How to Get out of Bed Without the Backache

Safe Moves to Minimize Twisting Your Back

Many people wake up in the morning with back stiffness. You want to protect your back when you get out of bed by using safe moves that minimize twisting. You may never have given thought to the way you get out of bed and that it might include twisting. Use these eight steps to do it correctly.


Deep Breathing and Stretching

woman laying in bed

Anne Asher

Try spending the first few moments before getting out of bed doing some deep breathing and stretching. Consider this to be a warm-up for the instructions that follow. When you stretch, all you need to do is elongate your body for a few seconds and you are ready to get out of bed—safely, of course.

When you are ready to begin to get out of bed, start by lying on your back, close to the edge of the bed.


Bend Your Knees

Woman laying in bed with bent knees

Anne Asher

Next, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the bed. This is called the hook lying position. It is similar to the drawing in maneuver, a core stabilization technique taught to spine patients during the initial phases of physical therapy.


Roll Onto Your Side

Woman laying on her side

 Anne Asher

Now roll onto your side. As you do this, be sure to move your trunk as a unit, rather than twisting it.

To keep the parts together, you might imagine a steel rod or wooden log that runs the length of your spine, starting from the shoulder area and moving down to the hip area. Also, let gravity help you roll.

The key to success is avoiding intentional tightening of your back or ab muscles.


Push Yourself Up to Sitting

Woman starting to sit up in bed

Anne Asher 

Using both hands, push yourself up to a sitting position.

As you come up, gently bend at the hips and knees. Continue to use the image of the line through the center of your spine, and remember not to twist.

Allow the weight of your legs to anchor your position, enabling you to push the rest of your body up.

Go as slowly as you need to accomplish this movement safely and comfortably.


Getting Ready to Stand Up

Woman getting ready to stand

 Anne Asher

Once sitting up, take a moment to rest, if you need it. Then, when you're ready to come up to standing, start by making sure you're sitting equally on both sides of your seat.

Sit up tall and gently try to arch your lower back to help transition from many hours of lying down into standing.

Put one leg in front of the other on the floor.


Bend Forward From the Hips

Woman getting ready to stand

Anne Asher 

Bend your trunk forward from your hip joints while keeping your back straight.


Straighten to Come Up

Woman standing from bed

 Anne Asher

Press your feet down into the floor to get the leverage to come all the way up.

Straighten both legs at the same time as you rise.


Feet Together

Woman standing next to bed

Anne Asher 

Bring your back foot forward to meet the front.

Congratulations, you are up and ready to have a great day.

You may want to perform morning back stretches to improve your flexibility. Also, consider finding a more comfortable sleeping position that may result in less back stiffness in the morning.

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Article Sources

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  • Kisner C, Colby LA. Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis; 2013.