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What Can Cause Back Pain in the Morning and How to Manage It

Lower back pain in the morning is an issue that occurs often and many people are faced with it. It is a pain and discomfort that is felt early in the morning, especially as soon as you move from lying down to standing.



woman sitting on bed holding lower back in pain trying to sleep

Lower back pain in the morning is an issue that occurs often and many people are faced with it. It is a pain and discomfort that is felt early in the morning, especially as soon as you move from lying down to standing. This pain is usually a result of the stiffness that occurs due to resting and lying down for a long period of time.

When sleeping, there is a decreased blood flow and when we start moving around, the symptoms start to show up. Morning back pain can be something that only occurs from time to time, however, in some people, it can become chronic. Some factors that can lead to back pain turning chronic are poor posture, stress, sleeping positions or underlying medical conditions.   

Should you notice that you suffer from back pain when you wake up, it could just be that your sleeping position is doing all the damage. If you have a poor sleeping position, it can put additional pressure on the spine. Over time, it’s natural curve begins to flatten. This can all cause uncomfortable pressure on your joints. People who sleep on the stomach tend to experience back pain more often.  

To get better sleep and have less back pain, consider changing your sleeping position. Medical professionals recommend that you sleep on the side or on the back. You should also try to use a pillow beneath your knees.

If you have gotten used to sleeping on the stomach so much that you can’t switch this sleeping position, try to put a pillow under the pelvis or under the lower abdomen for additional support. This will help you to take the pressure off your back.   

If you’ve adjusted your sleeping posture and are still suffering from pain, it could also be that your mattress is not the right one. A study has shown, that getting a new mattress can improve your sleep.

Mattresses that are older than nine years old should be switched, as this is known to improve the quality of your sleep, to reduce back discomfort and other stress symptoms.   

If you are pregnant, then back pain is an extremely common and normal side effect. Back pain can begin to occur in the 8th week of pregnancy, however, most women experience it later on between the fifth and seventh month of the pregnancy. Pregnancy can affect the lower back muscles. This back pain tends to worsen early in the morning. This is the cause of stiffness and muscle tightness.   

Degenerative disc disease is also a major cause of low back pain in the morning. It happens naturally due to aging. The discs of the body wear and tear with time and begin to deteriorate. This is what can lead to intense discomfort, which is usually worse in the morning. Some treatment options for degenerative disc disease include getting steroid injections, as they can relieve pain or using pain medication. In some cases, you might need to wear a corset or a brace for back support.   

Fibromyalgia is another condition that can lead to musculoskeletal pain. The belief is, that fibromyalgia affects the way that your brain processes pain signals. Although anyone can be affected by this condition, it is slightly more common in women than it is in men.   

Apart from back pain, fibromyalgia can lead to other symptoms, such as fatigue, restless sleep, altered moods, memory issues, tension headaches, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome or even depression.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for fibromyalgia yet, however, there are medications that help you to reduce the painful symptoms and help to improve the quality of your sleep. There is also therapy or counseling available, that can help patients how to better manage their lifestyle and adjust it to this disorder.  

What treatment options are there for a morning back pain?   

Should you be someone who is suffering from back pain in the morning, you can rest by knowing that there are tips and exercises that can help you reduce back pain and improve the quality of your life.   

You can start by doing stretches in the bed. This is something you should make a habit of and do right before getting out of bad. You should lie on the back and reach your arms above your head. Try to reach as far as you can. In the meantime, your feet should be stretched out in the opposite direction.

Bring your knees into your chest afterward and hold to stretch your lower back. You can also try rocking from side to side. When you stand up, stretch again by reaching your arms up over your head again, and then side to side.   

It is also important that you exercise regularly. This is very important when it comes to back pain relief. Walking is considered to be a very good exercise and it is recommended that you walk at least 10,000 steps every day.

If you work at an office, it is even more important that you stand up and go for a walk frequently. You should also use your breaks for stretching. One good way of helping you keep the additional pressure that is being put on your back away is by using a standing desk.   

Severe pain might require you to search for a relief that you can get immediately. One good option is by taking pain-relievers; however, you should speak to your doctor about whether you can take them or not. Good over the counter pain relief options would be ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Some people get relief by using topical remedies. Some topical remedies that can help are turmeric and peppermint essential oils. You can dilute these oils in carrier oils, like olive or jojoba, and apply to your skin. It is important to dilute these essential oils with a carrier oil, as otherwise, you can get skin irritation.   

The conclusion 

Morning lower back pain is something that occurs commonly and many have to deal with it. It is important to act on it as soon as you notice that you´ve been experiencing low back pain every morning. Switch your sleeping position, mattress or posture. Get regular exercise!