Too Painful to Lie on Back
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Reviewed By:

Kent C Doan, MD

Kent C Doan, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

Dr Doan Graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine and completed residency training in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Colorado. He completed additional fellowship training in Orthopedic Sports Medicine at the prestigious Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado. He is a practicing Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in complex and revision knee and shoulder surgery at the Kansas City Orthopedic Institute. He also holds an assistant professorship at the University of Kansas City.

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

Dr. Hamahata graduated from the Jikei University of Medical Science. After working at Asanokawa General Hospital and Kosei Chuo Hospital, he joined the Department of Orthopedics at Asakusa Hospital in April 2021, specializing in general orthopedics and joint replacement surgery.

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  • I can't lie on my back due to pain

  • More pain when lying on my back

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Content updated on Jan 4, 2023

About the symptom

This describes when someone is unable to maintain lying on back position due to pain.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Too painful to lie on back

Possible causes

  • Lumbar vertebrae disk herniation

    Also known as a slipped disc, this condition is characterized by injury to the cushioning discs between the spinal bones in the lower back (lumbar vertabrae) that causes the disc to bulge outward or rupture. The disc bulge puts pressure on adjacent nerves, which causes pain, leg weakness, or numbness. Poor posture, exercising with incorrect form, or occasionally benign non-lifting movement are some possible causes of this disorder.

  • Vertebral compression fracture

    A fracture of the spine bones, often occurring in older patients with osteoporosis (bone weakening). It can be caused by small amounts of force, such as falling on one's buttocks or lifting heavy objects. Some patients may dismiss it as a normal backache, only to be diagnosed later when an X-ray is performed.

  • Lumbar spondylosis

    A condition in which the lower backbone (lumbar spine) becomes damaged due to wear and tear of the intervertebral disks. Risk factors include repetitive back strain, carrying heavy loads, and obesity.

  • Bone tumor
  • osteoporosis

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Does lying on your back make the pain worse?

Other Related Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

Reviewed By:

Kent C Doan, MD

Kent C Doan, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

Dr Doan Graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine and completed residency training in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Colorado. He completed additional fellowship training in Orthopedic Sports Medicine at the prestigious Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado. He is a practicing Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in complex and revision knee and shoulder surgery at the Kansas City Orthopedic Institute. He also holds an assistant professorship at the University of Kansas City.

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

Dr. Hamahata graduated from the Jikei University of Medical Science. After working at Asanokawa General Hospital and Kosei Chuo Hospital, he joined the Department of Orthopedics at Asakusa Hospital in April 2021, specializing in general orthopedics and joint replacement surgery.

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