lower back pain when sleeping flat

DanielQ Member Posts: 32 Member
edited November 2019 in Kidney Cancer #1

Before surgery, I was told I wouldn't be able to sleep on my regular bed, so I bought a reclining bed and I was sleeping on the reclining bed for a few weeks after surgery.

As I start to feel better, I go back to my regular bed and sleep flat. However, every night when I sleep flat, I wake up with bad lower back pain. If I go back to the reclining bed, my back pain is relieved. 

To protect the incision, I only sleep on my back for the whole night, no other positions. I think this might be the cause of my back pain, but before surgery I also slept the same way -- sleeping on my back is my usual position for years and I never had back pain. 

Does anyone have similar experience after surgery? Could it be because of the lack/weakness of my abdominal muscles? 

Thank you,




  • APny
    APny Member Posts: 1,995 Member
    Buy a wedge pillow and put a

    Buy a wedge pillow and put a regular one on top of it. It may help. I used that for several weeks after my surgery. It elevates you a little bit and relieves pressure from your lower back.

  • a_oaklee
    a_oaklee Member Posts: 566 Member
    I think for a number of weeks

    I think for a number of weeks in the reclined position, your back muscles probably tightened up.  When you go to lay flat, they ache with the new position.  I think it will go away soon.  Take some Tylenol.  It has antiinflammatory properties.  You could also put a small pillow under your knees to relieve some of the stress on your lower back.  Cant you just keep sleeping in the new reclining bed, and gradually adjust it to being flat?   When people are somewhat immobilized, for whatever reason, when you finally start trying to move normally you can have all sorts of aches and pains.  It gets better.  Keep moving.  If it really becomes a concern, talk to your doctors office.   Hope everything else is going well for you.

  • donna_lee
    donna_lee Member Posts: 1,024 Member
    Good advice above

    The muscles are resisting because they have been "attacked."  It will take some time to be able to use them without overstretching-which is when they hurt.

    Classic PT treatment.  Alternating heat and cold packs before bed.  Sleep with the head of the bed inclined or wedge pillow, and a pillow under your knees to keep the quads on the front of your thighs from stretching too much.  You need to get your rest and wake up without hurting; the physical activity can come when your healing is finished.  Meanwhile, walking and stair activity in moderation will force you to use the Abs, back and big muscles in the legs.

    Hugs to you.


  • DanielQ
    DanielQ Member Posts: 32 Member
    Thank you all

    Thank you AP, oaklee and Donna for all your helpful advices. I start to use wedge pillow and will gradually reduce the angle of the reclining bed, plus putting a pillow under my knees when sleeping. The pain goes away and hopefully I will eventually go back to sleep on my usual flat position with no issue.