today. It hardly matters whether you’re a 60-year-old, downtrodden man or a woman who just made it to her blooming youth – this excruciatingly painful health issue has not left room for condoning lately. But what could possibly be the reason behind this? Let’s see :

lower back pain when lying down flat
#source: google images

What causes lower back pain when lying down flat in adults?

If you’re amongst those luckiest few who’ve never had to tackle this ache, just a little heads up for you – a single episode of lower back pain when lying down flat on a hard surface is enough to make anyone book a quick appointment with the doctor. It’s just that bad! But you know what’s worse? The diversity in the causes behind this severe issue. From injury to an underlying condition – lower back pain can be caused due to a number of big and small reasons. In fact, causes for lower back pain may differ in males and females.

Also, read our article on TOP 10 BEST SHOES FOR LOWER BACK PAIN.

What are the potential causes of lower back pain in adult males?

Muscle straining:

muscle straining from lower back pain
#source: google images

Heavy lower back pain when lying down flat on the floor causing you serious discomfort? Well, maybe you need to stop working rigorously and give your muscles enough time to relax. According to experts, lower back pain is most frequently caused due to muscle straining. In fact, excess pressure can even cause the back muscles and ligaments to tear!

Muscle spasms:

muscle spasms from lower back pain when lying down flat
#source: google images

More often than not, adult males complain of lower back pain striking without a warning. This could be tough to deal with, especially if you’re a corporate cat. But spasms arrive just like that, without a warning, and they may even be a possible reason for that piercing lower or upper back pain when lying down flat.

Spinal stenosis:

spinal stenosis from lower back pain when lying down flat
#source: google images

Spinal stenosis is a condition that causes the spine to narrow up in size. This narrowing puts extra pressure on the spinal cord, thereby arousing a sharp pain mostly in the neck and the lower back region. Better keep a check on all those prolonged hours you spend sitting in front of your laptop now!

What are the potential causes of lower back pain when lying down flat in adult females?

  1. Pregnancy – If you are an expecting mother-to-be, don’t get too surprised to experience back pain more often than ever now. As per medical practitioners, back pain of all sorts is common during pregnancy. So, carry that baby bump and bear that lower back pain when lying down flat pregnant.
  2. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) – PMS is a condition faced by menstruating women that comes with a lot of issues in handy – from mood swings to fatigue and bloating. But women, especially adolescents, are also likely to experience awful lower back pain right before they step into their menstrual cycle.
  3. Disk degeneration – With passing age, the discs in our spine increasingly start wearing. This is a cause more frequently reported in women over 40 years of age. And this is one of the most common reasons for lower left back pain when lying down flat.

Now you know what are causes restricting you from sitting up straight and living a normal, pain-free life. But beware! That lower back pain may be signalling towards something far more severe than what you’re expecting.

Frequently, pain in the lower back may be a high sign of unaddressed, serious underlying conditions like arthritis, spondylitis, sciatica, kidney stone, and even cancer!

When should you consult a doctor?

Generally, a sting of lower or middle back pain when lying down doesn’t suggest the onset of a potentially life-threatening disease. But if you are experiencing the following symptoms along with acute lower back pain, we highly suggest you visit a doctor as soon as possible :

  1. High fever
  2. Sudden weight loss
  3. Extreme stomach pain
  4. Loss of bladder function
  5. Unexplained weakness
  6. An abrupt rise in pain
  7. Prolonged numbness

How can you treat lower back pain ?

Lower back pain can be a tricky subject matter to deal with, but trust us, it isn’t such a Herculean task either. That being said, if your lower back pain isn’t accompanied by the above-listed symptoms and is a normal ache arising due to wear and tear or age-factor, it can be treated pretty easily. Here’s how :

  • In most cases, early diagnosing and home care can relieve the condition to a huge extent. It involves bringing a change in your daily, strenuous routine and taking rest as much as possible.
  • Rubbing ice on the affected area can also prove to be a boon. Generally, it is suggested to rub ice for the first 48 hours and move to heat massage if the former doesn’t reap the expected results.
  • Doctors suggest the “Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation” or RICE therapy to all those patients whose condition isn’t chronic. However, if the condition doesn’t ease within 48 hours of practicing the therapy, you must seek medical help at the earliest.
  • Other than that, you may also take some painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to instantly alleviate pain.
  • A warm bath or a massage is also a good remedy to address the issue.
  • In case you’re wondering how to sleep with lower back pain, the answer is on your side, with your knees bent. This may have escaped your notice but lower back pain when lying down on the stomach is more apparent than the pain occurring in any other position.

How can you prevent lower back pain when lying down flat?

Most people are conditioned to believe that there is no avoiding lower back pain when sitting up from lying down. Sure, lower back pain is a health issue that gradually emerges with growing age. But, as surprising as it may sound – lower back pain can be prevented, and that too with introducing very little changes here and there. What are those? See here :

  • If you’re obese, focus on losing weight.
  • Work on maintaining a proper posture.
  • Work up a proper exercise regime.
  • Sleep on a soft, firm mattress.
  • Don’t wear high-heels.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Refrain from lifting heavy objects.

Some common Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) :

Q. Why does my lower back hurt when I lay down flat?

Ans. There may be a lot of reasons contributing to lower back pain when laying down flat. However, some of the most common reasons are muscle strains, casual injuries, or underlying conditions like arthritis.

Q. Why is my lower back pain worse when lying down?

Ans. This generally occurs due to sitting up straight for extended hours. But, if the pain continues for a long time than usual or seems to be worsening with time, this may suggest a tumour in your spine. You must reach out to a doctor as soon as you can.

Q. How do you relieve lower back pain when lying down?

Ans. To relieve lower back pain when lying down, the best you can do is avoid lying on your back. Try and lie on your side, assuring minimal pressure on the back.

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