Updated April 18, 2016

morning back pain

My lower back hurts every morning. Why does the pain return?

 8 Misunderstandings About Morning Low Back Pain

The First Requirement to Correcting Morning Back Pain is to Correct the Assumptions

The previous page outlines the struggle of having morning pain and the methods of pain management commonly used.  Questions that we usually have with morning pain and also more specifically, questions that we should investigate, are discussed in Morning Low Back Pain.

With morning pain, there is something adversely affecting either our lumbar spine, discs or related muscles.  What we don’t know is why the pain is worse at different times of the day, namely in the morning and why it returns.

Our morning wake up call makes clear to us that this is not a temporary problem.  Rest and medication is no longer an adequate solution.  The same pain symptoms reappear and to a degree disappear later throughout the day.  When they return the next morning, we are left puzzled as to why it came back?  Especially after a nights rest.

If this is something you have wondered, then lets dig deeper to clear up some misunderstandings in order to help resolve it.

8 Important Misunderstandings

1:  Morning Low Back Pain is Just in the Morning

This sounds strange to comprehend, but the pain is actually present for the entire day.  The pain is just more evident and intense in the morning.  The issues with your back don’t simply come and go throughout the day.  Unrepaired injury, wear and inflammation which are a constant, do not appear and resolve within such a short period of time.

What does happens throughout your day is the frequency of injury that you are knowingly and unknowingly inflicting on an already injured part of your back.  Endorphins, your body’s own natural pain killers, are synthesized cumulatively along with chronic muscle fatigue to create the sensation of numbness in your lower back area.  This gives you the mistaken sense that the pain has disappeared.  You then feel that your symptoms have reduced and that your back is normal again.   Overnight, both natural and synthetic pain analgesics in your system are metabolized and muscle fatigue fades.   When this occurs, you begin to again sense the chronic pain from injury and inflammation.  This condition is what is normally acting all of the time and is then presenting as morning pain.

2:  My Back is Fine During the Day and Acts Up Only in the Morning

There are more issues to your back than merely what happens to it in the morning.  Which time of the day do you measure the quality of the day with respect to your pain?  Is it the morning, afternoon or evening?  Is it even during the night?

The answer to the question should be all of them.  If you believe that your back is fine for most of the day and you don’t place enough concern about the times at which your back goes out, then you still are not seeing the bigger picture.

This goes back to misunderstanding #1.  What happens in the night or morning helps to emphasize what is happening during the day.  Events and factors that lead to the pain occur most often at this time.

3:  Back Pain is Normal, Comes with Age and is Manageable

Not everyone, regardless of age wakes up with this particular issue.  Age is a factor but is only one of many.  Lifestyle, diet, activity, genes, disease, injury and others come in to play.  Although almost everyone suffers from occasional low back pain, not everyone has the chronic form.

This is a very specific injury.  Those without it don’t always know why their back is less affected from as compared with yours.  There may be some fundamental differences between what your spine needs at this time and what theirs does.

4:  With Enough Rest and Occasional Exercise, My Morning Back Pain is Usually Fine

This is a temporary measure.  It does not address the actual cause of why you have morning back pain. Too much rest and improper exercise can contribute to further injury to your spine.

This misunderstanding allows us to believe that we are already following a routine that is sufficient to protecting our lower back. If only temporary measures are followed, then days which have fewer symptoms of pain gradually become days with more symptoms of pain.

Eventually, the pain becomes too recurrent and on a daily basis.  If morning back pain continues to occur, a different plan of action should be considered.

5:  My Morning Back Pain must be from my Bed, Room Temperature, Humidity, Sleep Position, Pillow position, etc…

These environmental factors have a significant affect on the quality of your sleep and comfort.  It is important that these factors are adjusted to have and ideal role for treating and managing your pain.

These factors however only help to reduce or manage the pain that is skeletal or muscular in nature.  When you correct these environmental factors, your pain becomes more evident, requiring more extensive treatment.

6:  Rest, Ice, Heat and Medication are Generally Recommended  

– I Usually Recover Well with this Method

This method is effective for the immediate treatment of an injury from lower back pain.  It does not treat the causes.  It merely returns you to a less severe state just prior to your painful episode.  Causes are less obvious and more complicated to treat.

This method will not prevent the recurrence of back pain as it only treats injury and pain.  These are warning signs and not causes.  Warning signs give us the opportunity to learn and investigate more into what may be the actual cause of our pain.  This allows us the opportunity to seek proper long term treatment necessary for long term recovery.

7:  Exercise may Worsen My Morning Back Pain

 Incorrectly performed exercise or exercises that are not designed specifically to target and treat your lower back increase your chances of recurrent pain.  It is important to follow a specific program of exercise.

One that carefully conditions and treats already injured and sensitive areas of the lower back, hips, and legs that are affected by pain.  Exercise should be performed at a careful and controlled pace.  One that you can control yourself.

Since you are the best judge at monitoring you own level of comfort, it is recommended that you follow a plan which accommodates for this.

8:  I Did Not Need to Exercise Before having Morning Back Pain

– I Don’t Need to Now

Problems with lower back pain are not obvious until long after injury has occurred.  Earlier warning signs such as sudden spasm, stiffness, soreness, tightness and aches are sometimes seen as unrelated or to be treated simply with rest or medication.

These warning signs may progress into more serious concerns that lead to repetitive and reoccurring problems such as morning back pain.  Sudden and gradual changes to your level of activity or lifestyle will have an impact on any changes to the overall health of your back.

Exercise should not be regarded as something new to add to your recovery.  Rather, it should be regarded as what your body requires in order to maintain optimal health and protection of your spine. The type of exercises for lower back pain that are beneficial are actually composed of movements and stretches to improve your mobility and eliminate weaknesses.

The Dangers of the Cycle

As you go to bed, the following chain of events occurs:

  1. Natural endorphins or medications metabolize and the inflammatory symptoms reappear
  2. Loose and warm muscles begin to cool down, reducing circulation
  3. Muscles that were mobile throughout the day stop moving, reducing flexibility and circulation
  4. Mobile and free joints come to rest, allowing the muscles to tighten and the joint space to swell
  5. Looser muscles once in motion, stop, leading to muscle tightness and stiffness
  6. Muscles which are already tight, become tighter due to all of the above factors
  7. Reduced joint space from tightening leads to impingement of nerves and discs
  8. Over tightened muscles cause antagonistic muscles to lose activity
  9. The lumbar spine becomes arched, irritated and inflamed from these imbalances
  10. imbalanced muscles along with tighter joint spaces, contribute pressure on bulging discs
  11. increased disc pressure impinge on nerve roots affecting downstream sensitivity and motor function
  12. Inflammatory pain contributes to generalized anxiety and interrupted sleep
  13. Your sensitivity to pain becomes heightened, increasing your need for medication

What once was believed to be appreciated as a restful period, actually becomes an ordeal of severe discomfort.

Stop the Cycle by Correcting the Imbalances Yourself

The solution goes well beyond finding the right mattress or sleeping position.  Morning back pain is far more serious an issue than these measures can provide.

The Solution is in Correcting the Muscle Imbalances 

Many people immediately react in disbelief because they believe that they have tried this method without success. However, due to the complexity and layers of imbalances, it is not possible to correct them as easily as one would want.  Quick fixes do not work.  You cannot fix this problem with a few quick stretches or movements and break the cycle.  This approach has failed too many people.

It is very hard to accept, but many specific movements and stretches are needed to bring back this balance.  They must be performed in a specific order, number of repetitions and length of time in order to be successful.  This is about reconditioning the muscle and joint BACK to it proper state and alignment.

Specific known culprits include the iliopsoas, iliacus, abdominals, rectus femoris, quadriceps, hamstrings, deep intrinsic muscles of the lower back, and more.  They all must operate in a specific fashion and sequence to protect the spine and themselves from injury and pain.  It is from the lack of adequate conditioning and use of these muscles which contributed to the pain.  Any imbalances from these muscles lead to disc bulge, nerve impingement, back spasms, guarding, muscle strain, muscle fatigue, excessive pelvic tilt, hip pain, knee pain and more.

The best approach to correcting morning back pain is to first perform some of the exercises for lower back pain available on this site.  They represent only a small sample of a larger sequence of movements and stretches that are necessary to help your pain.  Using them as needed or randomly is not sufficient (not for a quick fix).  Perform them slowly to feel the slight changes that they are intended to create (Do not rush through them to force a change).  Trust the benefit of the exercise as it applies to your specific issue of lower back pain.

When you become familiar and comfortable with them, it is necessary to complete the full range/course of exercises through downloading the instructional guide.  This is key to achieving lasting results.  It is well worth the time and effort.  It addresses ALL of these muscle groups and significantly helps to relieve and correct morning back pain. The sequence of techniques taught in the guide are a fundamental part of maintaining a healthy back.

If you would like read more,  please see Morning Back Pain Tips

If you are frustrated with the struggle of Morning Back Pain, then Order and Download the Instructional eBook.

It targets these very areas which cause you to feel your pain.  It goes to the SOURCE and NOT the symptoms.

 “On day one of your plan, I did the first half of stage 1 and my lumbar spine became unlocked for the first time I can remember. For a few hours, I knew what it was like to be pain free.

“I am able to sit for longer periods of time without pain in my back and shoulders. When my back does start to hurt, I can now do the proper stretches to ease the pain quickly. I can also release the tension in my body enough to get a restful sleep.”



Follow a Targeted Exercise Program such as the one available on this website.  It is designed to address these very concerns and is very effective long term.  It is designed in mind that morning back pain is already part of your life and suggests many ways to alleviate, control and prevent it.