Changing Your Sleep Position
Simple adjustments to your posture can improve your level of comfort when you wake up and, in some cases, can relieve morning back pain completely. You can also try placing supportive pillows around your body to help keep your spine correctly aligned while you sleep:
- a pillow underneath your knees if you sleep on your back can align the spine better and reduce lower back pain
- a pillow between the legs of a side sleeper better aligns the hips and spine
- a pillow underneath the lower abdomen of a stomach sleeper can reduce the curvature in the lower back
The Gluteus Maximus Trigger Points: A Real Pain In The Rear End
January 10, 2013 by Dr. Laura Perry
As its name suggests, the gluteus maximus is the king of the gluteal muscles, and the ruler of gluteal pain. Many low back pain complaints involve a significant gluteal pain component, so the therapist needs to make a habit of addressing the gluteus maximus trigger points in every low back pain treatment plan.
Symptoms associated with gluteus maximus trigger points include gluteal pain and tenderness while seated, rising from a chair, sleeping, or walking up a slope or stairs. Pain may also be initiated by swimming or other sporting activities.
Clients may also complain of a sharp, stabbing pain in certain seated positions. Additionally, one of the trigger points in this muscle may produce pain and pressure sensations in the tailbone region.
What Kind Of Mattress Is Best
I like a firm mattress and my wife and I just had an argument about this. We just purchased a new mattress a couple of weeks ago. The salesperson came over and said, What can I help you guys with? I said, We need a new mattress.
And he says, What do you guys want? And, simultaneously, I say, Firm, she says, Soft. He says, This is a problem you guys need to work out on your own, and just left us alone for a while.
But related to this type of pain, firm is always going to be better. We want something to provide plenty of support to the back. Thats why Im starting to tell patients to get away from pillow tops. Those things break down. Two years into it, theres almost like a crater in the top of the bed. I actually went with a memory foam, or Tempurpedic type mattress that weve really, really liked.
Its really helped us out quite a bit. I just tell folks to get out there, do your research. Talk to your doctor, talk to your chiropractor, your physical therapist. Some salespeople, obviously are going to try to sell you one of the most expensive mattresses. But get on the mattress.
Many of these mattress stores will give you 90 days to take it back. Just figure out what youre comfortable with because youre going to be the one sleeping on it. And firm is always going to be a little bit better than soft when it comes to supporting your back.
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Treatment For Morning Back Pain
What should you do if you often wake up with back pain in the morning? The first step is to talk to a pain specialist to find the underlying cause that could be contributing to your issues. Sometimes, a simple lifestyle change can make the biggest difference such as replacing your old bed with a quality mattress.
Strategies To Help You Get Back To Restful Sleep
Update your sleep software. Sometimes you can achieve a great nights sleep with a simple pillow adjustment. The right pillow correctly aligns the part of your spine thats in your neck so that muscle tightness doesnt occur when you sleep. Or you may need a new mattress. Consider a mattress an investment in your health. We recommend a firm mattress for the best-quality sleep, Dr. Girgis says.
Switch up your diet. Avoid foods that promote inflammation. The Mediterranean diet, which features a lot of veggies, fruits, whole grains and seafood, may increase the antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.
Exercise . Movement lubricatesjoints, which keeps pain and stiffness at bay. Be careful though: Exercisingnear bedtime or overtraining can lead to insomnia. Shoot for 30 minutes a day,five days a week, Dr. Girgis says.
Take a vitamin D supplement. Your bones and muscles need vitamin D for optimal health. Most people dont get enough vitamin D through their diet, so talk to your doctor about choosing a supplement or foods with added vitamin D.
Try a new sleeping position. Sleeping on your stomach could be contributing to your morning pain. Instead, sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees to keep your spine in a neutral position. Alternatively, you can sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees.
Keep your muscles supple. Inflammation can occur when muscle mass breaks down. Find ways to maintain your muscles gym membership not required.
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Is It Normal To Wake Up With Back Stiffness
YES. YES. YES. Now just because its normal doesnt mean its optimal. The normal American diet consists of processed and fast foods, though we all know that those foods are not the best for us. Plenty of people wake up in the morning with stiffness in the neck and low back. In fact, I see it every day. Is it healthy for your body to wake up stiff and in pain? Not particularly. Does it mean there is something catastrophically and irreversibly wrong? No. Fortunately, just like our diets, we have control over the state of well-being in our bodies, and there ARE ways we can prevent this pesky morning back stiffness. But first, we must identify the causes
When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you have morning back pain that is severe, gets increasingly common or is present every morning, or is accompanied by other symptoms, be sure to see your healthcare provider. They’ll want to look for possible causes of your pain including injury, illness, or another medical problem.
Some conditions, including fibromyalgia and lupus, may cause periodic bouts of back pain that clears up in between, so also report any back pain that comes and goesespecially if you experience fatigue, rashes, or cognitive dysfunction at the same time.
Back pain that radiates down your leg may be due to a herniated disc or sciatica .
Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about the intensity, nature, frequency, and duration of your pain as well as any symptoms that appear to be related to it.
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Why Is Back Pain Worse In The Morning
Even if youre an early bird, getting out of bed when you suffer from back pain can be daunting. As many patients know, a sunrise can leave them stiff, sore and wondering why they have morning back pain.
For many patients, morning back pain isnt a symptom of a larger spinal issue, but a manifestation of other bad habits. Before seeking professional help consider common environmental causes of back pain:
- Bad Mattress: Firm bedding supports your spine better through the night, and well-worn, cratered mattresses may aggravate your back while you sleep.
- Poor Sleep Position: Sleeping on your stomach causes your lower back to extend, placing it under pressure. Side sleepers who dont bend their knees may also be irritating their backs as they sleep.
- Poor Ergonomics: Bad posture? Work in a bad environment? Your ergonomics may take a toll on your back that worsens at night when youre still.
If youve sorted out the environmental factors that contributes to morning back pain, it might be a medical condition that causes those achy mornings. Youll need to seek a professional diagnosis for treatment options, but you may suffer from:
Morning back pain can have many contributing factors, so consulting with experts at Front Range Orthopedics & Spine in our three locations Longmont, Lafayette and Frederick can help you locate the root of your pain and treat it.
Why Does My Body Feel Tight When I Wake Up
And what can I do to feel better?
If you regularly wake up with stiff muscles, creaky joints or the general feeling that your body simply isnt as limber as it was when you went to bed, the first thing to know is that you are not alone. Waking up with a tight body is almost a universal human experience, said Maryclaire Capetta, a physical therapist and assistant professor in the department of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. And, she added, its quite common for it to happen every day.
But while feeling stiff in the morning is normal and typically dissipates quickly, its also uncomfortable while it lasts. The good news, experts say, is that there are a few tricks you can use when you feel stiff, and even before the feeling arises to help you get relief, faster.
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Waking Up With Joint Stiffness And Lower Back Pain 4 Reasons Why It Happens
A full nights sleep should help you feel rejuvenated when you wake and are ready to face the day. So why do you sometimes wake up with stiff joints and a sore lower back? Unless you have known back issues or an injury that contributes to poorer sleep, morning aches and pains are both confusing and frustrating.
There are plenty of reasons for sore joints and lower back stiffness. Its important to drill down to what the root cause is for you. Luckily, we know a thing or two about mattresses and quality sleep. Below are the four most common causes for morning sorenessand what you can do about them.
Your Sleep Position is Out of Whack
We tend to fall asleep in roughly the same position every nightand each sleep position has a different effect on your body. Simply put, not all sleep positions are created equal, which may account for some of your pain.
People who sleep on their stomachs are most prone to experience back and joint pain since this position pulls the spine out of alignment. Additionally, the twisting and contorting that stomach sleepers do to get comfortable can put extra pressure on the neck, lower back and jawwhich can even lead to poorer circulation. Most sleep experts recommend that stomach sleepers try to train their bodies to sleep on their sides, usually by propping their trunks up with a pillow.
Your Pillow Isnt Cutting It
Your Mattress is Too Soft, Or Too Firm
You Need to Switch Up Your Bed’s Foundation
The Dangers Of The Cycle Of Morning Back Problems
As you go to bed, the following extensive chain of events occurs:
What once was believed to be appreciated as a restful period, actually becomes an ordeal of severe discomfort.
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Ice Heat And Medication Are Enough
I Usually Recover Well with this Method
This method is effective for the immediate treatment of an injury. It does not treat the causes. It merely returns you to a less severe state just before your episode. Causes are less obvious and more complicated to treat.
This method will not prevent it from happening again as it only treats injury and soreness. 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. This allows us the opportunity to seek proper treatment necessary for long-term recovery.
Still In Pain Consider Seeing A Doctor
If you routinely wake up with extreme morning back pain, or your pain hasnt responded to self-care measures such as stretches and a new mattress, it might be time to consider more immediate relief. Ask your doctor if you can take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen. Acetaminophen may be another option for occasional back pain if you cant take NSAIDs.
If over-the-counter medications dont help, your doctor will probably send you for imaging and diagnosis to determine the root cause of your morning back pain and suggest a course of pain management therapy to relieve your immediate pain. Your doctor might also suggest exercise therapy to help correct the underlying skeletal or muscular problems that led to your pain.
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Get Exercise Throughout The Day
Regular exercise throughout the day is key to alleviating back pain. Walking is among the best exercises, and you should aim for at least 10,000 steps per day. However, anything that gets you moving and on your feet can help keep your back strong.
Also, if you have an office job that involves sitting, its important to take frequent breaks. Stand up at least once every 30 minutes and stretch. Standing desks can also help keep the pressure off your back during the day at work so you wont suffer the consequences the next morning.
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.
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Causes Of Back Stiffness After Sleeping & Its Treatment Exercises
Back stiffness after sleeping is one of the most common problems. It causes backache or back pain in most of the people. Back stiffness arises in the back muscles from increased tension in the muscle tissue. Stiff back after sleeping may occur in the upper back and/or the lower back region. It can range from mild constant ache to a sudden sharp pain. The increased muscle tension results from trauma, overuse and poor posture. Generally, back stiffness after sleeping is not caused by a serious condition and it disappears within few days or weeks.
Back Pain At Night And Ankylosing Spondylitis
There are two main categories of back pain: mechanical and inflammatory. Mechanical back pain results from problems with the way the different components of your spine work together. Mechanical back pain, such as from overuse injuries, poor posture, or a herniated disc, is the reason for the vast, vast majority of back pain cases.
On the other hand, inflammatory back pain occurs because theres a problem with your immune system attacking the joints in your spine, sacroiliac joints , and the entheses .
Back pain that wakes you up in the second half of the night is one of a few key signs that your back pain could be inflammatory and due to a disease like ankylosing spondylitis.
Patients often experience stiffness and pain that awakens them in the early morning, a distinctive symptom not generally found in patients with mechanical back pain, reports Medscape.
Its not common to have back pain so bad in the middle of the night that you cant go back to sleep, says Fardina Malik, MD, a rheumatologist at NYU Langone in New York City who frequently treats patients with ankylosing spondylitis.
Mechanical back pain generally feels better when you rest or sleep. You might have discomfort, but you should be able to sleep through the night.
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Lower Back Pain Causes: 8 Reasons For Sudden & Chronic Pain
Sometimes, you know exactly why your back is hurting. Maybe you lifted something awkwardly and felt the pain right away. Or maybe your doctor has been warning you for years that your bad posture would lead to lower back pain.
But other times, the source of back pain can feel like a mystery.
“Your lumbar spine, located in your lower back, plays a crucial role in supporting the weight of your upper body. It’s also responsible for everyday movements, such as bending, twisting and coordinating the muscles in your hips, pelvis legs and feet,” says Dr. Kenneth Palmer, orthopedic surgeon specializing in spine surgery at Houston Methodist. “Due to heavy use, the bones, muscles, ligaments, disks and nerves found in your lumbar spine are quite susceptible to both injury and wear and tear over time causing pain in the lower back.”
Lower back pain symptoms include:
- Dull ache in your hips and/or pelvis
- Muscle spasms or tightness
- Sharp, tingling pain that starts in your lower back and travels down one leg
- Pain that worsens with sitting and quickly improves while walking
- Pain that is noticeably worse in the morning
“Typically, a person experiences some combination of these symptoms, which can develop suddenly or over time. In some cases, lower back pain can feel like it comes and goes flaring up now and then, but generally getting progressively worse over time,” explains Dr. Palmer.
Speaking of the various causes of lower back pain…