Why does My Back Pain Hurt More in the Morning?


woman with back pain getting out of bed

Ugh.  Morning back pain.  Nobody likes it.  But if you suffer from back pain, it’s more than likely it hurts more in the morning than at any other time of day.  Almost everyone I treat for back pain tells me their pain is the worst right as they get out of bed and begins to subside as they start moving around.

There are several reasons for this, which we’ll review in this post, so you can answer the burning question, “Why does my back pain hurt more in the morning?”.  Let’s examine the answers.

Your mattress

Goldilocks had it nailed.  She knew that the right mattress was necessary for a good night’s rest.  And she kept on trying until she found one that was “just right”.

We’re all different.  We all have diverse challenges and your morning back pain problem may be managed by changing the mattress you’re sleeping on.  You know what’s comfortable, so I’m not going to tell you that sleeping on a plank or a futon or a feather bed is going to work for you.  But I am going to make a few suggestions.

If you’re not sleeping on a pillow top mattress, you should be flipping your mattress every 6 months.  A pillow top can be rotated.  Another key piece of information is that the age of your mattress matters.  If you’ve been sleeping well on your mattress until recently and it’s more than 5 years old, it may be time to buy a new one.

It’s estimated that almost 70% of Americans are sleeping on a mattress that’s not suited to their needs.  A mattress which supports your spine is something you need to reduce and even eliminate back pain.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of memory foam.  And the wonder of it is that you don’t need to spring for a whole new mattress.  You can buy the pad to get the same effect.  Memory foam offers both support and comfort, so it’s effective for a wide cross-section of back pain problems.  Laid over a firm mattress, it can work wonders.

Sleep position

But it’s not just what you’re sleeping on.  It’s how you’re sleeping on it.  Your sleep position can contribute to existing back pain.

If you sleep on your stomach, it’s time to stop.  Your back is put into full extension with this position, which places way too much pressure on your lower back.  When you’re sleeping, your body is supposed to be getting a needed rest and this position doesn’t do that – for anyone.

Sleep on your back, with a pillow under your knees that maintains them at a 45% angle.  This not only stops you from rolling onto your stomach in your sleep, it allows your back to rest.  Alternatively, sleeping on your side, with your knees bent and a pillow between them.

Back & Body Medical

If you’re experiencing serious back pain when you get out of bed in the morning, book a consultation.  We can help you start the day off right!








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