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Why I Wake Up With Lower Back Pain

Solving The Problem Of Recurring Morning Back Pain


What we commonly misunderstand 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 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 back problems.

This Instructional Guide provides much-needed help for this painful and frustrating issue.

Need Tips on waking up when it hurts?

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You’re Sweating Too Much At Night

Another reason why you might be waking up in the morning with back pain is sweat. Even if you drink plenty of water during the day, if you sweat a lot during the night then you will become dehydrated. Dehydration, simply put, is when your body loses more water than it gains. If youre not replenishing your water levels while you sleep, then any water lost during the night will have an effect in the morning.

Women going through menopause often experience night sweats as a symptom of falling oestrogen levels. When oestrogen levels lower, so does the bodys thermostat. As a result, the body thinks it is overheating and starts sweating to cool itself down.

Top tip: Make sure your duvet and pyjamas are not too heavy if you struggle with sweating at night. It may help to keep two duvets a cosy one for cold winter nights and a lighter one for the rest of the year. Or, keep a light blanket close by if you find the duvet too hot. This means you can keep yourself cool without disturbing your partners sleep.

Main Causes Of Morning Back Pain

Why is back pain worst first thing in the morning, and what can you do about it?

I woke up with it is an amazingly common description of how low back pain started.

Why? Is sleeping dangerous? Probably not: waking up with back pain rarely indicates a serious problem. But both mornings and backs are unusually vulnerable to some common minor sources of pain.

This is mostly about chronic back pain thats at its worst in the morning, a common symptom pattern. People who are more or less pain-free during the day may still suffer for a while every day after waking up. But attacks of acute back pain are also much more common in the first few hours of the day see Steffens et al.2 and that phenomenon may be related to why chronic back pain tends to be bad in the morning.

Morning back pain is a tough problem to treat because most of it probably has several subtle chronic causes, but there may be some opportunities for treatment.

Is pain & stiffness your alarm clock? Do you bail out of bed early every morning with low back pain, neck pain & more?

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What Is The Treatment For Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain

Initial treatment is similar to sudden-onset attacks. That is, aim to keep as active as possible. Also, painkillers can help. In addition to the painkillers listed above, your doctor may advise a course of an antidepressant medicine in the tricyclic group – for example, amitriptyline. Tricyclic antidepressants have other actions separate to their action on depression. They are used in a variety of painful conditions, including back pain.

Also, a national guideline , referenced below) recommends one or more of the following treatments should be considered. Each of these treatments has some evidence from research trials to suggest that they will help to ease symptoms in some people :

  • Structured exercise programme. This means a programme of exercise supervised by a professional such as a physiotherapist. This is likely to be in a group setting. Exercises may include aerobic activity, movement instruction, muscle strengthening, posture control and stretching. It typically consists of up to eight supervised sessions over 8-12 weeks with encouragement to keep on doing the exercises at home between sessions.
  • Manual therapy. Typically this includes several sessions of massage, spinal mobilisation and/or spinal manipulation. With spinal mobilisation the therapist moves the joints of the spine around in their normal movement range. In spinal manipulation, the therapist moves joints beyond the usual range of movement.
  • A course of acupuncture. It is not clear how this may work.

Sleep Positions That Will Fight Morning Pain And Stiffness

The Reason Why You Wake Up In the Morning with Back Pain ...

Are you woken up every day by morning pain and stiffness? While these symptoms may be annoying or uncomfortable, dont fret. Its likely nothing serious.

Typically, morning back pain is a result of low-grade inflammation, which gets worse with age and is noticeably worse at the start of the day. The most underestimated culprit of early morning pain and stiffness is strain due to awkward sleeping positions or using the wrong pillow, and the back is one of the most vulnerable areas for this this type of irritation.

If your pillow is too high or stiff, your neck will remain flexed overnight, which can lead to morning pain and stiffness. Here are the best sleeping positions to help you minimize morning pain and discomfort:

If you have early morning neck/back pain, try to sleep on your side or your back.

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Misunderstandings You Must Correct To Stop The Pain In The Morning

If youve been struggling with countless times of waking up with a very sore back, you are not alone.

Have you reached the point where rest and medication are no longer a suitable option? Even though it seems like you are feeling better, the very next time you awaken becomes yet another ordeal.

I have found that there are a lot of mistakes that we all make to cause this. At least 8 of them so far! But the best way to overcome the morning struggle is to tackle them one at a time.

Why Does Your Back Hurt In The Morning

Have you ever woken up in the morning and experienced back pain? You would be surprised how many people suffer from morning back pain. First you may consider you were sleeping incorrectly, but is that a case? What if the back pain occurs every morning? Is it something serious? Should you be worried?

Studies have shown up to 80% of Americans experiences lower back pain at least once throughout their lives. Its one of the most common reason people see their doctor. Find out what causes morning back and neck pain and how to prevent them. Dr. Hepler, our spine surgeon in Palm Beach County will explain reasons of back pain after sleeping and present several steps you can take to ensure you are sleeping correctly to prevent your neck and back from pain.

Here are the most common reasons why people experience lower back pain after sleeping.

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Muscle Imbalances And Tightness

Below is a picture of a normal spine , and a spine of a person with lower crossed syndrome . Ideally, muscles are all used evenly and are balanced. Unfortunately, many people have lower crossed syndrome, and this usually results from lack of activity, prolonged sitting, poor posture, poor body composition , and lack of core stability. As you can see in the picture below, someone with lower crossed syndrome will have weak and often protruding abs, tight hip flexors , tight erector muscles in the low back, and inhibited, weak glutes.

People who have muscle imbalances such as lower crossed syndrome have a greater likelihood of experiencing low back stiffness in the morning, as they spend their days with abnormal stresses on their bodies. The already tightened muscles will tend to have greater tone than the weakened muscles- even while sleeping. The lack of movement during sleep makes the tight muscles feel even tighter , as they arent as warmed up as they are during the day.

Overdoing Exercise The Day Before

Pain Relief Waking Up With Low Back Pain | My FIRST TIME With Low Back Pain and What I Did to Fix

Regular exercise can help strengthen the back and reduce back pain. However, overdoing it at the gym or while playing sports can lead to morning back pain and stiffness.

It is important for a person to pay attention to their posture during and after any intense physical activity. Properly warming up and cooling down can also help reduce back pain and muscle stiffness the following day.


The following can help alleviate symptoms of exercise-related back pain:

  • applying hot or cold packs to the affected area
  • taking OTC anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen

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Improper Motion In The Spinal Joints

Very similar to the first cause , the spinal joints can undergo areas of tightness hypomobility, and laxity hypermobility. When we move, each of the joints in our spine move a little bit to create a larger global movement. I like to use the analogy of an assembly line- when all of the people on the assembly line are present, everyone is working the same. Everyone is happy and not stressed , and all of the work gets done. If you take away a few people and sit them in chairs to watch, there are less people remaining on the assembly line. The work still needs to get done, but there are less people to do the job at hand. This causes the remaining workers to become stressed and overworked, all while the people in chairs are sedentary and lazy. The spine works in a similar way. When all of the workers are doing their jobs , everyone is happy and healthy. If a few joints stop moving appropriately , then the rest of the joints have to move excessively to compensate for the lazy joints . This phenomena predisposes the joints that move too much to premature degeneration due to over working, while the joints that dont move enough are at risk for degeneration too! Since the spine and joints receive nutrients from movement, the hypomobile joints dont get the appropriate nutrition and will eventually start to break down as well.

Morning Back Pain: Everything You Need To Know For 2020

by Dr. Scott HodgesOct 30, 2019

Does the following scenario sound familiar? You wake up every morning with substantial pain and stiffness in your lower back, sometimes to the point where it takes a half-hour just to get out of bed and get your day started. But by midmorning the pain has lessened substantially, and by noon you feel almost normal. Then the same cycle starts up again the next dayâand the day after that.

Morning back pain is a common condition it can also be an incredibly frustrating one. Even if the pain doesnât last all day, waking up stiff and sore every morning makes it difficult to get through your morning routine. In this blog post weâll explain why your lower back pain is worse in the morning, and what you can do to find relief.

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Is It Time For A New Mattress

If your mattress is old or not supportive enough it may not support your weight or body shape. This lack of support can cause pressure on your spine and cause you to wake up with back pain. Manufacturers recommend that mattresses be replaced every 10 years, or when you see visible sagging or indentations where you have slept. If you decide to get a new mattress, be sure to choose one that is comfortable and supportive.

Border Therapy Services Is Ready To Treat Your Lower Back Pain And Help You Start Your Mornings Right

5 Reasons Why Your Lower Back Pain Is Always Worse In The ...

Nobody wants to start their day in pain. Waking up with lower back pain in the morning can throw off the whole beginning of your day. Our physical therapists at Border Therapy Services are experts in treating numerous causes of lower back pain. If you have tried to remedy your morning back pain but cant seem to find relief, were ready to help. We are prepared to build you a personalized treatment plan that targets the cause of your lower back pain.

Contact our team today for more information about lower back pain in the morning or to schedule an initial appointment.

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Morning Baths Are Almost Miraculous For Some Kinds Of Morning Back Pain

A hot bath is one of the oldest medicines. While most people appreciate a nice hot bath, few people think of it as a serious treatment for back pain just something that takes the edge off. Maybe.

But for morning back pain, it can be incredibly effective. Reader C.B. writes:

I am 73 with assorted age-related issues, but this low back pain every morning is new. Here is what I do: I run a hot bath, and jump in and immediately the pain goes away, all of it. Why would that be, and what does it mean?

C. is not alone: many people report near rapid, profound relief from morning back pain. Baths seem to be at their best in this context, and its not clear why. When a bath has an immediate, profound effect on pain, its probably because immersion/flotation is a fairly potent dose of novel sensory input, which can very persuasively tell the brain that theres no need for the alarm of pain. This may be more pronounced with some kinds of pain that are aggravated by gravity, so the partial flotation might be directly relieving.

And then, by the time you get out of the bath, the relatively transient phenomenon of morning back pain is already retreating and perhaps even faster because of some thermal effects .

P.S. Showers may be just as good! Or nearly as good. It would be nice if I could cite a nice, well-controlled trial of this, but thats probably never going to happen.

Less Common Causes Of Low Back Pain

Inflammation of the joints of the spine sometimes causes back pain. Osteoarthritis is the common form of arthritis and usually occurs in older people. Ankylosing spondylitis is another form of arthritis that can occur in young adults and which causes pain and stiffness in the lower back. Rheumatoid arthritis may affect the spine but you are likely to have other joints affected too.

Various uncommon bone disorders, tumours, infection and pressure from structures near to the spine occasionally cause low back pain .

The rest of this leaflet is mainly about nonspecific low back pain – the common type of low back pain.

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Here Are A Few Other Tips That Might Make It Easier For You To Get Through The Day:

  • Morning Stretching: Wake up your muscles and joints by gently stretching before you get out of bed. Bring your knees to your chest to get a lower-back stretch. Also, stretch your arms above your head and reach your feet in the opposite direction. Pay attention to the tight areas of your body, then talk to a physical therapist or doctor about the stretches that could help your situation.
  • Core Strength: Building the muscles in your core can improve your overall body structure, helping to reduce the back pain you are experiencing. No, were not talking about hundreds of crunches each day because certain ab exercises can exacerbate the problem. A physical therapist can provide personalized recommendations, which might include planks, stretching, gentle cardio, and other tips to support the overall structure of your body.
  • Medications: When the pain is intense, then medication can provide immediate relief to dull the discomfort. Talk to your doctor about over-the-counter medications such as NSAIDs or acetaminophen. For severe back pain, prescription medications can sometimes be used. But you need to be careful to avoid dependence on these pain relievers. Medication should be used as a short-term strategy until you can address the root problem.

Adjust Your Sleeping Position

Waking up to Intense Low Back Pain? – Answers from Asheville Chiropractor, Dr. Bart Hodgins

One way to relieve back pain at night is to make sure pressure is equally distributed along your spine. Sleeping on your back helps ensure your body weight is spread evenly. Placing a pillow under your knees also can help maintain the normal curve of your lower back as you sleep.

Side sleepers can adjust their position to evenly distribute pressure as well. Drawing your knees slightly toward your chest can help, as can placing a pillow between your legs. Alternating which side you sleep on is also a good idea.

Sleeping on your stomach places the most strain on your spine, so avoiding this if possible is recommended. However, if you find you cannot sleep any other way, try placing a pillow under your abdomen to relieve some of the tension in your neck and back.

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Inflammation Sleep Stress And Pain

The link between sleep and pain is based on some superficially simple inflammatory biology: bad sleep is inflammatory and inflammation makes it harder to sleep, which is not widely appreciated. That means that sleeping badly can actually make it harder to sleep well!17 This is a vicious cycle every extremely frustrated insomniac is familiar with: being exhausted from a sleepless is not a guarantee that you will sleep well the next night.

And that vicious cycle is relevant to night and morning pain, which is known to be significantly mediated by the immune system signalling molecule interleukin-6. IL-6 and inflammation are almost synonymous more of one means more of the other. Everyone knows that stress makes it harder to sleep, but how? Its not just because your mind is racing its because stress makes us produce IL-6, which is inflammatory, and inflammation in turn makes it harder to sleep! And then the bad sleep also makes us pump more IL-6

And thats why its important to get your sleep!


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