It’s not unusual to experience spine pain first thing in the morning. This type of pain often goes away during the course of a day. Discomfort of this nature is referred to as trigger pain, meaning it’s typically triggered by some type of movement or a condition affecting the back or its supporting muscles, nerves, and discs. Since morning spine pain is fairly common, most people make assumptions about its causes, like the five discussed below. However, making assumptions can sometimes result in delays in treatments that provide relief.
1. Regular Morning Back Pain Is Normal
Having occasional back pain when you first get up is normal and usually nothing to worry about. However, experiencing this type of discomfort nearly every day is not normal. If you wake up with back pain regularly, even if it eventually goes away as the day progresses, it’s time to visit your doctor or a Beverly Hills spine surgeon.
2. Switching Mattresses Will Solve the Issue
Some instances of morning spine pain are caused by a lack of mattress support, but this isn’t always the case. A herniated disc or some other spinal condition aggravated by the movements you make while sleeping may be triggering your discomfort. Changing your mattress won’t stop pain resulting from an underlying condition.
3. Rest and Pain Meds Are the Best Treatment
Rest is only effective for a few days after spine pain first appears. Too much rest may turn your morning back pain into chronic discomfort as muscles around your spine become weaker. Pain medications often provide temporary relief, although they don’t treat the true source of the pain. If you are experiencing regular morning spine pain, the often-recommended course of action is to:
• Get a proper diagnosis of the likely cause of the pain
• Explore various forms of physical therapy
• Make healthy food choices to naturally ease inflammation
• Exercise regularly (with doctor approval) to strengthen spine-supporting muscles
4. It’s Not Serious Because It’s “Only Morning Pain”
As you get up and get active, endorphins are released. These “feel-good” hormones act similar to mild pain relievers, which is just one of several ways your body may be trying to mask pain you don’t think is serious. If morning pain is a frequent occurrence, take it as a sign there’s something going on with your spine that needs attention from your doctor.
5. Exercise Makes Morning Spine Pain Worse
Some people have their bouts of morning spine pain after an early morning jog or while getting in a quick workout before they head to work. If this happens to you, you might assume exercise is triggering the pain. Certain exercises can place added stress on the spine. However, unless your morning routine includes squats, bent-over rows, and straight-leg deadlifts, this isn’t likely the case. Spine pain associated with exercise is often due to:
• Not doing a proper warm-up or stretch first
• Lack of correct form or technique
• Not wearing the ideal shoes for your preferred activity
While it’s best to let your doctor know if you are experiencing morning spine pain, it’s not always easy to treat. This type of intermittent discomfort is usually caused by subtle sources of chronic pain that aren’t significant enough to cause consistent aches and pains. The most common sources of morning spine pain are general inflammation, a steady increase in inflammation due to aging, fibromyalgia or myofascial pain, and awkward sleeping positions.
If you are experiencing chronic spine pain and need an effective plan for relief, reach out to the spine specialists at The Spine Institute. We specialize in a wide array of minimally invasive surgical procedures, from extreme lateral interbody fusion to cervical disc replacement surgery. Beverly Hills patients should give us a call today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an appointment.