You might wake up with back pain in the morning and assume it’s a normal part of life or getting older. However, back pain, even if it’s only primarily felt in the morning, shouldn’t be something you just accept. Take a moment to learn about five possible causes of morning back pain and what you can do about this type of discomfort.
Inflammation that sticks around at low levels may be more noticeable in the morning before you get active and moving. Low-level inflammation tends to be more common in older adults. However, it can also be related to excess weight, stress, or a sedentary lifestyle.
Possible solutions include:
• Taking anti-inflammatory medication
• Committing to a healthier, more active lifestyle
• Exploring yoga, meditation, and other stress-relieving practices
The act of sleeping is a natural way to fight inflammation. It’s also during the deeper stages of sleep when tissue healing and rejuvenation take place. But if you’re not getting enough high-quality sleep, you could wake up with localized inflammation and morning back pain.
Improve your sleep habits by:
• Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule
• Keeping your sleep area as quiet and comfortable as possible
• Investing in a supportive mattress that’s good for your spine
The spine’s discs naturally wear out or break down to some extent with age. This process can be accelerated by excess weight and other lifestyle factors. Diet can play a role in disc wear as well, which is where the vitamin D part comes in. Vitamin D is important because it keeps spinal discs strong.
You can’t stop age-related disc wear, but you can prevent further breakdown and reduce your risk of experiencing morning back pain by increasing your vitamin D intake. Calcium is equally beneficial for spinal discs and joints. It also helps with the absorption of Vitamin D. If you can’t get sufficient vitamin D and calcium from your diet alone, talk to your doctor or Santa Monica spine surgeon about supplements.
Even in moderate amounts, tobacco products can affect circulation enough to contribute to morning back pain. Reduced blood flow can also boost the spinal degeneration process. Alcohol can also affect the flow of beneficial nutrients and how well you sleep. Treat your spine right by avoiding tobacco products and minimizing alcohol consumption or drinking more water instead.
Overdoing it at the gym and having a job where you need to do heavy lifting are just some of the ways you can overuse and overstress your spine. The result is often the kind of lingering soreness that’s felt in the morning. Poor posture can also affect your spine enough to leave you with morning back pain.
Reduce your risk of experiencing back pain from overuse or poor posture by:
• Using proper lifting techniques
• Mixing up your workouts so you’re not overstressing the same spine-supporting muscle groups
• Not excessively leaning forward or hunching
• Getting up as often as possible so you’re not sitting for long periods
If you’ve been experiencing morning back pain lately or on a fairly recurring basis, see what your doctor or a spine specialist has to say. Getting an accurate diagnosis increases your odds of benefiting from recommended treatments or lifestyle adjustments.
If you’re 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 artificial disc replacement surgery. Santa Monica patients should give us a call today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an appointment.