Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Waking up with low back pain is not a fun way to start the day. However, you’re not alone. Millions of people experience low back pain every year due to poor posture, inactivity, and spinal injuries. In this article, we will explore the causes of waking up with low back pain and discuss effective treatment options.
Causes of waking up with low back pain
Sleeping on an old mattress
Mattresses can lose their shape and support over time. In turn, this can cause your body to sink into your bed, leading to poor spinal alignment and resulting in low back pain. If you’re waking up with low back pain on a regular basis, replacing your old mattress with a new, supportive one can help.
Medium-firm mattresses tend to be the best option for most people with low back pain. (1) However, selecting the best mattress for yourself is purely subjective. So you’re going to have try out different mattresses and find one that works best for you.
Stress and anxiety
When you’re stressed, your nerves and muscles can become tense, causing pain and discomfort. This tension can be particularly pronounced in your back, where many of your nerves and muscles are located. Techniques such as meditation, exercise, or counselling can help you manage stress and reduce the risk of waking up with low back pain. (2)
Here is a post I wrote that goes deeper into this subject matter: Managing Stress Helps Low Back Pain
Inflammation or swelling is a common cause of waking up with low back pain. For example, if you have an existing injury to your low back, swelling has a chance to pool in your lower back during sleep. As a result, when you first get up in the morning, your low back can be very painful until you get up and move around. Try doing some light stretches to help get your spine more mobile (see below). As well, if you sit at work, it helps to start moving more throughout the day to bring down inflammation.
Sleep apnea and sleep disorders
If you have sleep apnea or problems sleeping, this can cause your body to become more sensitive to pain. Treating sleep disorders can help to reduce the risk of waking up with low back pain. Here is some more information on sleep deprivation and some tips on how to get better sleep:
Treatment options if you’re waking up with low back pain
The following are effective treatment options that are available if you’re waking up with low back pain:
Stretches and exercise
Doing some light stretching in the morning can help reduce tension in your back and improve your flexibility. As well, if you sit at a desk all day, try employing more movement and exercise into your day. Here are some previous posts I wrote that can give you some ideas on how to move more at work and get more exercise:
Change your sleep position
Changing your sleep position can help take the stress off of your lower back and help alleviate your low back pain. So try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs. Also, you can try to sleep on your back with your knees bent and a pillow underneath them.
Natural supplements to help reduce inflammation and low back pain
There are many natural supplements that are effective at reducing swelling and pain. Furthermore, they are safer than pain medications like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. (3) On a personal note, when my low back flares up I take a natural herbal supplement called Nature’s Relief by Adeeva. It works pretty well and it’s a supplement I prescribe to my patients when inflammation is causing their pain.
Chiropractic care if you’re waking up with low back pain
Chiropractic care is very effective for low back pain. Chiropractors use spinal adjustments to help realign the spine and to help the nervous system work better. In turn, this helps create an environment within the body to heal faster and better.
Acupuncture and massage therapy
Acupuncture and massage therapy are also effective in treating low back pain. (4)
Lifestyle strategies if you’re waking up with low back pain
Making lifestyle changes can also help prevent waking up with low back pain. I’ve already mentioned some lifestyle strategies you can employ. As well, the above links to blog posts I have wrote will help you dive deeper into the subject matter of your choice. To summarize, here’s a list of lifestyle strategies:
- Buy a new mattress
- Manage your stress
- Move more at work if you sit a lot
- Improve your sleep
In conclusion, waking up with low back pain can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience. However, effective treatment options, from stretching and exercise to chiropractic care and massage therapy, are available. Managing stress, exercise, and improving sleep hygiene can help prevent waking up with low back pain. If you’re experiencing low back pain, seek treatment, and make the changes necessary to live a pain free life.
To learn more about how chiropractic care could help you and your family click on Edmonton chiropractor Dr. Dean Collins’ complete guide to chiropractic care.