Morning Back Pain
Updated July 14, 2016
My Lower Back Hurts Every Morning. Why? What Can I Do?
Morning back pain usually presents with recurring symptoms of tightness, stiffness, both dull and sometimes sharp nervous pain, reduced flexibility and the inability to sleep stationary or move comfortably upon waking.
These symptoms seemingly improve with time, the inevitably return every morning, sometimes worse than before.
To help resolve morning back pain and its causes, it is important to understand more about the recurring symptoms.
What You Need to Know About Morning Back Pain:
The Recurring Symptoms
Persistent and recurring, morning pain has become so widely accepted that we rarely seek help until other areas of our lives have become affected. Symptoms are worse in the morning and generally improve as the day progresses. In some cases, pain symptoms are thought to become non-existent or at least manageable just prior to bedtime.
The emotional and physical relief at this point in the day may lead individuals to interpret the problem as minor. However, the feelings of frustration resurface when the same symptoms reappear the next morning. In most cases, the level of discomfort is similar or worse when compared to the previous night due to overuse of the body from temporary pain relief.
Any treatment they might have tried throughout the day to alleviate the pain now seems to have been ineffective. This cycle can be very discouraging.
Help Prevent your ‘Cycle’ with the Help of this Exercise (before bed and after waking)
When Symptoms Progress
As morning back pain persists, it can progress to the point where the symptoms remain throughout the entire period of sleep. Quality of sleep becomes compromised, subsequently affecting the individual’s day.
Morning back pain is actually a repetitive, routine condition of temporary problems. Intense temporary symptoms of pain in the morning are followed by temporary periods of relief.
If you end up resigning yourself to the idea that morning pain is going to be a part of your life, you set yourself up for a possible future of worry and misery. At this point, it becomes a difficult task of pain management.
Common Methods for Pain Management
ensuring optimal spine alignment and comfort through an elaborate set-up of pillows
constantly readjusting and correcting body position when sleeping
finding the ideal mattress, pillow top cover, foam cover, etc…
finding the optimal climate with constant adjustment of temperature, humidity, clothing wear, etc…
taking over-the-counter medications and muscle relaxants prior to bed
The Downside to Symptom Management
Although the above methods are helpful, it is important to realize that these efforts do not provide lasting comfort, rather they serve only to manage back pain caused by greater structural issues. These management techniques are not a treatment and should not be used as such. If pain management actually resolved the problem, low back pain would be regarded as a very easy health problem to have as opposed to one of the most difficult.
Morning lower back pain is one of the most frustrating and debilitating experiences one can have. It is very difficult to understand and diagnose the source of the problem as there are many different reasons an individual may suffer from it.
– Get the Low Back Pain Program Guide for All of Morning Back Pain Exercises –
Some Underlying Causes
These Conditions Require Medical Attention and Treatment
- rheumatoid arthritis
- ankylosing spondylitis
- spinal stenosis
- ruptured disc
- sprained muscle
- facet joint injury
Although these conditions can contribute to morning back pain, they will all present with a variety of different chronic symptoms. One case of morning back pain is always unique compared to the next.
The Underlying Cause that We Can Correct
Muscle Imbalances and Guarding:
Why this is an important factor to understand and correct
The most common form of morning stiffness and pain is due to muscle imbalances and poor conditioning of the muscles themselves. Some muscles in the back may be stronger and/or tighter than others, causing improper positioning of the bony structures in the back.
These problems may then lead to disc, vertebrae and joint issues which will result in more lower back pain. They may also overwork surrounding musculature causing additional muscle soreness. A muscle imbalance in the lumbar area will cause a disc problem which then may put pressure on a nerve. In order to prevent further injury in that area, the muscles of the lower back will stiffen, tighten or spasm. .
This common reaction is known as “muscle guarding”. Here, the muscle spasms and becomes painfully rigid to prevent any further motion. This happens in order to protect either a nerve, disc or a potential muscle strain or sprain. Spasms and Guards rarely resolve fully without adequate treatment.
Be wary of Rest and Medication
Rest and medication may help you feel better or even recover well, but the issue of guarding has not been fully resolved. In fact, the area has now created an imbalance as a result of two important causes.
1. Muscles do not naturally return to their previous state or relaxation. Some retraining is required.
2. Guarding may not resolve unless the source of the trigger has resolved.
As a result of these issues, you may actually be worse off although you may feel better.
There is now a second imbalance added along with the first one. For this reason, it is important to deal with the issues that have caused muscle guarding to occur in the first place. You may feel better throughout the day, but your daily activities are re-injuring an imbalanced area with the potential for further injury within the area presently in a guarded state. Unfortunately, this is part of what you are experiencing in the morning.
Note: A muscle may fully relax naturally if there are sufficient antagonistic muscles groups recruited to counteract the guarded muscle. However, in the case of lower back pain, there are so many muscles likely to tighten or spasm that the correct antagonistic muscle may not be actively responding.
Muscle guarding creates a perpetual cycle of pain that causes frequent and recurring pain throughout both the day and night.
To correct these problems, you must first reconsider the following questions:
It is these questions that hold us back from finding adequate solutions.
Why is it better towards the end of the day and then only worse later in the morning?
If it gets better later in the day, shouldn’t the problem be getting better also?
If I am resting the whole night, why would my back hurt from it?
If I didn’t do anything to my back in the morning and night, why would it hurt?
I have tried everything possible, but the pain keeps returning, isn’t this a permanent problem?
When the pain goes away during the day, my back feels healthy and fit again. Why then, would it feel so unfit again in the morning?
If I feel better before bed and worse after, is it the way that I am sleeping that is the problem?
Is it really the bed that is the problem and not my back at all?
I don’t believe that exercise would help at all. I have tried it. It has the same effect. I still feel sore in the morning. Isn’t this true?
Won’t exercises just make it worse? I don’t want to take any more risks.
Isn’t it true that: Most people have low back pain anyway? It is probably just a part of life? Bed rest is the best management?
Getting to the Root of the Problem with Deeper Questions
These are questions we all ask at some point in time when back pain is difficult to manage and treat. We did not all suffer our entire lives. We lived very healthy lives before our chronic back pain.
We were able to perform well under less than ideal conditions than we do now with all of the accommodations we make to comfort our back.
The problem is that we need to explore deeper and ask different questions about what may be going on prior to the back pain.
Specific Questions to Consider
Is my back better during the day from proper use or is it the effect of pain killers? (medicinal or by inhibitory endorphin release throughout the body).
Is my back better during the day from proper exercise and reduced pain, or is it due to muscle fatigue and weakness masked as mobility?
When the pain resolves in the day, is it because the problem muscles and joints are more flexible and mobile, or are other muscle groups merely compensating?
Is my morning pain from stiffness or tightness of my muscles, joints or both?
Is my morning pain relief dependent on my nighttime management, or my daytime management?
Would I be able to pass basic strength, flexibility, endurance and stretching tests now as compared to prior to my low back pain?
Have I been investing enough time and effort to understanding causes of lumbar pain and ways to treat it, or am I fine with my current understanding?
If you change your perspective on back pain from one of passive pain management applied only when pain is felt , and instead see this issue as one of active conditioning and protection, pain relief will be more achievable and likely. You will be able to open up to new, safer and more effective possibilities for long term relief.
Solving the Problem of Recurring Morning Back Pain First by Correcting the Following Misunderstandings:
What we commonly misunderstand about morning back pain can cause us to prolong it or even make it worse. Unless we change our assumptions, we may not correct it. We may even believe that it is a new reality we must simply accept.
The next section will help you to learn what these errors are, and what can be done about it.
This site is dedicated to helping those with recurring Morning Back Pain.
This Instructional Guide provides much needed help for this painful and frustrating issue.
Need Tips on Morning Back Pain?
Learn how to safely, easily, stretch and strengthen the weak and tight areas of your lower back and hips which cause pain while sleeping. Many clients (below) have experienced significant relief from morning back pain.
“I wanted to let you know that your program has made me have unbelievable break throughs and in only two days. I now realize that my pelvis has been tilting back and up as well as to the right side. Your hip unlocking exercises in particular made me feel something I forgot I could feel. I’m 22 and was having a lot of spinal issues and joint pain which was causing immobilizing suffering but this has already made me have unbelievable relief and hope. You’re a real life saver”
“This book is a lifesaver for anybody with chronic lower back pain. I have suffered from lower back pain for 6-7 years and nothing I tried (physical therapy, yoga, swimming) provides any meaningful lasting relief. Found this book about 10 days ago and have been following the exercises in this book; it is like magic and I have been pain free for the last week. After many years, I am sleeping well at night and wake up energized and ready to take on the day.”
You won’t regret the hard work that is required. Only the time lost from not treating your lower back pain.