Back pain in the morning can be as simple as a bad mattress, or a symptom of something more serious. Here's how to tell what's causing your morning back pain and solutions to help you solve it.
If you wake up with back pain every morning, you want to figure out if it's something as simple as needing a new mattress or a more serious condition, like arthritis.
If you regularly wake up with a stiff or sore neck, you'll want to check your pillow. I don't believe that one pillow does it all and there are lots of different types of chiropractic pillows to choose from. They're generally made of high quality materials and you can choose them based on how you sleep.
If you sleep on your stomach, you need a softer pillow that can be molded to support your neck, or if you sleep on your back, you need one with room for your shoulder while keeping your neck aligned.
Some common signs that your pillow just isn't doing the trick are things like your hands or fingers are asleep or numb when you wake up, or that you constantly wake up with neck stiffness or a headache (early morning headaches can also be a sign of blood pressure problems).
Once you change your pillow, expect a few nights of discomfort while your body gets used to the change.
I recommend Buckwheat Pillows to stomach sleepers because it can be molded into a comfortable shape depending on how you're sleeping. And as you change positions, it can change with you.
Stomach and side sleepers are more likely to have morning back pain in their shoulders or upper backs than those who sleep on their backs.
When you sleep on your tummy, your shoulders and upper back are in a slight extension position, which can be fairly uncomfortable after several hours. If you sleep with your arms over your head, you're also putting extra pressure on your neck, and those muscles can be sore all the way down your shoulders.
The right pillow here can make a big difference. If your pillow is too thick you'll have a lot of stress on your neck, which can lead to upper back pain when you wake up.
For back and side sleepers, I recommend the Therapeutica Pillow. Although it looks a little funny, it does a great job of keeping your spine aligned.
This is often a sign of a mattress that doesn't support you well. Don't confuse support with firmness, there are soft mattresses that support very well.
By far, the best bed I've ever slept on is the Sleep Number Bed by Select Comfort. We had one for several years, and then my husband and daughter were wrestling and popped one of the air chambers. On a whim, he bought a regular mattress to replace it. Boy was that a mistake!
We suffered for two years (I had low back pain in the morning, and he had neck stiffness every day) before we got another Sleep Number Bed. (Note: The Sleep Number bed actually has a really good, 20 year warranty but he didn't realize that. I was out of town when all this happened and he bought the new bed. Had I been there, I'm confident that we could have had the issue repaired without too much trouble. It was a costly mistake on our part!)
If you'd like information on the Sleep Number Bed and to find out how the right mattress can prevent back pain in the morning, just fill out the form below and a Sleep Number representative will contact you.
If you sleep on your side and wake with back pain in the morning, there may be too much pressure on your sacro-iliac joints. A pillow between your legs may help.
If you think your mattress isn't supportive enough but getting a new bed is out of the question, you can slide a piece of particle board between your mattress and box spring for a cheap fix. There are also all sorts of mattress covers that may help, from egg crate foam to pillow toppers.
I like the memory foam toppers because I think they give you nice support.
Unfortunately, morning back pain is also a classic sign of arthritis. If you are over 40 and are consistently waking up with pain, it might be worth a couple of X-rays to rule this out.
Arthritis symptoms tend to be worse in the morning, along with stiffness. You'll probably feel better after you've been up a couple hours or if you hop into a hot shower, or if you use an arthritis pain relief cream.
There are also good supplements that can help you rest easier at night or simply help with the pain and stiffness you feel.Return from Back Pain in the Morning to Conditions we Treat
Get my newsletter and get natural arthritis information, research, and tips in your inbox every month.