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Chronic Lower Back Pain: What To Do When Lying Flat Hurts

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For some adults, lower back pain (lumbar) can cause tremendous discomfort when they bend down or stand up. But if your pain is exceptionally bad when you lie flat on your back, take steps to alleviate it now. Over time, your lower back pain can get worse, or it can trigger new problems to occur. Here's why your back hurts when you lie down and how you can make it stop.

Why Does Your Back Hurt Worse During Exams?

Your back consists of a spinal bones, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. Although lower back pain can occur from problems in the feet, legs, and buttocks, lumbar pain can develop from injuries, inflammation, and infections of the nerves and discs in your spine. The pain can feel worse when you lie flat on your back or when you place too much weight on your back. The bones can press against or trap the nerves supporting them.

Sometimes the soft, shock-absorbent discs between each spinal bone experience issues that make your lower back hurt. Discs give your spine the flexibility to move whenever you bend, stoop, or hunch your back. If the discs weaken from stress or collapse from pressure, they can't absorb shock or bear weight. Without healthy discs to separate them, the bones in your spine rub together or touch. These actions can cause significant pain when you lie down.

Spinal arthritis is another possible reason for your lumbar pain. The condition develops when the joints of the spinal column wear down from excessive wear and tear. Old age can also cause the joints to deteriorate. The inflammation in your spinal joints can hurt worse when you place pressure on them.

The situations above are just a few things that can make your back hurt worse when you lie flat. In order to find the real reason for your back pain, you'll need to visit a chiropractor.

How Do You Stop the Pain?

A chiropractor will need to examine your back with X-rays, CT scans, or magnetic resonance imaging scans to locate the cause of your pain. A pain specialist can't prescribe the right treatment until they know exactly why your lower back hurts when you lie down flat. You may also need to undergo a manual exam during your visit. A manual exam allows a chiropractor to note the position of your spine when you bend over, stand up tall, or lie down. Once a specialist finds the cause of your lumbar pain, they can begin treatment.

The treatment for lumbar pain can vary, depending on its cause. If your back pain occurs from a current or previous spinal injury, a chiropractor may try to heal the damage with spinal manipulation or adjustment. The treatment realigns the bones so that they don't press down on or squeeze the nerves and discs between them.

If you have arthritis in your spine, your treatment may include heat therapy to ease the inflammation between the joints of your spine. Some patients require physical therapy to improve the flexibility in their spinal bones and back.

During back pain treatment, a chiropractor may instruct you to sleep on your sides to minimize the pain in your back. If side-sleeping doesn't relieve stress on your spine, you may want to use a body pillow during the night. The pillow keeps your head, neck, shoulders, hips, and buttocks properly aligned in bed.

When you visit your regular doctor for exams, ask them to perform the exam standing up or on your side. You want to keep pressure from your spine and other back tissues as much as possible.

If you're ready to alleviate your lower back pain, contact a chiropractor for an appointment.