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Why Does My Back Hurt When I Lay Down?

Asking yourself "why does my back hurt when I lay down" is a common question with many possible answers.  Less serious cases can be caused by muscle injury, tightness, or strain.  On the more serious side, back pain when laying down can point towards herniated or ruptured discs causing spinal nerve damage.  Being that muscle pain could be the case, below I will be giving you some tips and tricks on how fix this annoying problem.

Why does my back hurt when I lay down 

  Quadratus Lumborum Muscle - One potential source of low back pain caused by muscles

Why Does My Back Hurt When I Lay Down - Quadratus Lumborum:

If you have general aches and pain in your lower back, built up muscle tension is most likely a culprit.  When evaluating pain patterns and asking yourself "why does my back hurt when I lay down", it is important to examine your Quadratus Lumborum muscle. The Quadratus Lumborum (QL) muscle is a deep, 4-sided lower back muscle that has a tendency to develop trigger points and cause pain in the lower back [1].  Treating and relieving pain in the Quadratus Lumborum can be done through a three step process of massaging, stretching, and strengthening.

  

Why Does My Back Hurt When I Lay Down - 

Step 1: Massaging

Massaging the Quadratus Lumborum is the first and most important step.  Finding the correct spot to massage typically means finding the section of the muscle that is the tightest.  Next, break up the tight area in the muscle with a proper tool.  Typically, a foam roller or tennis ball is used for this step.  However, if you'd like to be more precise with finding the trigger point and digging deeper into the muscle, the QL Claw is the tool for you. 

Why does my back hurt when I lay down

The QL Claw device was designed specifically around the exact problem of releasing tension in your Quadratus Lumborum muscle.  A video on how to use this device can be found here - Quadratus Lumborum Release.  Check out our Testimonial page on how the QL Claw has positively impacted lives of high level athletes, trainers, and physical therapists.

  

  

Why Does My Back Hurt When I Lay Down - 

Step 2: Stretching

Step 2 in potentially solving the problem of why does my back hurt when I lay down is stretching.  Expanding the tight tissue deep within your Quadratus Lumborum muscle will help relieve stiffness while giving back mobility to the muscle.  For the QL muscle specifically, I have attached a step by step tutorial video on the most soothing and in my eyes "effective" QL stretches out there.  In the video are two different stretches and I recommend doing whichever is more comfortable for you.  

   

Why Does My Back Hurt When I Lay Down -

Step 3: Strengthening

Strengthening the Quadratus Lumborum muscle along with surrounding spinal muscles will act as a bulletproofing agent to future low back pain.  Keeping a stable low back will help prevent the question "why does my back hurt when I lay down?".  A few simple exercises a week can have your low back go from weak and tight to healthy and sturdy.  Finding exercises that target the QL muscles as well as spinal muscles can be found in the video below.  

    

More Content On Low Back Health:

If you want to further your back strengthening/stretching journey and want more exercises and proper coaching, check out my strengthening and stretching programs below. 

Back of Steel - Lower Back Strengthening Program

Flexible Back 2.0 - Lower Back Flexibility Program

 

 

Sources:

[1] Donnelly, Joseph M. Travell, Simons & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the Trigger Point Manual. 3rd ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2019.

[2] Davies, Clair, and Amber Davies. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. 3rd ed., New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2013.

 

 

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