ZocdocAnswersWhy does my back sometimes ache when I am trying to sleep?

Question

Why does my back sometimes ache when I am trying to sleep?

I am a 35 year old male, and sometimes when I am sleeping, or trying to go to sleep my back aches. It gets to the point where I need to get out of bed early, even though I am still tired and have to get up for the day. It sometimes helps when I sleep on my back, but then I tend to snore, and my wife doesn’t like that. I would like to know which medications I should try to help with the back pain, without keeping me awake.

Answer

Back pain is the second most common reason for which people seek medical care. For your case, I would recommend that you see your primary care doctor. He or she can be helpful in the evaluation and ultimately the treatment of the condition. Lower back pain is caused by many different problems. Common causes include a muscle strain and or sprain. This is the most common, but normally resolves over the course of weeks. Bone pain is also common, normally caused by arthritis (known as "degenerative joint disease"). This requires attention as well as it is often progressive. Another cause of back pain is nerve compression. This can occur because of arthritis of the bones -- where the nerve roots that come out of the spinal cord cause the pain. It often also includes pain that shoots down the leg (as the nerve goes from the back to the leg. Keep in mind there are other causes of back pain that should be ruled out (like kidney, pancreas or stomach problems). Also keep in mind snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea -- talk to your doctor about this as well. Medicines for back pain vary. Often the most effective is physical therapy -- to strengthen and realign the muscles of the back. Talk to your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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