If you woke up with back pain this morning, you’re not alone. Almost half of American adults suffer from back pain. Forty percent say the pain limits their social activities.
Back pain, especially in the lower or “lumbar” spine, is particularly common and can prove especially debilitating. Because the spine is a central and integral part of our anatomy, many potential issues may arise as we age. But age is not the sole factor which contributes to back pain. Looking at the totality of your lifestyle is key to understanding the cause of your morning back pain and finding a solution for it.
Do You Only Experience Back Pain in the Morning?
As you analyze the cause of your back pain, ask yourself: Does it occur during all waking hours? Is it bothering you throughout the day, but perhaps is more pronounced in the morning? Or are you only in pain when you first wake in the morning?
If your back only seems to bother you while you’re waking up, the cause is likely attributable to the way you sleep. To alleviate back pain which afflicts you solely in the morning, consider making the following three lifestyle changes.
Certain Sleep Positions Can Ease Morning Back Pain
Physicians and chiropractors recommend sleeping on your back or side for optimal spine health. If you sleep on your back, it is beneficial to have a pillow beneath your knees to enforce your spine’s natural curvature. If you’re sleeping on your side, place a pillow between your knees. You can also use a pillow to elevate any area of your back or body which does not feel supported to alleviate discomfort.
Your own analysis is important. Experiment, then use what you notice about your condition to consult with a professional and find the best sleeping position for you.
The Right Mattress Helps Morning Back Pain
Most spine experts indicate that firmer mattresses are better for your back. If you think your mattress is too soft, too old, or just doesn’t support you in the right way, you should consider replacing it.
A mattress is a big expense, so you may not consider replacement as an option. As an alternative, you can use a mattress topper, blankets or pillows to increase support to key areas of your back. As indicated previously, your own analysis is important. Pay close attention to what is helpful and use it to consult with an expert to better your condition.
Stretching Is Integral to Alleviating Back Pain in the Morning
Stretching in the morning is highly recommended when you experience morning back pain. You can begin before you even get out of bed by extending your arms and legs out as far as you can, then bringing your knees to your chest and wrapping your arms around them. When you get out of bed, rise slowly, stand firmly with your legs aligned beneath your shoulders, and again extend upwards.
If you change positions during the night, which is helpful to your back, try stretching as you do so. Extending or moving in a way which you otherwise would not, even just for a second, may help your overall condition and make it easier for your back to come into alignment in the morning.
There are plenty of other stretches you can do whether you are in bed or out. However, it’s important to tailor your stretches to your specific pain location and severity. This again requires some experimentation, and you should try different methods carefully, and of course consult with an expert to determine which stretches are best for you.
While these recommendations can help alleviate morning back pain, it’s essential to stay aware of how your back is feeling at other times and under other circumstances. The morning pain may indicate an injury, underlying deteriorative process, or other issue which you should get ahead of as soon as possible.
Chiropractic care is often the best care for morning back pain. Please contact Fargo Spine in Fargo, ND today so we can help you understand and alleviate your back pain. The difference it can make is life-changing!