Tips for sleeping easier with low back pain

Sleeping with back pain - Blackburn OsteopathFor those who have suffered low back pain, you know that the pain can continue into the night and can make it difficult to fall asleep! By making small changes to your sleeping habits, you can take some of the pressure and tension off your low back, giving you an easier nights sleep.

1. Moving around in bed

Firstly, getting in and out of bed correctly will assist in avoiding unnecessary injury. To get into bed correctly, first sit on the side of the bed and lower your upper body down while simultaneously bringing your legs up to the bed to lie in a side lying position.

Rolling over in bed can also cause quite a bit of pain. To roll over, bend the knees up and wedge the bottom foot into the mattress, giving you an anchor to push off. Pushing off gently with this foot and let your body slowly follow the motion.

To get back up out of bed, position yourself side lying. With the top arm, push your upper body up while simultaneously swinging your legs over the side of the bed and lowering them down to the floor. This will help by decreasing the chance of jarring your lower back while getting in and out of bed!

2. Getting comfortable

Secondly, making minor changes to your sleeping posture can make a big difference to your pain. If you’re a side sleeper, keep your knees together and bend them up slightly to flatten your lumbar spine. Next, place a pillow in between your knees and your ankles, to take out the side bending component in the pelvis and lower back. If you prefer to sleep on your back, place that pillow under your knees. It is not recommended to sleep on your tummy while experiencing low back pain as this can increase the arch in the lower back and cause you more pain! These small changes can help to take pressure off tender joints by neutralizing the spine.

Staehler RA. Spine-health [Internet]. USA; 2003 Aug 8 [cited 2015 April 28]. Avail from:

This article is for information purposes only. Please consult your Osteopath or primary healthcare professional for further information.

Written by Elise Fuller

Elise Fuller

Dr Elise Fuller graduated from RMIT University with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Complimentary Medicine) and a Masters of Osteopathy. She is currently practicing in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne and in her spare time writes articles for her blog, inspired by her experience treating patients and from life in general!