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Protect Your Back as You Lie Down

Bending or twisting your back can cause back pain. When you are getting into bed, avoid twists and bends. Follow these steps to get in and out of bed without bending or twisting your back.

  • When you are ready to lie down, stand with the back of your legs touching the bed.
  • Reach your hands back toward the bed as you bend your knees.
  • Use your arms to help lower yourself to sit straight on the side of the bed.

Preparing to lie down

Pictures of protecting your back as you lie down: Step 1 of 3 - Preparing to lie down
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When you are getting ready to lie down, don't rush it. Keep your back straight, and think about lowering your body without twisting your back.

Supporting your back

Pictures of protecting your back as you lie down: Step 2 of 3 - Supporting your back
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Keep your back straight, and use your arms to help you lower your upper body to the bed. Your arms can support your upper body weight and keep you from twisting your back. The idea is to keep your back in one straight position as you lower your upper body and raise your legs.

Lying down

Pictures of protecting your back as you lie down: Step 3 of 3 - Lying down
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Keep your back straight after you are lying down. You may want to put a pillow between your knees to keep your back in a neutral position. If you roll onto your back, you may want to put a pillow under your knees.

To get out of bed, do the same steps in reverse:

  • Lie on your side, facing the direction you want to get out of the bed.
  • Use your arms to help raise your upper body as you lower your legs to the floor.
  • Sit straight on the side of the bed.
  • Use your hands to help push yourself up to a standing position.
By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Joan Rigg, PT, OCS - Physical Therapy
Last Revised February 15, 2012

Last Revised: February 15, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Joan Rigg, PT, OCS - Physical Therapy

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