What are Common Causes of Back Pain at Night?

Tess C. Taylor
Tess C. Taylor
Auto accidents may cause back pain.
Auto accidents may cause back pain.

Many people suffer from chronic back pain at night, which can be caused by a variety of factors. Pain that comes at nighttime in the upper or lower back is most often caused by insufficient back support while sleeping, underlying health issues, being overweight, back injuries, pregnancy, or poor posture in general. Many types of back pain at night can be treated to alleviate this uncomfortable symptom and provide more restorative sleep.

Poor posture can cause lower back pain.
Poor posture can cause lower back pain.

The most common cause of back pain at night is not having the right kind of mattress and pillow on which to sleep. A mattress that does not support the back tends to sag under the weight of the body, leaving very little support to the muscles and bones of the back. This can strain the back, causing sufferers to wake in the middle of the night in pain. Replacing a worn-out bed with a posturepedic one and getting pillows that cradle the head and neck can reduce back pain.

Pregnant women may experience back pain at bedtime.
Pregnant women may experience back pain at bedtime.

Several health issues, some of which can be life threatening without proper treatment, manifest in the form of lower and upper back pain at night. With disorders such as diabetes, kidney problems, and lupus, back pain can be the first sign that something is wrong. Getting medical care is vital to reducing the amount of back pain at night.

Women who are pregnant or who are recovering from giving birth can often suffer from back pain at bedtime. Pregnancy causes the ligaments in the abdomen to stretch, which can be very uncomfortable. Getting an ergonomic support pillow and lying either with legs elevated or on the side seems to alleviate some of this pain.

People may experience pain as a result of improper support for their backs while sleeping.
People may experience pain as a result of improper support for their backs while sleeping.

Often, back pain at night is caused by an injury, poor posture, or stress on the body. Sitting or standing in one place for long periods of time, auto accidents, falls, and heavy lifting can easily cause pain in the upper and lower back for days or weeks. Those suffering with this problem can consider getting an ergonomic mattress, taking a low dose of a physician-approved pain killer, and using care when conducting activities throughout the rest of the day.

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    • Auto accidents may cause back pain.
      By: spanky1
      Auto accidents may cause back pain.
    • Poor posture can cause lower back pain.
      By: Lovrencg
      Poor posture can cause lower back pain.
    • Pregnant women may experience back pain at bedtime.
      By: WavebreakmediaMicro
      Pregnant women may experience back pain at bedtime.
    • People may experience pain as a result of improper support for their backs while sleeping.
      By: Igor Mojzes
      People may experience pain as a result of improper support for their backs while sleeping.
    • Nighttime back pain can be caused by a number of factors.
      By: olly
      Nighttime back pain can be caused by a number of factors.
    • Heavy lifting can cause back pain that persists at night.
      By: Cyril Comtat
      Heavy lifting can cause back pain that persists at night.
    • Back pain at night could be the result of a chronic health condition.
      By: gstockstudio
      Back pain at night could be the result of a chronic health condition.
    • Back pain at night may be caused by kidney problems.
      By: photo 5000
      Back pain at night may be caused by kidney problems.
    • Beng overweight may cause back pain at night.
      By: oocoskun
      Beng overweight may cause back pain at night.
    • Treating back pain can lead to more restorative sleep at night.
      By: Savvapanf Studio ©
      Treating back pain can lead to more restorative sleep at night.